With cold weather, residence students are going stir crazy

On university and college campuses across the world, the word “residence” has become synonymous with two things: living quarters and partying.

The majority of college movies depict American college residences as glorious hangouts for all things party. The most recent of these being The Social Network, which shows both pros and cons of living with hundreds of fellow students. But how accurate can these Hollywood depictions of residence life be?

Universities across the globe have their fair share of fraternities and sororities, and if you want to be a part of the “cool group,” you have got to conform to their ways and hang out with these people. From campus to campus, such groups have different levels of influence and appeal. It would be a safe assumption that although fraternities and sororities exist in Canadian universities and colleges, they are more prevalent in the United States.

According to the University of Manitoba “Residence Housing Contract,” partying is a big deal. Looking through this document, you can find numerous references to parties and the many rules that have been established. Some of the outlined rules are expected, such as a minimum age of 18 to consume alcohol.

In addition to the minuim age, the maximum number of congregants allowed in a room under any circumstance is 10. As well, there is a maximum gathering of 10 people in any open room, such as a lounge or common room, while consuming alcohol. To exceed these limits, permission must be given by residence life coordinators.

The housing contract also outlines a specific and in-depth three-tier punishment system for those who break these rules regarding alcohol. Level one punishments include written warnings and community service; level two punishments tend to lean towards fines; the third level of punishments will result in being placed on probation, meaning that any subsequent infractions will result in immediate expulsion from your living quarters.

Pages 18-22 in the University of Manitoba’s residence handbook consist of rules and decorum surrounding alcohol intake and abuse. If you are a resident student, or spend sometime as a guest in residence, I advise that you take a look at it through the umanitoba.ca website.

The University of Manitoba has hired residence staff, coordinators, advisors and councils to plan safe activities for students who live in residence. A substantial amount of work is put into planning a variety of events throughout the school year. Events range from residence vs. residence sports challenges as well as inter-residence challenges. Staff members also plan social gatherings and parties that take place in controlled environments.

The University of Manitoba is currently in the process of building a new residence complex.

“Due to open in September 2011, the new Pembina Hall residence is a 360 room New York loft-style residence overlooking the Red River. It provides a great view, as well as a private bathroom in each room,” boasts the university’s website. This new residence replaces the Tache Hall residence and now offers a more modern alternative to students who wish to live in residence. But will this new, modern and impressive residence give way to a more lavished style of partying? I guess only time will tell. But really, how “lavished” can a bunch of tuition paying students get?