Our beloved school’s budget is suffering. Students have seen tuition rise like a steady flood for some time now. Parking passes cost $50 for a single semester, and that provides no guarantee of finding a spot in an overcrowded lot. The bathrooms in the Woodbury Business building are more like teleportation chambers to a 1970s Barstow truck stop.

wine-glassWith the increased costs to students and decreased institutional resources that come with an economy as this, where are we to turn for assistance?
Why not try selling beer on campus?

Such a suggestion, of course, breeds further questions. Why is alcohol prohibited on campus? It’s difficult to address this without acknowledging the predominant culture in Utah’s government, legislation and educational institutions. Is this an issue of pragmatism, or is it a matter of the separation of church and state?

This does not even need to enter into the debate – our school is a state university and as such is in no way affiliated with any religion, nor should it be held to a religious standard.  Several campus eateries sell coffee and tea, which is against the local grain. Expanding the market into beer could reap substantial financial benefits.

One could argue that the commercial distribution of alcohol would breed drunkenness or slothful behavior.  An easy fix to this, of course, is to extend the already firmly in-place public intoxication laws onto campus grounds as well. If a student comes to class drunk and disorderly, any reasonable professor would kick them out of class, just as they would surely kick a sober and disorderly student out of class.

Our campus features several smoking areas outdoors for those students and faculty that choose to participate in such a practice.

Why not restrict alcohol consumption to a campus-run in-or-outdoor beer garden for any (of legal age, of course) to come and take a load off?

It’s not such an outrageous proposition. Higher education institutions across the country sell alcoholic beverages on campus to those of legal age.

Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Penn State, Berkeley: all fine establishments that see the advantages (social, financial, and otherwise) to such commerce.

Further, anyone that claims to support entrepreneurship should find great reason to support the legalization of responsible alcohol consumption on campus. If the market doesn’t bear it, then let’s get rid of it, but not preemptively based on a tenuously subjective dogmatic imperative. Would you rather support a nanny state?

The next time you’re about to take your Bio 1010 midterm and can’t quite shake your jitters or you’re trying to muster the wherewithal to ask out that cute girl in your Literature of the American Renaissance class, think of how much easier your respective task would be after a brew or two.