Legislators Offer Bill to Legalize Campus Alcohol Sales, Despite Regental Caution

Last fall, the Board of Regents considered pushing for alcohol sales on campus. Only SDSU expressed great enthusiasm; the other campuses’ reactions ranged from cautious interest to fence-sitting to no interest. The Regents decided not to lobby for the statutory changes necessary to advance on-campus alcohol sales this year, at least not until they’ve done more research and formulated the policies that would guide the sale of cold barley soup at campus sporting events.

Evidently unable to contain SDSU’s enthusiasm, Brookings legislators have filed Senate Bill 102, which would exempt athletic facilities from the ban on alcohol sales on campus and would authorize issuance of alcoholic beverage licenses and special events licenses for Regental events involving “performing arts, intercollegiate athletics, fund raising, a reception, a conference, or an occasional or scheduled event at a facility used for performing arts, intercollegiate athletics, events, or receptions.” Senator Larry Tidemann (R-7/Brookings) and Representative Scott Munsterman (R-7/Brookings) are the prime sponsors; they got Rep. Spencer Hawley (D-7/Brookings) to sign on as well. Some other college-town legislators are also sponsors:

  • Aberdeen Senator David Novstrup (R-3), even though Northern told the Regents it is not interested in selling alcohol at campus events;
  • Rapid City Senators Terri Haverly (R-35), Bruce Rampelberg (R-30), and Craig Tieszen (R-34) and Rep. Dan Dryden (R-34), although their Hardrockers are too busy engineering nuclear waste containers and secret weapons for Uncle Sam to care much about buying beer at football games;
  • Spearfish Rep. Fred Romkema (R-30), whose campus might make money selling beer to bikers who bunk at BHSU during the Sturgis Rally;
  • Vermillion Rep. Ray Ring (D-17).

None of Madison’s legislators have signed on as sponsors. We’ll see if Senator Parsley, Rep. Heinemann, or Rep. Wollmann brings a DSU perspective to this bill.

It is interesting to see legislators charging to authorize the Regents to do something that the Regents said they wanted to wait on. Perhaps the chance to stroke alumni and sports fans in an election year with an easy bill that costs taxpayers nothing is too much for some legislators to pass up.


20 Responses to Legislators Offer Bill to Legalize Campus Alcohol Sales, Despite Regental Caution

  1. Jeff Barth

    Can we please raise taxes on booze before we give it to more young people?

  2. Is it likely that SDSU has bigger and better sports teams and legions of fans, while nobody even knows what the DSU team name is or who they play against? I’m just sayin…

  3. Budweiser will be the new sponsors of the team Mr. Grudznick. DSU’s mascot will now be a Clydesdale and team name will now be The Busch’s. Of course this will cause some issues but not so many as you would notice. Regents and legislators are still working on what and whom to call the other school sponsors and how they will divide up the money from the sales. Word on my street has it that Joop and freshman senator Mike Rounds will work together again like in the old days on this one.

  4. A completely ignorant and stupid policy idea guaranteed to produce tragedy and unnecessary social and educational costs.

  5. Jason Sebern

    South Dakota is bankrupt on selling …

  6. I think it more likely, Mr. jerry, that Budweiser shall sponsor the USD team and Schlitz shall sponsor the DSU team.

  7. Porter Lansing

    Throughout history lifting bans on items has led to less consumption not more. Let Colorado’s legal weed serve as a prime example. Less kids are using it than before. Free condoms leads to less sexual activity not more. Unrestricted access to prescription drugs leads to less addiction not more. If the students could buy a beer or two they wouldn’t need to smuggle in the pint of Windsor and end up throwing the empty bottle at someone or onto the field. (If Pine Ridge would institute their liquor code they’d see crime and violence go down on the REZ.)

  8. No, Grudz, it’s more likely that aspiring to Division I greatness pushes campus to adopt worse policies, like selling alcohol on campus and giving coaches huge multi-year contracts.

  9. How about slot machines in the dorms? A casino in the Student Union? Choice of red or white in the dining hall? And, of course, to top it all off, OPEN CARRY on campus! What could go wrong? Fercryinoutloud!

  10. When will hookers be able to go along with the program as well. We just as well open these places up like Nevada. Johnny goes to school and learns the basics of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Johnny comes home to the farm broke, hungover while suffering from an undisclosed issue that is causing him problems in the bathroom. The good news is that Johnny gets to use his ACA to get that dose of penicillin and borrows more for his education.

  11. Gee, Loren, slot machines in the dorms could help pay for a tuition freeze. ;-)

  12. The Vermillion Lions Club are the ushers at USD sporting events. I am one. We already experience occasional problems with sports fans who have consumed too much alcohol. I would rather not have to deal with it more frequently.

  13. Jon Holmdal

    It is the only thing our legislator’s know what to do apparently. More gambling–more EB5–more sleazy Pay Day Loan Companies–More Drinking for our youth–More Backroom Corrupt Politics—It is what South Dakota is known for!!!

  14. dude bring it on! booze at tech skools too! Party!

  15. Jeff Barth

    Prediction:
    Pot in 5 years
    Brothels in 20 years

    All because we took prayer out of the schools?!

  16. bearcreekbat

    Jeff, what next – chess in schools? Oh the humanity!

  17. Pot in 5 years <<<<< sooner!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. Kris, you miss the point. Jeff is kidding, to make a point about the odd motivation behind Senate Bill 102.

  19. Great idea but anyone who gets one of the scholarships paid for by the state of South Dakota should have random alcohol testing because if they need scholarship money they shouldn’t be spending money on alcohol. It could be called the Olson Disanto amendment.

  20. Yes increase the tax on booze to fund counties properly. The state seems to forget about those things called counties here, unless its to pass the buck on services and to keep the buck on taxes they receive from the counties.