The coming alcoholocolypse?

DISCLAIMER: Most of this piece is a reflection of my own opinion and observations of student life (not to be confused with StudentLife). I have written the quotes down as accurately as possible. I am aware that some people actualy do use some of the new parking meters, I have left the relevant comment in to illustrate my point

If You’ve heard of the University of Otago, based in sunny Dunedin then the odds are good that you’ve heard of it for what must be said are the wrong reasons:

and here is some home-shot footage just to disprove bias:

Make of that what you will, but the higher-ups of the city had a gutsful of this shambolic behavior and decided enough was enough. Since then The infamous Bowling Green pub (one of the premiere student hangouts) was bought up by the University to be turned into Health Science offices, and when it reopened it had a higher age limit of 20 imposed. The Gardies pub, situated at the north end of Castle street North has also been bought up, to be shut down in the very near future. During the last semester the Captain Cook tavern had it’s license temporarily suspended and several Castle Street flats were bought by the University to be reserved for international students. Not to mention the Sammy’s Saga, the temporary shutting down of (in my opinion) one of Dunedin’s greatest music venues, by the city council and the Fire Dept. At least they came out on top, thanks to the good folks at Southern Fire Protection, and are now back open, but the last I heard was they are still fighting off salvos from other local groups who are so concerned about the face the venue has alcohol (whether or not they sell it), that they wouldn’t let an official school after-ball take place there.

I believe these actions were put in place to curb, and eventually quash the out-and-out zombie apocolypse that you can still see if You drive down Castle Street on a Saturday night. During the last council meeting that was called over alternatives to the night of the Gardies pub closure none of the alternatives were passed, no matter how good the intentions, because the council ‘should not be considering providing more alcohol, which would only lead to more trouble in the area.’ The preferred option was instead to set a temporary liquor ban over the whole of the student ghetto for the entire weekend that Gardies is due to shut.

The news I have for the powers that run this city of ours is this: You are not helping.

If students want to drink, then they will drink. Whether in a licensed venue, in their flats, or out in the street making a bloody great mess all over the North end of the city. If you really cared about stamping out the student drinking culture, then you would have to take the entire drinking culture of New Zealand with you, but I suspect you’re too concerned about being voted out by liquor store owners and the student populace to actually be proactive about limiting the amount of liquor stores allowed to operate in the Dunedin district, or even limiting the amount of alcohol any one person can buy. You haven’t put any thought into alternative activities for students, and you shut down one of their beloved music venues under the guise of fire safety. What else were they going to do!? The only thing that will result from having a liquor ban in the student ghetto is mass-arrests, and that’s done so much for the Uni’s image in the past, right?

Frankly I’m starting to think that you’re so scared about the drunken mass you’re trying to stop because even when they’re sober, they still hate you for spending all their money on a stadium that they don’t care about (let alone actually want,) parking meters that nobody uses, and a student cleanup operation that somehow managed to miss piles of trash that were big enough to start twenty-four fires!! I don’t even drink alcohol and I still think you’re bananas!

In my opinion, you’re too far gone to change how the public feel about you. We’re still going to vote the majority of you out at the next election, but I don’t see these alcohol-fuelled problems in any other country than New Zealand. Why not put some time and effort in to figuring out why young kiwis (and some older ones) like to get trashed on the weekends.
Ever consider the problem was further up the chain?
Maybe that would be a good place to start in your little ‘war on alcohol.’

As for the weekend of the 18th, well I think I’m gonna let these guys say it for me.


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