RAM LAGS ON DATE-RAPE LAW

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By Josh Bailie

When new legislation aimed at preventing date rape was introduced in February 2007, students at Ryerson were excited at the prospect of taking their drinks into the washroom. Licensed establishments could fill out an application with no extra cost — all on a volunteer basis.

But nearly two years later, the Ram in the Rye has yet to adopt these measures.

“It’s dangerous,” said Veen Wong, a second-year social work student. “The Ram in the Rye should allow girls to bring their drinks with them — better safe than sorry.”

Michael Verticchio, the Ryerson Students’ Union executive director of operations and services, said he’s “not entirely sure” why the pub doesn’t allow drinks in the washroom.

“I know the option was there, but we just hadn’t explored it or discussed the issue as a board,” he said.

Verticchio added that the board would take any necessary steps to enhance student safety, but he has yet to hear of any complaints.

“I think for the most part people always come with friends or what not, when they go to the bathroom and leave their drinks. We haven’t necessarily had a problem with any spiking or date rape drugs,” he said. “It hasn’t been an issue.”

“I think it’s important to be preventative. And maybe if the board wants to explore that and do the application it’s worth considering.”

Date rape drugs are undetectable and can easily be mixed into drinks because they are flavourless, colourless and odourless.

In low doses, they can cause muscle relaxation, drowsiness, disorientation, comas and loss of feeling.

But in concentrated doses, they can lead to hallucinations, convulsions and death.

Jennifer Weigel, a Women’s Centre coordinator, said that the majority of date rapes occur between acquaintances and that people are always meeting each other at campus pubs.

“They’re blatantly ignoring the risk that it poses to women,” she said.

When the legislation was proposed in 2006, it was the Ryerson Students’ Union VP of education Nora Loreto who publicly applauded the move.

“To bring it into the washroom will be a really good way to make sure students have their drinks on hand,” she told the CBC.

Meanwhile, the school’s current vice president education, Rebecca Rose, declined to comment because she was unsure of the current policy.

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