September 30, 2023


On Feb. 6 Conestoga Students Inc. (CSI) announced on its Facebook page that the Sanctuary pub at the Doon campus would no longer be serving alcohol.

The post reads “Good Morning Condors. This is a notice that the Sanctuary Pub Days will be cancelled for the remainder of the semester due to a staffing/security issue on campus.

“The Sanctuary is still open to use the cafe, attend special events, and we will continue to host evening events. The only immediate and temporary change is that you cannot purchase alcohol from our traditional Pub Days and evening events.

“We are sorry for the inconvenience, we value your business and attendance at everything we do in the Sanctuary. We will keep you posted on updates and future events.”

The rumour mill was swirling as to the reason for the cancellation.

One student posted on the CSI Facebook page that a student was over-served at a Pub Day and an ambulance was called. That post has since been removed.

However, CSI president Jeff Scherer said they have never had an incident like this take place.

“We had a human resources turnover and we wanted to look more into the policies of the bar and the Pub Days so that is why it closed,” he said.

He added CSI has posted job openings for between two and four part-time bartenders, and also discussed the possibility of having full-time CSI staff manning the bar until part-timers could be hired.

While the pub closure may not bother some people, who believe that the college is a place for learning, not drinking, others weren’t so easygoing about it.

“God this school is pathetic. University of Guelph has their bar open every day starting at 8 a.m.,” wrote Anum Baig in a post on the CSI Facebook page.

Michael Legault posted, “This will only encourage people to bring alcohol from home and consume it secretly. Whatever conflict happened that sparked this decision will not be solved by ending Pub Days.”

Prior to Reading Week Scherer said he hoped Pub Days could resume by the beginning of March. However, he said at that time they didn’t have any bartenders, so their official stance was “Pub Days and bar events are closed until the end of the year.”

However, after Reading Week it was decided that the Sanctuary would reopen March 3 with a three-drink maximum policy. Previously, the number of drinks served to an individual was up to the discretion of the bartender.

“For Pub Nooners, a three-drink maximum was decided on to eliminate the possibility of over-serving as well as a few other things such as students going to class intoxicated and ease for security. We felt this was a fair number as the Nooner has been described as a way to ‘relax’ for students between or after classes,” Scherer said in an email.

Scherer said no faculty has ever complained about intoxicated students in class.

“We have been lucky that for the most part students have acted responsibly with the Sanc Nooners and possible concerns like that have never been an issue,” he said.

Another policy change is all students will now be required to show their Conestoga student card in addition to age of majority ID in order to get a bracelet and be served at the Sanctuary, with no exceptions.


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