Alcohol at UMCP Events Approved

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Well, they didn’t listen to me - understandable - or Delegate Joseline Pena-Melnyk - not a good idea - and the Prince George’s Board of Commissioners approved the proposal by the University of Maryland to make beer and eventually wine available at athletic events at Byrd Stadium and Xfinity Center.

The Prince George’s County Board of Commissioners Wednesday approved Maryland’s proposal to sell beer at Byrd Stadium and Xfinity Center beginning in September.

The decision comes nearly a month after Maryland President Wallace D. Lohapproved the student-led proposal, and he spoke to the board for nearly 30 minutes Wednesday about the initiative’s potential as an “amazing and bold experiment.” The board also heard a detailed pitch from a number of other Maryland representatives, including the University’s Chief of Police David Mitchell and Athletic Council chair Nick Hadley.

Only one board member, vice chairman Shaihi Mwalimu, opposed the move Wednesday, and Loh was careful to label the approval as a victory.

“I would describe it as an expression of confidence in our students and above all a commitment to their safety. That they learn to drink responsibly and safely in a monitored environment,” Loh said  after the hearing.

In the interests of fairness, since I have opined against it twice, here is a Diamonback piece by Taylor Swaak presenting many of the arguments for the idea. It’s not without merit but I have a hard time seeing alcohol sales as accomplishing the claimed goals.

Student Government Association President Patrick Ronk said the initiative is vital for curbing pervasive student binge drinking.

“Drinking’s always going to be something people want to do on game day,” Ronk said. “But this is making sure they’re drinking in a safe environment, and drinking is just one part of it.” 
Hadley said the Athletic Council’s recommendation is only for the sale of beer and wine, and it includes “sensible restrictions,” such as limiting the number of drinks purchased at one time and ending the sale of alcohol after the third quarter or midway through the second half of games.
Ian Moritz, the SGA athletics liaison who sits on the Athletic Council’s alcohol sale subcommittee, said any alcohol served at athletic venues would have to be served by bartenders, who would likely be trained Dining Services employees.

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