The announcement by Colorado State President Larry Penley that beer sales would resume at Hughes Stadium can be met with both relief and reluctance. The decision by Penley to concur with the findings of the alcohol task force proves that the administration is not above correcting its own knee-jerk reactions when an obvious mistake was made. However, the timing of the announcement as well as the effectiveness of new initiatives creates new questions.
For a variety of reasons, the abrupt discontinuance of beer sales within the stadium last year culminated in the opposite of the intended results. Anyone attending the games or paying attention to the police blotters could see the upswing in intoxication levels of fans, particularly those within the under-21 demographic. It quickly became apparent that the beer ban was not addressing the problems associated with excessive alcohol consumption and in many ways compounded the issue. The President should be given kudos for recognizing this and rectifying the situation.
It is still to be determined whether the brazen alcohol abuse and reckless behavior that became so prevalent in the wake of the ban can be reversed or not. Many students and fans no doubt discovered certain advantages in providing and smuggling their own spirits into the stadium. Stemming these practices will be the new challenge surrounding Penley's initiatives. Alluding to this, the President announced the creation and implementation of several new strategies. These include a social-norming campaign, student education forums and new rules and regulations regarding tailgating. In theory these ideas make sense, however, most remain simply ideas as of yet. The viability as well as the effectiveness of these initiatives will only be known come fall.