SSMU considers switching to kegs for on-campus events

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The Students’ Society is looking into the possibility of substituting kegs for bottles at campus events such as Frosh and OAP. SSMU President Zach Newburgh said that the recently proposed alternative has several benefits over the use of beer bottles, including sustainability, safety, and ease of use.

“By using kegs we are avoiding the process of having to use bottles,” Newburgh said. “They get thrown away and are unfortunately not reusable in the same way. Kegs hold a lot more and the containers in which they are supplied cut down on the transportation cost and the recycling reusability.”  

Switching to kegs will also  make transportation easier and therefore improve safety standards, he said, since their use minimizes the potential for an accident, and therefore the chances of students getting cut or injured.

“We’ve been using bottles for years and it’s been extremely difficult to transport them,” he added. “It has been a safety issue, [and] people have reported injuries. It isn’t as effective as the better alternative that it is offered by the keg.”

Furthermore, the aesthetic benefits stemming from keeping liquid in a single container behind a serving location rather than out in the open makes kegs an appealing option.

“It just simply does not look good on the part of the university to have a pile of empty beer bottles sitting on campus, or to have empty beer bottles scattered across Lower Field,” Newburgh said.

Even though switching from beer bottles is arguably beneficial to the university community, the decision will not be finalized until SSMU receives the university’s approval.

SSMU has determined that the operation of kegs on campus is in accordance with Quebec law as long as the university grants permission for it to do so. McGill has stated that it is receptive to SSMU using kegs as long as such use is legal.

“We raised this point at the Advisory Committee on Alcohol Policy and further to that we have been speaking with legal services and the deputy provost (student life and learning) on this issue,” Newburgh said.

SSMU is in the process of getting the university’s approval, and hopes that by OAP in April the policy will be finalized and implemented.