The smell of marijuana fills the halls as music quietly comes through one of the suites on the third floor of the Algonquin Residence.
This is a typical Friday night in res.
“It’s all part of college (lifestyle),” says Andy Nopper, a first-year TV broadcasting student and resident of the second floor.“I think the res ones are good because they are more controlled than off-campus parties; they’re more of a safe environment.”
The parties are fairly small. A few people sit together in the kitchen and usually play a card game or talk to one another while drinking. Some smoke marijuana — as can be seen through Algonquin Residence Snapchat stories.
According to one of the residents, a student was kicked out for repeated offences.
And although the Times was unavailable to verify from Security Services that this happened, the Algonquin Residence Handbook 2017-18 states that “While in the residence, the resident and the resident’s visitor(s) shall not use, consume nor permit to be used or consume any illegal, controlled or banned narcotics or substances, or engage in or permit to be engaged in any illegal activity of any kind anywhere in residence. The resident acknowledges that the manager or its agents may enter the room without prior notice (whether or not the resident is present). Any resident charged and convicted under the Criminal Code of Canada as a result of any of the above will have their residency terminated immediately, without any financial compensation to the resident.”
Nopper also believes that residence teaches students what their limits are and that because the RAs (resident advisors) are strict when it comes to how much a student is drinking — and give them warnings if they drink too much or are caught smoking marijuana — it helps them stay in control.
“My limits are pretty clear. I find for me that when I start to get a bit of a headache that’s sort of the sign to stop,” Nopper explained. “There are a lot of people who have trouble with it though.”
Nopper goes to parties once a week and is aware that he can have a good time without drinking heavily.
The residence has pop-up stands with glasses of water and measuring cups that remind students to pay attention to how much they are drinking. The RAs have set strict rules because they want to keep everything under control, as some students who have not figured out their limits could potentially be a danger to themselves.
“They will just be drinking and drinking instead of stopping,” said Cameron Allen, first-year electrical engineering technician.“They just keep going and usually it ends up with them being sick or feeling really bad the next day.”
Allen doesn’t drink too much but when he does it is usually to unwind after a stressful week or to meet new friends outside of his program.
“It definitely could be an issue for some people,” Allen said. “Especially if they’re doing it consistently.”