A friendly wine warning


Michelle Fromm

The Catalina Wine Mixer has become a tradition for some Lakeland students to drink from sun up to sun down on Reading Day.

Danielle Livingston, Staff Reporter

The Catalina Wine Mixer first appeared in the movie Step Brothers as an event for one of the characters to sell helicopters.
The Catalina Wine Mixer also hits close to home. The event at Lakeland takes place during Reading Day of spring semester—it is an end-of-the-year celebration.
According to Nate Dehne, vice president for student development and athletics, and Lisa Stephan, senior director of student development, the on-campus Catalina Wine Mixer has been going on for five or six years.
Dehne states that he fully endorses students having a good time together, which can involve drinking; for those of legal age as long as it does not get out of hand. If students wish to participate, he hopes that they are responsible.
“Just because you are in college does not mean you are above the law or college policies,” said Stephan. She and Dehne want Lakeland students to be happy but only if that celebration follows laws and Lakeland’s policies.
Stephan and Dehne report that there have not been many disturbances with Catalina Wine Mixers in the past. Dehne wishes to stomp out the rumor that Lakeland wishes to “kill fun.”
The only time Lakeland is forced to intervene is when policies or laws are being broken or there is a chance of someone risking their health. These are the only reasons there have been a few issues with past Catalina Wine Mixers.
This year, Dehne and Stephan do not expect any issues to arise.
Annette Gamache, director of security and safety, explains that her definition of the Catalina Wine Mixer is a “non-sanctioned Lakeland event.”
Gamache also says that after meeting with several students, security found out that there would be drinking games and binge drinking taking place at the Catalina Wine Mixer.
In response to this, she stated, “We ask that it would change from a binge drinking event to a ‘regular’ drinking event.”
Besides her concern of binge drinking, Gamache says that there have not been any major incidents in past years.
“No ambulances have had to be called,” she adds.
About two years ago, residence life and security worked with the students for the Catalina Wine Mixer. Residence Life and Security patrolled as usual, but they also made brats, burgers and hot dogs for the party and had a beer tent.
“It was a lot of fun for everyone involved,” Gamache said.
Each year, the offer of a collaborative effort is open, yet no one has taken it up again.
This year, Gamache claims that security is “expecting anything. Every year is new.”
Residence life and security will be patrolling and will enforce the same rules as always, which include no underage drinking, no open alcohol containers outside or on balconies and no grilling underneath a balcony.
Tia Pribbernow, junior general and choral education major and resident assistant (RA) in Krueger Hall, says the Catalina Wine Mixer “is a way to celebrate the end of the year … but it’s a dangerous way. It could be done differently.”
As a resident assistant, Pribbernow has to take extra precautions during April 25. In two hour shifts, RAs have to walk around campus to make sure there is no one outside with open drinks and that no harmful activities are taking place.
Pribbernow also points out that the Catalina Wine Mixer is set to take place “during Grand Silence [a designated quiet period that allows students to prepare for finals]. If people are not quiet, we are required to document the incident.”
“The biggest thing that all staff—myself included—is worried about is safety,” explains Pribbernow.