During its annual homecoming game on Oct. 12, Augustana departed from its dry campus policy to allow for a small, designated area in which game attendees of legal drinking age could buy and enjoy beer and wine.
The area, which was named the beer garden, was the result of a collaborative effort between the Department of Athletics, Campus Safety, the Dean of Students Office and the president’s office.
Any alcoholic drinks could not be brought into the stadium and had to be kept within the confines of the beer garden.
A press release from the Department of Athletics sent to all students of Oct. 7 said that the alcohol sales would be “guided by a policy designed to promote responsible consumption and a safe and enjoyable environment for all fans.”
This is the first time that alcohol has been served at an Augustana sporting event. According to Augustana’s policy of alcoholic beverages found on the university’s website, “The possession and use of alcoholic beverages on campus and at university-sponsored functions is prohibited.”
Although the press release indicated that the beer garden was a one-time offering, the departure from the university’s dry campus policy opens the possibilty for future alcohol sales and other school sporting events.
Yes, it would make games more enjoyable
Crack open a cold one while the cold chills you to the bone. Hopefully, after one sip the drink will rosy your cheeks for the rest of the game.
This year’s Viking Days football game hosted a beer garden for fans over 21. While it snowed through most of Augustana’s victory, students were allowed to cut loose.
Augie should allow more occasions for alcohol at sporting events.
As a form of celebration and cheer, alcohol at sporting events only enhances the enjoyment of the games.
After all, adults of the legal drinking age are allowed to drink at any event, not just games, but also concerts, clubs and festivals. Not often does one go to an event and not find any accessible stop for drinks.
The Augie community should be able to trust its students with the availability of alcohol for those of age to consume it — after all, the federal government does.
College students don’t need drinks to have a good time. However, they do like to have the capability to feel like adults.
Low alcohol-content drinks, like beer and wine, are perfectly good at games. They also go great with the greasy stadium hotdogs and hamburgers.
I am not endorsing that people should be doing jello shots at every touchdown. Everything is good in moderation and hard liquors should be saved for after the game.
Not only do students attend these events, but parents do as well. Those who pay to get in are likely to pay for a drink or two.
If Augie were to allow more opportunities for drinks at games, attendance would likely increase.
Besides maybe paying for a vendor fee, Augustana could put the money raised from alcohol sales back into student events and programs.
Whether the school is going to allow for the occasional beer garden or abolish the dry campus policy altogether, alcohol education should be pushed.
No student should think that just because alcohol is accessible they can binge. We don’t need Johnny huddled in the fetal position from alcohol poisoning by the third quarter.
However, with moderation, a beer or two at a game is something those of legal age should be able to enjoy.
Students will feel less compelled to sneak in their drinks or pregame before the game starts. Shaming alcohol use only makes students want to partake in it more, therefore increasing the risk of unhealthy and possible dangerous drinking habits for Augustana students.
Careful provisions should also be taken to keep underage spectators from accessing alcohol.
Giving students with a valid ID a wristband makes it possible to keep underage drinkers from having access to drinks.
Being able to have a few drinks will lighten the sting of a brutal beating and heighten the rush of a strong win. Augustana doesn’t need alcohol to make sporting events more enjoyable; however, the freedom to partake in drinking offers independence for the older spectators.
Chelsea Felton is a junior English and journalism major from Riverton, Wyoming.
No, it ruins the atmosphere
At the Viking Days homecoming football game, the Augustana athletics department had a beer garden to add to the atmosphere of the game. A rare exception to Augustana’s dry campus policy, the beer garden allowed for a small space for those of age to enjoy alcohol while also enjoying the game.
Although this was just an exception, the next logical step would be to expand the beer garden to all sporting events. Alcohol at sporting events is common, but it should not be the status quo for Augie games.
Augustana has done a great job of creating an enjoyable environment for their multitude of sporting events, but if this happens, that environment will be drastically changed.
With the student section, cheer team, dance team and pep band, Augustana students already have a great way to spend time with others and support their team. In addition, the atmosphere of the games feel very positive, regardless of the score.
Once alcohol is added into the scenario, that positive atmosphere will be threatened.
With alcohol at every sporting event, there would be a rise in unruly and annoying behavior. A lot of attendees would get drunk and would act differently while under the influence. There is a very good chance that at least some would be loud, angry and even aggressive.
I personally feel like many of the attendees would not enjoy having that behavior at the game. Most people want to have a good time and support their team and not have to deal with screaming and fighting.
Taking this into account, another threat to the current atmosphere of Augie’s sporting events would be a decline in positivity. Drunk people are a lot less likely to be level-headed about a situation, and this could cause a lot of negativity.
Imagine a football game where Augustana is losing. In most cases, the fans would still support the team; they would keep up the positivity. Once you add alcohol into the mix, there is a chance that the fans would not be so positive about a hypothetical loss.
For those under 21, alcohol at all sporting events would threaten the current atmosphere, as they might feel excluded. A large number of people attending Augustana sporting events cannot drink, so they might think they are being separated from those who can.
This could lead to a lack of enthusiasm for attending games, specifically from those under 21, as they might not feel like they belong.
Personally, as a member of the pep band that is under 21, I would not enjoy more alcohol at games, like the beer garden at homecoming.
The current environment Augustana has at sporting events is one that I enjoy, as it is positive and cheerful. It promotes school spirit and helps fans show support for our team. Personally, I think an environment such as that is fun for everyone.
If alcohol was added to all sporting events, the positive environment that is welcoming to all fans would be threatened. In its place, there would be an environment of unruly, obnoxious behavior, which is not something that Augustana needs.
Andrew Kronaizl is a freshman exploring major from Vermillion, South Dakota.
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