Associated Students, Inc. President Jason Colombini, with the “P” on his chest, said students will find a survey that addresses the possibility of a pub on campus in their email inboxes within the next two or three weeks.
If midterms made you thirsty, then rumors of a pub coming to campus must be making you parched.
While Cal Poly officials are considering adding an on-campus pub, the first step is still to see if it’s something a majority of students would want, Associated Students Inc. (ASI) President Jason Colombini said.
“A lot of students were questioning our dry campus policies, like are we a dry campus, or are we not?” he said. “Between Sage serving alcohol, Poly Canyon Village allowing students who are all over 21 in an apartment to have alcohol and the tailgating recently, we’ve had a lot of confusion. Having a pub on campus has started to become a lot more popular on other campuses, so it’s time to ask students, ‘Is this something that would interest you?’”
A preliminary Survey Monkey poll of 100 students conducted by Mustang News suggested overwhelming support for a pub on campus. Though 2 percent of students polled were unsure of their stance, 76 percent supported an on-campus pub. Many of the 22 percent who were not in favor expressed fear that the campus might lose its academic emphasis.
“I think it might be too tempting to go grab a beer and then go to class drunk,” a student responded to the survey.
Other concerns included noise and safety.
“It would not create a friendly environment,” another student responded. “People can get crazy even if they don’t drink a ton. I don’t want to have to deal with those people or anyone else being stupid or aggressive.”
However, California State University Northridge’s police captain said that having a pub on their campus has not negatively impacted safety.
“It’s really not an issue,” Captain Alfredo Fernandez said. “It doesn’t bring in a lot of crime, at least not that we’re aware of.”
CSUN’s pub has a sports bar vibe, and those under 21 are allowed to enter and dine but cannot drink or sit at the bar, he said.
“It’s a small pub in our university’s student union, and we don’t receive too many calls from them,” Fernandez said. “Are there issues from time to time? Certainly, and we’ve had a couple of times where we’ve had to follow up on the potential serving of minors, but that’s about it. It really hasn’t been a problem.”
So far, Cal Poly’s University Police Department Chief George Hughes has not been contacted by school officials regarding his opinion about a pub on campus, he said.
If asked, he would support it, “if it was handled properly and in a way that would mitigate the least amount of negative impact on the campus,” he said.
“Any time alcohol is involved, there’s more of a possibility that alcohol will influence decision-making, which often leads to what I call social disorder crimes, like fighting, urination in public, vandalism or disorderly conduct,” he said. “There are the obvious pros and cons, and also there’s the idea that I’m worried about, which is, what message are we sending our student body if we have this facility on campus that serves alcohol? Are we saying students can’t have fun without alcohol?”
Still, Hughes sees the positives to a pub on campus.
“Perhaps a pub on campus would provide students of legal drinking age with a safe and regulated establishment that they do not experience at traditional taverns off campus,” he added in an email. “On campus, they would be exposed to many more regulations and proactive messages about responsible decision-making regarding the consumption of alcohol. Any establishment on campus would have to support an environment conducive to modeling responsible consumption.”
The first step, though, is surveying students, Colombini said.
Cal Poly students will see a survey that addresses the possibility of opening a pub on campus in their email inboxes in the next two to three weeks, he said.
“It’s just an idea now, but everything starts with an idea,” he said.
Colombini personally supports the addition of a pub.
“From what I’ve seen at other campuses, I think it would liven up the spirit of campus and really encourage students to come out to sporting events,” he said. “Students could grab a few beers and go to a football game. It’s something that’s really commonplace at other campuses, but here’s it’s an ‘Oh no, we can’t do that’ sort of thing.”
But, if the results of the survey show that more than 50 percent of respondees do not support a pub on campus, that is the decision he will back.
“No matter what, I will advocate whatever the majority of the students want,” he said.