College wants to serve alcohol at certain events

A notice about liquor sales is posted at the Mesa State College Student Center. Campus officials are obtaining a license so liquor can be served at special events.

Mesa State College, which operates as a “dry” or alcohol-free campus for its students, wants to offer alcohol during some events in its recreational arenas.

The Grand Junction City Council will decide during its meeting tonight whether the college can offer alcohol at the Maverick Center, which includes Brownson arena, Walker Field Soccer Stadium and the Elliot Tennis Center.

The college, through its vendor, Sodexo, is in the process of obtaining a liquor license. Council members will have to modify an ordinance for the college to allow alcohol service at multiple locations on campus.

“It’s not like this will turn us suddenly into a wet campus,” Mesa State College spokeswoman Dana Nunn said. “We’re not going to put a beer tap in the Bookcliff Cafe. It’s more about being better able to accommodate special events and fundraisers.”

Nunn said obtaining a liquor license will allow alcohol to be served at events — for example, people in VIP boxes at games will be able to purchase it — but it will not be for sale to the general public at games.

Mesa State College has been applying for temporary liquor licenses for special events at the newly opened ballroom. Entities are limited to applying for up to 10 temporary licenses a year, and the college is nearing the limit, Nunn said.

The college is a dry campus, meaning there are no alcohol sales on its grounds. Many of the students in the residence halls are not 21 years or older and cannot legally drink alcohol, Nunn said.

The next special event to be covered under a special-use liquor permit at the college will be the Grand Valley Beer Festival. The inaugural event is slated for May 21 in the school’s ballroom, and proceeds will benefit the Maverick Club, a booster club for the school’s sport teams.

Mesa State College student Carly Thompson, 28, said the college having alcohol at some functions may make it more accessible for students.

However, it’s not as if underage students don’t already find ways to get alcohol, she said.

“If it goes for the good of an event, I’m all for it,” Thompson said.


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