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September 21, 2004

Beer For Some, Not For All

FROM THE TWO LATEST FLASHPOINTS IN THE ALCOHOL AVAILABILITY DEBATE comes word of limited—but widespread—bans on alcohol at the University of Iowa and Colorado State University.

Iowa’s Kinnick Stadium, currently undergoing an $87 million renovation, has announced that beer and wine will be sold only in a new indoor club and luxury suites (which sell for an average of $55,000 each).

The thinking is that the well-heeled and connected who will be populating these seats can better handle alcohol than the great unwashed masses in the regular seats.


Maybe. Maybe not.

The plan has met with some fierce opposition. For example, University of Iowa Public Safety Director Chuck Green, who served on an alcohol availability task force, wrote a memo protesting the decision. In part, Green wrote, “This smacks of hypocrisy and elitism and is not consistent with previous institutional goals concerning issues related to campus alcohol consumption.”

Also, from Jim Clayton, a task force member and co-director of the Stepping Up Project, a local coalition against high-risk drinking, "It's almost as if, just by definition, they've decided that the people that would be well off enough to have a skybox would somehow be excluded from the population of people who would abuse alcohol.”

We may not have heard the last of this at Kinnick. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, at Colorado State, the repercussions from the horrible alcohol poisoning death of 19 year old Samantha Spady continue to unfold. Spady was found dead in a fraternity house on Sept. 5 with a blood alcohol level of .436. It is estimated that she consumed 30-40 drinks in a ten hour period.

Beer sales at CSU’s Hughes Stadium have been suspended for the rest of the season. CSU stands to lose up to $75,000 in beer sales.

However, similar to the proposal at Iowa’s Kinnick, alcohol will be allowed at the Ram’s Horn, a booster seating area. Some can get beer, some can’t.


Also at CSU, 19 people were cited on accusations of buying liquor for a minor in connection with Spady’s death.

More later . . .

(this 365 word excerpt—with accompanying commentary--was distilled from a 1099 word article in the Iowa Press-Citizen of 9-17-04 and a 1408 word article from The Coloradoan of 9-17-04)