London Met University Considers Banning Sale Of Alcohol To Attract Muslim Students

The sale of alcohol could be banned on a university campus as staff claim the provision of drink-free areas on the campus has become a "culturally sensitive" issue.

London Metropolitan University (London Met) will be the first in the UK to impose such restrictions if the Vice Chancellor gets his way.

With 20% of the students Muslim and many of those women, Prof Malcolm Gillies says many students come from backgrounds where drinking alcohol is considered "a negative experience", reports the Times Higher Education.

Universities should provide experiences appropriate for students coming from all kind of backgrounds, he told Association of University Administrators' annual conference.

Pointing to London Met's own student population, he said because there is "no majority ethnic group," the sale of alcohol on campus is catering to "particular parts of society".

Many students not only dislike drinking, but believe it is "immoral", Gillies told the conference, adding that he "was not a great fan" of alcohol on campus himself.

Addressing the issue of whether or not the university should subsidise alcohol, he said he did not feel strongly about the issue, but pointed the number of bars close to the campus, where students could drink if they so wished.

However Claire Locke, President of the London Met Student Association described Gille's proposal as "absolutely absurd."

She told the Huffington Post UK that students' attitudes towards drinking on campus were nothing like Gillie described, and when the news came that one of their bars was going to have to close down and be relocated, students were "outraged."

She said it was especially nonsensical that Gillie had made comments at a time when the SA was in the midst of negotiating with the estates department to find a new location for one of their bars.

Banning the sale of alcohol on campus wouldn't just fail to reflect the feelings of London Met students but would also put the "whole university experience" under threat, she added.

Additionally, she attacked Gillie's comments on the subsidy of alcohol saying that students got a much "greater sense of security and community" from drinking in their own bar.

London Met currently has two bars on campus, including The Rocket complex, which was once voted one of the best nights out in London by Time Out magazine. The Hub bar, in Algate, is currently in the midst of being relocated.