Apr 172012
 
Authors: Elisabeth Willner

Cracking open a brew in the parking area near Hughes Stadium is a game-day staple for many CSU football fans.

But what would happen if football –– stadium, game, fans and all –– moved to campus? With an on-campus stadium, would the beer come too?

Kyle Henley, a spokesman for CSU, said it’s too soon to say.

“We’re in the process of looking at where a stadium might go,” Henley said. “That would be something we would decide down the road if we decide we want to have a stadium.”

For the proposed stadium no official stance on alcohol has been taken, but the issue has nonetheless come up in discussions.

The Center for Public Deliberation, which is leading debate around the issue, included the question in its stadium “backgrounder” information packet under game-day experience, and it has been brought up in forum discussions.

“It hasn’t been a major issue, but has been mentioned a few times here and there,” CPD Director Martín Carcasson wrote in an email to the Collegian.

In CPD-facilitated discussions of the stadium, the question of alcohol has mainly been brought up as a negative point against the stadium, according to Carcasson. Some students have even said that between a wet Hughes and a dry on-campus stadium, they preferred the former.

Elliot Forney, a computer science graduate student opposed to the on-campus stadium, said that he likes that CSU allows alcohol at Hughes and that if it weren’t allowed, he would be even more opposed to the stadium.

“I think I’d add that to my list of reasons [not to have an on-campus stadium] if it was going to be a problem,” Forney said.

Others have argued the issue from a more positive standpoint. Carcasson said that he heard one of those viewpoints at the stadium feasibility meeting that took place Monday night.

“Last night I heard someone… argue that with a better stadium and atmosphere, more people would come for the overall experience rather than just the tailgating and beer,” Carcasson said.

Currently, the alcohol policy on campus forbids open beverages anywhere on campus as well as any alcohol, open or not, in the residence halls.

The exceptions to this rule are well-known, however. The Ramskeller, the Lory Student Center’s downstairs bar, may be the most prominent, but the University Club in the LSC also provides alcohol for certain occasions.

In order to serve alcohol, the two have special exemptions, outlined in university policies. An on-campus stadium would also need an exemption.

According to Ben Harris, an employee at the Ramskeller, the Ramskeller along with the University Club, received an exemption because the LSC has a hotel and restaurant license.

For some, the prospect of this process wasn’t a concern.

Cody Keeling, a senior business major in favor of an on-campus stadium, said he wasn’t worried about whether the stadium would get an exemption from the dry campus policy, and cited the Ramskeller as one reason why.

“If [the stadium] was going to be the only place on campus that allowed alcohol, I would be more concerned,” Keeling said, “I don’t think it’s going to be that hard to get the stadium approved for serving alcohol.”

At other universities with on-campus stadiums, the question of alcohol has been dealt with in varying ways. Many have opted to create special rules, which allow drinking in the stadium, but nowhere else on campus.

Michigan State University, for instance, has a dry campus with a special exemption policy for games. The school only allows open beverage containers during tailgating, which takes place in parking lots located throughout the campus. At all other times, drinking on campus is prohibited.

Other schools, including Notre Dame and CU Boulder, do not allow any alcohol in their on-campus stadiums at any time.

CSU could follow either model, but ultimately, the decision about whether or not to have the stadium will come before any decisions about alcohol are made.

At the end of spring semester, the Stadium Advisory Committee, a 15-member task force organized in January, will give a recommendation about whether CSU should continue to pursue an on-campus stadium or not.

Until then, the question of alcohol may have to wait.

Collegian writer Elisabeth Willner can be reached at news@collegian.com.

Dry campus policies

No alcohol is allowed in residence halls
Open alcoholic beverages are not permitted on campus
Illegal possession and use of alcohol is prohibited

Exceptions

The Ramskeller and the University Club both serve alcohol
Program organizers for the LSC may request bartending services

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