A pub at Cal Poly? Campus alcohol policies under review

acornejo@thetribunenews.comOctober 23, 2013 

An entrance to Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo.

JOE JOHNSTON — jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

A buzz is brewing among Cal Poly students hopeful of getting a pub on campus, but first the college must decide if it truly is a dry campus, or not.

Cal Poly has historically been considered an alcohol-free campus, but regular exceptions exist: the taps flow freely at the tailgate barbecue before football games, beer and wine is served at Sage Restaurant and the Performing Arts Center, and students living in Poly Canyon Village who are 21 and older can have alcohol in their rooms.

Administrators are in the process of reviewing campus policies on alcohol. Jason Colombini, ASI president, in the meantime is putting together a survey that will poll students to gauge whether there is an interest in getting an alcohol venue on campus.

Students will also be polled, via an electronic survey, on other issues such as making Cal Poly smoke-free, extending a bike lane through campus and continuing a ban on skateboarding.

Colombini said having a bar on campus is only one of several ideas that he has heard from student feedback.

“If it turns out to be something that students are interested in, we will want to ask questions of other schools that have this to find out if it is something we should bring to campus,” Colombini said.

He said the idea had nothing to do with trying to reduce “town and gown” issues by keeping more students on campus versus having them traipse downtown.

When Stan Nosek, interim vice president of administration and finance, arrived at Cal Poly in July, he was surprised to see alcohol on campus.

“One of the things I was hearing is that it is a dry campus, but the first week I was here it was undried several times,” Nosek said.

That prompted Nosek to initiate and update several campus policies — including rules on alcohol.

“It is time to bring the policy up to date and clarify the college’s policy because clearly we are not a dry campus,” Nosek said. “My sense is that we will see the policy revised to reflect the reality of what we are doing right now.”

Existing campus policies state that service of alcoholic beverages at campus events is the exclusive privilege of the Cal Poly Corporation, which oversees campus dining.

However, exceptions can be granted by the corporation and Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong for special events.

Nosek said that under current policies he didn’t think a pub could be opened on campus. However, as the policies are updated, he said he will look into the possibility.

The college has some discretion in creating its own policies related to alcohol.

He said the one clear California State University guideline that the college must abide by is the prohibition of selling alcoholic beverages at athletic events held in university-owned or -operated facilities.

During baseball games, tickets to the Krukow’s Klubhouse seating section include beer. However, alcohol is not sold; it is included in the special price.

“One thing is certain, if we had a pub on campus it would not be in the football stadium,” Nosek said.

Reach AnnMarie Cornejo at 781-7939. Stay updated by following @a_cornejo on Twitter.

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