Alcohol at Trinity events can no longer be paid for with student fees

Large events like Saints, Conversat to be moved off campus

Alcohol at Trinity events can no longer be paid for with student fees

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.

Trinity uses facilitator for mediation between college heads, Dean’s office

Ban on alcohol-licensed events lifted conditionally

Trinity uses facilitator for mediation between college heads, Dean’s office

According to an email sent out to Trinity College students during reading week, the Heads Team and Dean of Students office are working with an external facilitator to help with the mediation process following the vote of no-confidence in the Dean’s office this September.

They also announced that Saints Ball, Trinity’s annual licensed charity semiformal, would be held as usual, ending Provost Mayo Moran’s ban on alcohol-licensed events, albeit conditionally. The event was held from November 18–19.

“Temporary postponement of licensed events depends on student behaviour during [Saints Ball],” said Co-Head of College Victoria Lin when asked prior to the semiformal.

The email added that the Heads Team and the Office of the Dean of Students are undergoing mediation “to restore trust and our positive working relationship.” The two parties will meet with the facilitator again on November 20 to see “where things stand,” according to Co-Head of Arts Lukas Weese.

The external facilitator, Chris McGrath, was appointed by Moran. He is currently the Associate Vice-President Student Experience and Registrar at Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College. McGrath has years of experience working with students, including a term as Assistant Dean of Student Affairs at U of T from 2006–2011.

“As our discussions to date have been positive, we were able to proceed with the Saints Ball in a manner that helps to preserve a fun and positive experience, while emphasizing safety for all students. The Heads Team and Dean’s Office are committed to continuing to work together to ensure a positive student experience at Trinity,” said Dean of Students Kristen Moore.

A new rule was introduced at Saints Ball this year, ending in-and-out privileges to the event. People attempting to exit and re-enter risked having their admission wristbands cut off. The purpose, the Facebook event page message said, was to “maintain student safety.”

Saints co-chairs Gabriel Ferland and Viktoriya Mykhaylychenko said in a joint statement, “We are unsure as to how much this had to do with the Heads Team and Dean of Students, as Saints has always been a difficult event to control and the Dean’s Office has always tried to find new ways to maximize security.”

Meanwhile, as the Heads Team and the Dean’s office work together to rebuild trust, Co-Head of Non-Resident Affairs Mitch Nader said, “Things are progressing normally for the rest of the student body.”

“Students can, and have always been able to, go to the dean’s office with their concerns,” confirmed Nader.