Sep 202004
 
Authors: Lila Hickey

The 50-some people relaxing on the steps of the Administration

Building Monday afternoon hardly seemed upset, but these students,

who talked quietly in groups of two or three, were intent on making

the administration sit up and take notice of their thoughts.

The students, who were protesting the temporary ban on beer

sales at Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium, cited a variety of

reasons for attending the gathering.

“I was kind of devastated at what they had done,” said Erik

Neperud, a senior bioresource engineering major. “There are very

few stadiums anymore that do that. It was really unique to

Hughes.”

The Associated Students of CSU organized the “silent

statement.”

“There were a lot of people who wanted to express their opinion

about this issue, and we wanted to give them a safe and respectful

way to do it,” said ASCSU President Katie Clausen.

Last Thursday afternoon, just two days before the Rams’ first

home football game, President Larry Penley announced that beer

sales at Hughes Stadium would be temporarily suspended, pending a

report by the alcohol and substance abuse task force created in the

aftermath of student Samantha Spady’s alcohol-related death on

Sept. 5 in the Sigma Pi fraternity house, 709 Wagner Dr.

Clausen expressed disappointment that neither ASCSU nor the

student body was consulted prior to the decision.

Ben Goldstein, vice president of ASCSU agreed, saying that the

decision seemed spontaneous and did not reflect student

concerns.

“I think the biggest complaint is that (the students) didn’t get

a chance to review it,” he said.

After hearing of the ban on beer sales, ASCSU quickly organized

Monday’s gathering from noon to 1 p.m. on the steps of the

Administration building. Volunteers passed out fliers to RamRide

users, attendants of Saturday’s football game and to students on

the Lory Student Center Plaza Monday morning advertising the

protest.

Goldstein and Clausen said they hoped for a larger turnout.

“We would have liked around 100, if not more, but I’m still

really happy with the turnout,” Goldstein said.

Goldstein said he thought lack of publicity, and students’ busy

schedules contributed to the relatively low turnout.

“We really had to do a last minute effort,” he said, adding that

many alumni at Saturday’s football game were interested but unable

to attend.

Clausen expressed concern that the low numbers might damage the

gatherings’ impact on the administration.

“It’s hard to make a case that students are really upset about

this when they don’t show up,” she said.

However, the students who did attend feel that the ban could

negatively affect the university and questioned the

administration’s motives.

“I think taking (the beer) away could really affect our already

poor attendance,” said Justin Vallely, a senior mechanical

engineering major.

Other students expressed disappointment, saying the ban was an

unwarranted reaction to Spady’s death.

“It seems like (the administration) is more concerned with the

lieutenant governor than the students,” said Richard Lynn, a junior

political science major.

Many students said that the ban seems unnecessary, since beer at

the stadium is sold only to legal drinkers and concessions staff

can refuse service to highly-intoxicated individuals.

“If anything, alcohol sales at Hughes are a more controlled form

of drinking,” said Brandon Bianco, a junior speech communications

major, who said he does not think the ban will prevent heavy

drinking. “If you’re not going to have alcohol in the game, you

almost make a conscious effort to get more drunk beforehand.”

Students who attended the game said the ban did not lower the

amount of drinking that occurred.

“(I saw) more people drinking at that game than any other game

I’ve been to,” said senior history education major Bobby Hodge, who

did not attend the protest.

Clausen announced that ASCSU will sponsor a similar gathering

every Monday, from noon to 1 p.m. at the Administration Building,

until the task force makes a recommendation about the sale of beer

at the stadium.

ASCSU is planning emergency legislation for this Wednesday’s

Senate meeting, requesting that the task force move up the date of

their recommendation, from Feb. 1 to Oct. 22. Clausen said the

October date was chosen to allow the potential of beer sales at the

Oct. 22 home game against Wyoming.

“We would like (the decision) for the Homecoming game (on Oct.

2), but it’s just too soon for the task force to make a decision,”

Clausen said.

Clausen encouraged students to attend this Wednesday’s Senate

meeting, at 6:30 p.m. in the Senate Chambers.

“If any students want to have their voice heard on that bill,

they should come to Senate on Wednesday,” she said.

 

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