From the lobby of the Administration building on the CSU Oval Wednesday May 25, CSU president Larry Penley said that the sale of beer would resume at Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium for the 2005 football season, ending a ban on sales that had been in effect last season.
"The decision regarding Hughes was not an easy decision," Penley said. "That decision underwent very careful review with a lot of individuals on and off campus. The limited beer consumption at Hughes Stadium is not the fundamental issue.
"It is not the problem of society. Our society is one that allows moderate social drinking. The issues we are trying to address have to do with drug abuse, alcohol abuse, and alcohol poising, and that's not what Hughes is all about."
Penley also announced that drinking and tailgating in the parking lot before football games would still be allowed, but a new program would be used to prevent underage drinking. Those who wish to drink must first obtain a wrist band from booths located in the parking lot. Those booths would check I.D.'s to ensure that a person was 21 years of age.
It was not clear, however, if the wristbands would be required in both parking lots. CSU chief of police Dexter Yarbrough said it had not been decided if the alumni lot south of the stadium would have to get wrist bands to drink. That decision was to be made later, according to Yarbrough.
Those caught drinking without a wrist band would be questioned by police and security at the game and possibly face punishment ranging from the loss of game or season attendance privileges to arrest. Students breaking the rules would be subject to university disciplinary actions.
Other changes to policy at the stadium include:
– an increase in patrols in the stadium parking lot,
– Significantly increase parking lot lighting,
– A ban on all drinking games in the parking lot
– Prohibit backpacks from being brought into the stadium and limiting the size of containers to one square foot. All containers would be searched at the entrance of the stadium.
Yarbrough said all forms of tailgating would still be allowed at the stadium.
Penley also announced a series of education initiatives aimed at informing students about the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse. He stressed that the focus of his announced actions were dealing with the educational programs.
"Hughes is an important issue, but it is not the central one to fundamental drug abuse and alcohol poising," Penley said.
Penley said the university would be focusing on a number of areas, including enhancing student awareness of health and safety issues surrounding alcohol abuse, increasing communication with parents and families, and expanding community-based programs.
Specific actions included an expansion of RamRide, the program designed to give students safe rides home on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, strengthen the relationship between the city of Fort Collins and CSU in addressing off-campus behavior and housing issues, and supporting actions from the Greek community to create oversight in fraternity houses and establish a seal of approval process that all chapters must meet.
Outgoing Associated Students of CSU president Katie Clausen said she hoped that students would respond positively to the news.
"I'm excited," Clausen said of Penley's decision. "I hope students take a good look at the work done. It's up to the students to drink safely."
For Penley, the announcements were the culmination of many months of work.
"I made a commitment to take a hard look at the alcohol task force recommendations," Penley said. "I want to make sure you understand these actions are taken with an emphasis on the highest priority of promoting a safe environment for our students, our facility, for our staff, for our friends and alumni, and those who are a part of this Colorado State University community."
Specific Actions and Reccomendations From the President Penley's Office
UPDATES ON PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED ACTIONS
The following are updates to actions that President Larry Edward Penley announced when the Alcohol Task Force presented its final report in February.
Expand the DAY (Drugs, Alcohol and You) Program (Recommendation 2.1.)_Colorado State has committed to expanding its intervention programs to reach a greater number of students to address issues related to alcohol.
Lead a national dialogue on issues of alcohol poisoning, alcohol abuse and campus-community relations (Recommendations 2.9 and 3.5)_Colorado State has taken this dialogue to a national level to share what the university has learned with other campuses and communities.
Enhance Education and Neighborhood Relations (Recommendation 2.10)_The university is implementing a mandatory transition program for students moving off campus and into community housing.
Enhance Student Awareness of Health, Life and Safety Issues Surrounding Alcohol Use and Abuse
The university will undertake specific actions in the following areas.
Engage in a comprehensive "social norms" campaign (Recommendation 2.3) This campaign will build upon the current "86 Yourself" social norms campaign currently under way at Colorado State that addresses drinking and driving issues.
Develop, fund and support a student-led organization focusing primarily on alcohol-poisoning prevention (Recommendation 2. 8)_The organization would formalize the ongoing collaboration between Colorado State students, the Spady Foundation, Colorado State University, the Fort Collins community and public schools to prevent alcohol poisoning.
Increase communication and contact with parents and families about alcohol abuse prevention and university programs on the topic (Recommendation 2. 7)_The university has developed multiple educational presentations which include information about alcohol use, abuse, prevention and treatment issues.
Expand Community-Based Program (Recommendations 1.4 and 3.1) The university will strengthen its partnership with the city of Fort Collins in addressing off-campus housing issues related to student behavior by continuing to support the current liaison position.
Greek initiatives (Recommendation 2.4.) University officials are working with Greek leadership to create a "seal of approval" endorsement related to achievement of expectations that all chapters must meet or face disciplinary actions.
Take Specific Actions Relative to Event Management at Hughes Stadium
The university will permit 3.2 percent beer to be sold at Hughes Stadium for the 2005-06 football season.
Assure a family-oriented and safe, fun environment during tailgaters outside the stadium (Recommendations 4.6, 4.10 and 4.4)
Encourage responsible behavior (Recommendations 4.1, 4.3 and 4.5)All drinking games will be banned at the stadium and in the parking lot.
Ensure appropriate disciplinary response when rules are violated, to include removal from the stadium and application of university disciplinary procedures (Recommendation 4.7)
Promote a family-friendly environment within the stadium (Recommendations 4.1, 4.2, 4.7, 4.8 and 4.9).
The university will implement a Responsible Behavior Campaign.