New Brunswick

Pub crawls banned at UNB Fredericton campus

An email sent out Thursday to UNB students from administration informed them of a new ban on student-led bar tours.

University of New Brunswick no longer wants any connection to campus drinking tours

Shirley Cleave, UNB Fredericton's associate vice president academic said campus bar tours are risky because of lack of insurance coverage for the individuals, as well as the inability to monitor consumption of alcohol. (Joe McDonald/CBC News)

There will be no more pub crawls or tours allowed by student organizations according to an email sent by the University of New Brunswick Fredericton campus administration on Thursday.

Pub crawls on the UNB campus generally consisted of groups of people going to different bars and clubs on a timeline, starting at one bar and then leaving as a group to go to another.

The email was written by Shirley Cleave, the associate VP Academic, and states the reasons behind the banning of pub crawls has to do with lack of insurance coverage, the risk involved, and the liability of other universities not permitting pub crawls either.

Cleave was part of a group asked by president Eddy Campbell to take a close look at alcohol on campus after what she said were "a number of institutions that had significant tragedies related to alcohol consumption."

Pub crawls have long been favourite campus activities for organizations and residences. (CBC)
"We were one of the last universities turning a blind eye to pub tours, so we talked to the students, we worked through an event process and decided that pub tours are far too risky."

Any pub crawls in the past have not been officially recognized or sanctioned according to Cleave, and the announcement of the ban makes it clear to student-led groups.

"I don't think we have pub crawls or pub tours on campus … If students move from one campus location to the other, they can do that...what students do individually is their responsibility," said Cleave.

STU to look at ban

Jeffrey Carleton, the communications director for St. Thomas University, said he was aware of the process the UNB campus was taking to ban the campus crawls.

"We encourage students to look out for each other when they're out socializing and that becomes harder to when there's a larger group of students," said Carleton.

Over the next two weeks Carleton said STU will be considering putting a ban into effect on pub crawls for their students as well.

"Now it's the time for St. Thomas to sit down and take a look at this."

Matt Hurst, a UNB kinesiology student, says he thinks the pub crawl ban is a good idea. (Joe McDonald/CBC News)
Matt Hurst is a kinesiology major currently attending the UNB Fredericton campus who thinks it's a great idea to ban pub crawls. 

"I think it makes perfect sense. Why would UNB have any affiliation with an event where university students go out and get drunk?" said Hurst.

Grayson Beairsto is the vice president of finance and operations for the student union, working with the clubs and societies on campus.

Beairsto said he's heard from students upset with the ban and understands why, but the student union has never been able to support pub crawls due to insurance coverage.

Grayson Beairsto, vice president of finance and operations at UNB's Student Union said they worked with the administration on the pub crawl ban. (Joe McDonald/CBC News)
"That was definitely a part of it, insurance issues, but there was also student safety concerns," he said. "Alcohol consumption is a part of the social lives of a lot of our students and so that's going to happen whether we take pub tours away or not, it doesn't matter what kind of rules you put in place."

UNB will be offering a training program to students planning and organizing events as well as introducing a new approval process for all events proposed by student organizations.