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March 31, 2014 | by  | in News |
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VUWLSS Legless, Lawless

Victoria’s Law students’ society, VUWLSS, has breached the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act and likely been banned from the Botanic Gardens following the Garden Party, but the University has no current plans to act.

The Bell Gully Garden Party took place in the Dell at the Wellington Botanic Gardens on Thursday 20 March. The event was billed as “the classiest event to hit Victoria Law School, with the perfect mix of sunshine and fine wine.”

200 tickets to the event were sold for $25 each, and attendees were told “this will cover all beverages for the night (the best deal that VUWLSS has ever offered!)”

Ross Barnett, Victoria’s police liaison officer, said that in selling tickets to the event and then providing liquor on an unlicensed premises, VUWLSS had breached the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act.

VUWLSS President Myles Snaddon said that he had specifically asked Treehouse, the body which manages the Dell, whether they would need a licence for the event, and was assured they would not.

Pauline Bradshaw, Administration Officer at the Treehouse, told Salient that the Botanic Gardens did not have a liquor licence, and that the event did not need a liquor licence as it was a private event.

On 24 March, VUWLSS posted on their Facebook page that, due to “pretty poor” treatment of the venue by students, the society would likely be unable to use the Botanic Gardens as a venue next year. The society had also received “a substantial fine.”

Damage was done by drunk students to the toilets, with a hand dryer being broken, along with general vomit. The $200 fine was levied by the Treehouse Visitor Centre which manages the Dell, and was taken out of VUWLSS’ bond.

Bradshaw said that VUWLSS would probably not be permitted to host the event in the Gardens again.

She would not comment further, saying “the description on your Facebook page tells the story.”

Students spoken to by Salient confirmed that “everyone was pretty wasted” and they were “not surprised by [the Facebook post]”.

One fourth-year Law student who wanted to remain anonymous told Salient he “doubted the bar were refusing many people alcohol”, and he had been able to reach behind the bar and take a bottle of wine.

Another student said “the bartenders got wastey and would call you beauuuuutiful with every drink or some other cheesy line.”

Snaddon said that the organisation had hired an experienced bar manager and three other experienced bar staff. He said he was satisfied with the job they had done.

“They were in charge of handing out the alcohol and making sure nobody was getting too drunk.”

Other students told Salient that they were unable to get water from the bar, a claim which Snaddon refuted. Allegations that students were “definitely blazing” at the event were also denied by Snaddon.

Jenny Bentley, Director of Campus Services, said that “the behaviour alleged is not condoned by the University and could potentially contravene the University’s Student Conduct Policy.”

However, as no complaint against an individual has been received, the University is not currently looking to investigate further.

Bell Gully, the sponsors of the event, said they were looking into the allegations but it would be premature to say anything further at this stage.


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