Safety should be the focus of St. Paddy’s, not reputation

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As students prepare for the upcoming festivities of March 17, there has been a fan on the flame of controversy regarding the day of public celebration.

Wilfrid Laurier University’s administration has been at the head of this controversy after being quoted as trying to cancel St. Patrick’s Day, arguably one of the biggest days on the drinking calendar.

Their intentions should not be to disregard the holiday at all costs, but rather to ensure that this day is as safe as possible. However, this year, there were other plans on the administration’s agenda.

Banning St. Patrick’s Day merchandise in the Laurier Bookstore — in attempts to “boycott” the holiday and promote an academic-first mentality — is no way to minimize the amount of traffic on Ezra Avenue.

When asked about why the Laurier administration decided to stop the distribution of any St. Patrick’s Day accessories, they explained the Bookstore is a “university-operated facility and their focus is on academics.”

But ironically enough, the Bookstore still sells Golden Hawk emblazoned drinking material. It causes us to question what the school is really trying to prevent by stopping the distribution of St. Patrick’s Day related products.

If this is an attempt to minimize the party culture at Laurier, why sell other drinking-explicit commodities?

We’re fairly confident that shot glasses and flasks are not merely used as bedroom wall decoration. What is so “academically focused” about purple and yellow streamers?    

Laurier administration shouldn’t embrace St. Patrick’s Day, but they do need to accept the fact that, whether or not it is in the best interest of the community, the yearly city-wide festivity is undoubtedly a part of university culture at Laurier.

Instead of trying to create the illusion that St. Patrick’s Day is not condoned by the university — which should be evident at an academic institution — the focus should be towards informing students about safety and promoting safe activities, events and services.available at all times.

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