Oktoberfest drinking offensive

Re: “Oktoberfest Mandatory” Oct. 15, 2009

The Cord printed a wee article about how participation in Oktoberfest should be mandatory for every WLU student this past week.

The article said, “With so much enthusiasm focussed on drinking and dancing… it only makes sense that, as a student, it is a must-do event before one’s university degree is over… It is an integral part of Waterloo culture and should be considered a mandatory component of life at WLU.”

Now, as a student who studies History and Human/Cultural Geographies, I am well-acquainted with how important the celebration of culture and heritage is.

However, the problem with this article is the focus on compulsory drinking being an integral part of being a Laurier student.

I choose to not drink, I never have drank, nor am I likely to ever drink.

So, does this then mean that despite my four years of involvement with the History Students
Association and FOOT Patrol, that I am not a real Laurier student because I don’t drink? Or what about all those students who choose or feel compelled by their faith associations to not drink?

Are they then not true Laurier students either?

If this article were simply an opinion in a letter to the editor, that would have been one thing.

However, this article was written by a member of the Cord Editorial Board, and should therefore be considered unacceptable. The language used was very poorly chosen, and is quite insensitive and alienating.

It’s not about tolerance of others choices, it’s about understanding.

–Nathan Thomson