September 19, 2019 | 48° F

Rutgers University Student Assembly passes alcohol sale bill


The Rugers University Student Assembly passed a bill on Jan. 28 in the Student Activities Center on the College Avenue campus asking the school to allow alcohol sales during football games. Revenue from these sales may go toward on-campus psychiatric services. 

The Rutgers University Student Assembly (RUSA) might change the game with their resolution to sell alcohol at athletic events. 

RUSA passed a resolution on Jan. 28 titled, “Resolution for RUSA to Support the Selling of Alcohol in Rutgers Athletic Stadiums.”

The assembly is looking to sell alcohol in stadiums as a means of generating revenue, said Justin Schulberg, University senator and a School of Arts and Sciences junior.

The initiative is spearheaded by Brian Nealon, chair of the Athletic Affairs, and the Athletic Affairs Committee, according to RUSA President Matthew Panconi, a Rutgers Business School senior.

Geoff Brown, senior associate athletic director and chief marketing officer, informed the RUSA Athletic Affairs Committee that there needs to be more attendance and profit coming from games.

The motive behind this resolution stemmed from other Big Ten schools acting similarly, said Mikayla Meyer, a School of Arts and Science sophomore. 

The University of Maryland’s student government pushed for similar legislation and that the policy has been very successful, Panconi said.

The University of Maryland projects a revenue of $500,000 from the sale of alcohol for the 2015-2016 academic year, according to Washington’s Top News.

The University of Minnesota, another Big Ten school, has passed similar legislation, Nealon said. 

The Ohio State University and Michigan State University are also in the process of drafting resolutions to support alcohol sales at sporting events, said Connor Munsch, a RUSA member and a School of Arts and Sciences first-year student.

RUSA is also looking to direct the profits from the sale of alcohol to other organizations on campus. This would include directing revenue to the underfunded mental health resources such as Rutgers Counseling, Alcohol and Other Drug Assistance Program and Psychiatric Services (CAPS), Schulberg said.

The revenue may also be allocated to promoting healthy drinking habits and alcohol awareness, Panconi said.

CAPS is not allocated money directly through RUSA, Munsch said. The resolution suggested allocating money to mental illness and alcohol awareness programs.

“As the voice of the undergraduate students, we believe that (they) would want that from the current administration," Munsch said.

Panconi said he thinks it will draw attention to the topic and hopefully also draw attention to the need for more funding for departments including CAPS. 

“If anything, it’ll help the students who will benefit from CAPS," Munsch said.

RUSA will be working with several departments to implement this policy, including Rutgers Athletics, the Office of Student Affairs, University President Robert L. Barchi and the Board of Governors, Panconi said. 

RUSA passed previous resolutions in this scholastic year to incorporate mental health information in class syllabi and create class syllabus banks, Panconi said.

“(We) have established more of a legislative presence throughout the state by working with several state senators and members of the New Jersey Assembly,” he said.

Bushra Hasan

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