War on Fun

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(This Article refers to an ongoing event)

Background

There has been a gradual decline in the quantity and quality of alcohol-soaked fun available on campus. RCMP Sgt. Scott Wedland, who is no longer posted to the Campus RCMP Base, justified this situation in the Tyee[1]: "[nobody] out here qualifies for a special occasions license." In spite of the lack of qualification, the RCMP "bend the rules to a certain degree, with Victoria's permission...[and] processes about 500 of the licenses a year because there would be "a revolt" if [they] didn't."[2]

The once-frequent spectacle of signs proudly announcing the availability of "BZZR" at such a time on such a date in such a place have become verboten, according to a Report on Student Alienation issued by the Radical Beer Faction.[3]

In a two-part series entitled "A Forensic Examination of the War on Fun,"[4][5] Neal Yonson concludes that

A crackdown is certainly in place, evidenced by the presence of additional rules that go above and beyond provincial regulations. But these rules are not applied equally to everyone, nor are they effectively communicated or reasons given for their existence. Students have been aware of this problem for some time but had only anecdotal evidence. A survey of SOLs suggests that the problem has been systematic and widespread. It is extremely unfortunate that the RCMP continues to have legal authority over liquor licencing at UBC given that the process appears to be neither fair nor transparent.

As the University is Home for the Students during their studies, these policies amount to foreign control of student drinking within their own home.

Radical Beer Faction

The Radical Beer Faction (RBF) is "UBC's oldest political party."[6] The RBF grew out of the Bloc Physsoc, which was founded in 1988 after "a group of visionaries looked at what the AMS was doing with their cash and said "Wait a fucking minute here! This bunch of numbnuts are blowing my money on new benches and campaigning for the release of some hostage in who knows where. Let's take over the AMS council and do something that would actually benefit the students of UBC."[7] As Lord Acton's saying goes, however, power corrupts, and by "1989 it was clear that the current members of the Bloc were becoming softened by the cushy chairs they had been occupying. The Radical Beer Faction was formed to deal with student politics the way it should be dealt with. Drunk."[8]

Principled Opposition

Many reasonable persons believe that stealing is wrong. To confiscate is "to take private property without just compensation."[9] One could argue that the benefit of a safe, sober and interminably boring campus is just compensation, but stealing is stealing: the theatrical accoutrements of the military, to wit: uniforms, convoluted statutes written in legalese and, unfortunately, guns, do not alter the character of the military's draconian control over alcohol at the University which is wholly predicated of their presumed right to steal alcohol from students unless those students produce government-issued papers licensing the possession thereof.

There are many reasonable arguments against this prohibitionist policy. For those inclined towards the Gospel, imagine our Lord in consistory showing up at The University of British Columbia ready to change some water into wine. Who would dare inform such a one that His conduct was prohibited except as by especial licence of the commander of the local military outpost?

  1. http://thetyee.ca/News/2008/09/03/UBCCrackdown/
  2. ibid
  3. http://radicalbeerfaction.files.wordpress.com/2008/09/report-on-student-alienation-1.pdf
  4. http://blogs.ubc.ca/ubcinsiders/2009/09/14/a-forensic-examination-of-the-war-on-fun-part-1/
  5. http://blogs.ubc.ca/ubcinsiders/2009/09/15/a-forensic-examination-of-the-war-on-fun-part-2/
  6. http://radicalbeerfaction.tripod.com/
  7. http://radicalbeerfaction.tripod.com/historypress.html
  8. ibid.
  9. Canadian Law Dictionary (Fifth Edition) p. 57, by John A. Yogis, Q.C.