Campus, News

New alcohol policy permits students to buy beer and wine at sporting events

When women’s volleyball hosts UC Davis Oct. 27, students will be able to enjoy a beer or glass of wine while watching the game in the Walter Pyramid.

It’s been 12 years since Cal State Long Beach has sold beer and wine inside the Walter Pyramid during athletic events.

Executive Order 1109 allows the sale and service of alcoholic beverages and advertising of alcoholic beverages on campus and at athletic facilities. This order supersedes order 996, which prevented the sale of alcoholic beverages at the pyramid for sporting events.

Regulation X of the new policy is an updated alcohol guideline on campus that allows the distribution of beer and wine at athletic events. The price and brand of alcoholic beverages has not yet been announced by 49er Shops.

“I think they should do it, most large universities offer beer and wine at their sporting events,” Bryce Marshall said, business administration major at CSULB. “It’s a good source of revenue, and will attract a larger student body to the events.”

CSULB President Jane Close Conoley told the Daily 49er last week that before this policy update, alcohol at university sponsored events was prohibited.

The new policy also allows students to drink inside their dorm rooms only if everyone living in the dorm is of age to drink, according to Jeff Klaus, vice president for student life and development.

“If you can drink in the Outpost and the Nugget, you should be able to drink in your living space,” Klaus said.

The consequences will remain the same as the old policy for a student who is caught drinking underage. It’s a three-step process that focuses on education first.

“If an underage person is caught drinking, they will be sent to a class focused on behavior, facts and information about drugs and alcohol,” Klaus said.

A student that receives a second or third offense, a drug and alcohol counselor becomes involved, which could consequently result in the student being removed from housing.

According to Klaus, the university put together a committee ranging from students, alumni and staff to look at the pros and cons of the policy.

“There was a 16-member task force that looked at the alcohol policy and this is how we arrived at some of these changes,” Klaus said. “We met for many months and feel that we came up with something that is responsible.”

The selling of beer and wine was allowed in the pyramid at CSULB once before, until executive order 966 prohibited the sell of alcohol at athletic events in 2005.

President Conoley asked the board on behalf of the Athletics Department to serve alcohol in the pyramid.

“We want to provide the same kind of amenities that fans expect now at sporting events such as Dodgers or Lakers games,” Athletics Director Andy Fee said in a press release. “One of my focuses when I took the job was to really engage with our fans in a different way than before in hopes to improve the fan experience and the gameday experience.”

It took awhile for the CSU board to pull back, according to Conoley, but then they re-wrote their executive order allowing the decision to sell alcohol a campus-wide decision. Sales will begin at the Walter Pyramid for Long Beach State athletics sports events and will continue throughout the season.

“We did a lot of research and we know that there is a drinking problem at games,” Conoley said in an interview with the Daily 49er. “But most of the drinking problem at games is because people drink before they get there, so they arrive drunk.”

CSULB has always promoted responsible drinking, according to Klaus.

“We never had an issue when we use to sell beer or wine at events, and I don’t anticipate we will moving forward,” Klaus said.

The University Police Department has also commented that they will not be increasing the number of officers for the games.

Tailgating at CSULB sporting events has been discussed but is currently not a part of this alcohol policy. Tailgating typically includes an area fenced off for parked cars, where people can barbeque or gather together by the tailgate of a car, typically during sporting events.

“We’re going slow on the tailgating because what we want is to invite people into the pyramid early before a game where they can get a glass of wine or a beer,” Conoley said.

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