Starting this coming school year, Trinity College student fees can no longer be used to purchase alcohol, and large events — including the Saints and Conversat formals — will be held off-campus at permanently licensed venues.
An email to students signed by college administration and student leaders stated that the move “will give student leaders the opportunity to focus resources on programming that is accessible to both drinkers and non-drinkers.” Additionally, moving larger events off-campus will allow for larger capacity.
“Student leaders will receive training and support while work will be done to ensure student government independence is balanced with the requirement for financial accountability and transparency,” reads the email.
Previously, Trinity regularly hosted events where alcohol was sold to students of age, which required a special permit from the Liquor Control Board of Ontario. The events also needed to be approved by the dean’s office.
These actions come after Trinity conducted a 10-month survey of students, asking them about their experience at the college. This was followed by focus groups and an “expert external review of alcohol culture at Trinity and best practices at post-secondary institutions.”
Student leaders immediately expressed their grievances against the changes.
Within the email itself, the Heads of College — some of the highest elected student representatives at Trinity — “expressed great disappointment with some aspects of the Action Plan.”
In a statement released on Facebook, the Heads wrote that they had concerns about “student safety in moving events off-residence,” and that the plan changes how the college’s governance and levy systems operate.
“We have invested huge amounts of time and energy into these negotiations,” reads the Heads’ statement. “Unfortunately, due to the nature of the data and the Board’s inability to ignore the information now that it has been collected, the administration chose to implement the policy changes in their entirety.”
According to the email from the administration and student leaders, the college will continue consultations throughout the summer and fall, which it encourages students to attend.
Other changes mentioned in the email include developing a separate Residence Code of Conduct, having residence common rooms overseen jointly by Academic Dons and Heads, and moving the Welch residence common room to second Macklem.
This story is developing. More to come.