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Alcohol Free Zone: Good In Principle, Bad In Application

Harry Earl responds to Jack Lodge's article.

September 17, 2013 · Harry Earl

The alcohol free zone is fast becoming the most controversial piece of legalisation passed by the senate committee in the entire time that I have been studying here at university. The Comment sections of the Epinal have been alive with criticism and celebration of this motion. But are the new freshers of 2013 going to be protected from the risks of alcohol due to these zones? Or are they being undermined by the people that claim to represent them?

After waking up with a hangover from hell after a frantic FND, I have dragged myself out of my room to get the much needed hangover cure that is food and liquid from the student union. However, on the walk down to the SU, I have discovered the carnage that is empty Frosty Jack plastic bottles and cans. Although this is clearly a mess and could be avoided with simply putting an item in the bin, this does not justify the need for the alcohol free zones. But what does matter is when my shoes fall in bits of glass bottles that some idiot smashed on the floor and pierces the soles of my shoes. This is an unacceptable consequence of alcohol on campus that I believe the alcohol free zones could prevent from happening again.

In a previous article, my fellow Epinal colleague stated that the creation of alcohol free zones would restrict student freedoms. I would argue that the ability to walk to certain location without the risk of injury is the fundamental student freedom not the fact that we cannot walk with a can on the way to consume more alcohol in the SU that Lodge states in his previous article.

I’ve read the comments sections of articles regarding this issue and a lot of you have said that this could ruin your night as you’ll sober up in the queue. I don’t think that’s true. First of all, ask yourself this, do you really have to queue for that long at the SU? I doubt it. The longest I’ve had to wait is around 10 – 15 minutes, and when you think about it, that isn’t very much time considering that the SU is open till 4am on some nights.

I think Loughborough University is one of the best universities in land and we should not present an image that does not do us justice. The image of bottles, cans and smashed glass does not portray an image that is fit and proper for the university. This problem seems to raise its ugly head after every Union night out and I’m pretty sure, however unfair you deem it to be, alcohol free zones would resolve this issue.

But this ends the positives that this idea has and now the potential problems that have arisen. The fact that we as a student body were not consulted on this idea is a disgrace to the student freedoms that we should have. 87.7% of the student body on an Epinal poll site disapprove to this decision. If Nigel Thomas, the director of the student services pays consideration to anything that the student body says then it should be the obvious disapproval of the student population. If he would like to do a service to the student body then pay us the respect that any student body deserves of quashing these undemocratic reforms.

Another criticism of this idea is that it’s exceptionally naïve to believe that it will reduce the health risk that is alcohol abuse. What this idea simply does is moving the drinking from one location to another. People will still drink and the union theoretically could make a profit on an injustice to students. Although one has to admit you are drinking in an area which supervised by bar staff and qualified first aiders.

So, whatever you believe about this measure, use the comments section below to express how you feel whether positive or negative about this proposal. Maybe, if we’re lucky, Nigel Thomas may pay attention to what the student body actually thinks.

Harry Earl

Harry Earl

Harry is former Comment Editor of The Epinal and is chair of LSU Debate Society.
Harry Earl

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Posted by on September 17, 2013. Filed under Comment.
  • PlaneGeek

    Just one point of note, if you’ve only ever queued for a max of 15 minutes at the union then either, you only visit on quiet nights or you’re extremely lucky with your timing. On a busy FND (especially last ones of term) the queue can be 30-45 mins plus