Jan 272005
Authors: Sara Crocker

After much debate in the final CSU Alcohol Task Force meeting Thursday night, members decided they would submit two resolutions to CSU President Larry Penley regarding alcohol at Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium.

The majority of the members supported the resolution that would reinstate 3.2 beer in the stadium but stop sales at halftime, allow alcohol in the sky boxes and would allow alcohol in the parking lot, but there would be a crackdown within the lot, banning hard liquor and drinking games.

The task force also suggested appointing a "steering committee" that would assist the athletic department and both CSU and Fort Collins police in enforcing the new rules at the stadium.

In the final vote, the following four members of the task force still voiced concern about this resolution: Tim Davies, Scoot Crandall, Paul Cooper and Dorothy Bland.

The second resolution suggests banning alcohol entirely from the stadium and the parking lot.

"I personally cannot support the reinstatement of beer sales," said Crandall, a member of the task force and executive director of TEAM Fort Collins, a community group that works to prevent drug and alcohol abuse.

The task force will submit this resolution with the rest of its recommendations to Penley Tuesday. Penley has the final decision about reinstating beer sales at Hughes Stadium.

The debate over how to deal with alcohol in and outside the stadium was heated among the 23 members present in the final meeting. About 50 people and two camera crews looked on as Lt. Gov. Jane Norton, the chair of the committee, presented a multitude of options related to alcohol at the stadium in a chart on a white board.

Parking Lot

The task force was largely split allowing alcohol in the parking lot outside the stadium. Norton presented the task force with the following options:

* Allow alcohol in the lot with exceptions

* Allow alcohol in the lot with a special-events permit only

* Allow alcohol in the lot from a licensed vendor only

* Completely ban alcohol from the parking lot

The majority of the task force adopted the option to allow alcohol in the lot with exceptions.

A number of members expressed concern over issuing permits because they were worried about the university being held liable for any alcohol-related incidents in the lot.

More discussion revealed the majority of members preferred some allowance of alcohol in the parking lot. Task force member and CSU Chief of Police Dexter Yarbrough said it would be harder to enforce a ban in the lot. However, some expressed concern over enforcing the crackdown in the lot.

"If you can't enforce no booze, how can you enforce no hard liquor, no drinking games?" said Cooper, a task force member and chief probation officer of Larimer County,.

Anne Hudgens, executive director of campus life and a task force member, said she thought banning alcohol from the lot would make enforcement easier and end the "free-for-all" drinking atmosphere in that area.

In the stadium

The task force then discussed reinstating beer sales at the stadium. They discussed three options for the recommendation concerning beer sales.

* Allow sale of 3.2 beer until halftime and allow alcohol in the skyboxes

* Ban alcohol sales in the stadium, but still allow alcohol in the skyboxes

* Completely ban alcohol sales

The majority of the members supported reinstating beer sales and said they thought allowing alcohol only in the skyboxes is discrimination against students and other stadium patrons.

Associated Students of CSU President Katie Clausen brought up the economics of beer sales and said she thought other athletics could suffer if this revenue was lost.

Pat Hutchinson, president of the CSU InterFraternity Council, voiced concern about banning beer sales and its impact on attendance.

"Do we want to have a football team that's not supported?" Hutchinson said.

Crandall disagreed. He said he hoped that concern for students' health would take precedent over economic concerns.

As the task force began to work itself into a stalemate, Norton brought the discussion back into perspective.

"We seem to have the mentality that buying a beer is a right," Norton said.

Eventually Norton suggested presenting two recommendations to Penley to end the debate. She emphasized that neither of these recommendations is going to be perfect legally, financially or accepted by all students, but that they were merely suggested ways to deal with the situation.

Penley will be presented with the task force's recommendations at a press conference Tuesday, but it is unknown when he will present his final decision regarding alcohol sales at Hughes Stadium and other task force recommendations.

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