St. Thomas University imposes booze ban
St. Thomas University has imposed an indefinite alcohol ban at one of its student residences, following a recent string of vandalism incidents officials believe were fuelled by alcohol.
The ban at Harrington Hall, a co-ed residence with about 180 students, will remain in effect for at least the rest of the calendar year, said Dean of Students Larry Batt.
"We needed to make a strong statement to the residence community that the behaviours had to change, the incidents had to be reduced to nothing, not, 'OK, it's OK to have a few extinguishers discharged', just not doing those kinds of things," he said.
There is only one week of classes remaining before exams.
University administration officials expect to meet with residence leaders in January to discuss coming up with other ways to avoid trouble and possibly lifting the ban.
Some of the Harrington Hall residents CBC spoke to don't think the ban will work. They said there was a big party at the residence Sunday night, after the ban was announced.
The students contend the ban is unfair and impinges on their rights if they're 19 years old and legally able to buy alcohol.
"I turned 19, so I think that's a privilege," said Brady Hanson. "I waited my 19 years, I think I should be able to drink. I'm not allowed to possess it or use it on residence. I think that's a little far-fetched."
"It's only a few people that have been contributing to the mess, I lived here last year and TVs were smashed, people's waste put in microwaves, terrible things happened last year," said student Ryan Walters. "But [this year] they didn't really go to that extreme. I don't really see how it's going to help anything."
"Last night was the start of the alcohol ban, everyone just got wasted," Walters added.
The university has been struggling with campus behaviour since a student died off campus last year after a dorm party.
Andrew Bartlett, 21, died from an accidental fall in October after attending a volleyball team hazing party that involved alcohol. A police report found he fell down some stairs at his apartment building and hit his head.
That led to a new code of student conduct that covers all behaviour on and off-campus and contains penalties for drunken and disorderly behaviour, ranging from a reprimand to being expelled.
The university also has a campus-wide policy banning alcohol during Frosh Week.