Last week the Colorado State Senate passed a bill that would allow universities in Colorado to accept financial gifts from the liquor industry. The bill had previously passed the Colorado House of Representatives and is now awaiting final approval from Gov. Bill Owens.
We feel that the prompt signing of this bill by the governor is in the best interest of Colorado State University because anything that could potentially bring in money to the university is a good thing. However, we would attach the caveat that alcohol-related advertising be handled in a responsible manner.
CSU already enjoys some freedoms that make other universities envious. Hughes Stadium is one of the last college stadiums to serve beer, and the Ramskeller is fairly unique as an on-campus bar. Both places are very strict about checking ID’s to ensure that the substantial portion of CSU students who are underage are not served.
Critics of this legislation believe that the university should distance itself from alcohol companies because such ties may encourage underage or binge drinking and drunk driving. However, we believe that seeing an alcohol advertisement at a football game is no different from seeing one in the Collegian, especially if the university requires responsible advertising from the liquor companies.
CSU, CU, UNC and the Coors board (on which CSU President Albert C. Yates currently holds a seat) all support this measure and worked with higher education lobbyists to push it through the state legislature. The legislation also upholds the current protection from monopolies and exclusive contracts with the liquor industry, which is another good thing.
Gov. Owens, sign this bill.