Editorial: Let’s make WKU a wet campus

Emily Little/HERALD

Herald Editorial Staff

The Issue: The Student Government Association is considering a resolution to bring alcohol to campus.

Our Stance: The change makes sense. Let the beer flow. 

It’s been a rough week for Johnny Topper. He’s had to stay up late every night preparing for tests, finishing projects and just trying to make it through college. 

But now, Mr. Topper just finished his last class of the day and he’s plopped himself down in a bar stool at RedZone.  

It’s the weekend, and he’s going to celebrate with a nice, cold beer.

WKU has a complicated relationship with alcohol. Ever since 2012, Hilltoppers can buy beer on campus — but only on game days. Tailgating days open campus to a world of joyous drinking. President Gary Ransdell even sends out emails urging students to tailgate. 

Yet every other day of the school year, a perfectly legal, at least 21-year-old student could be arrested for drinking on campus. 

Luckily for WKU students, SGA could be the taking the first step in changing that policy, according to SGA senator Jody Dahmer, one of the bill’s sponsors.

A resolution is being debated that would allow the selling and consumption of alcohol on campus. What it needs is student support.

The change would obviously mean a lot of fun for Hilltoppers, but there are plenty of practical reasons why the policy is a no-brainer. 

Students at WKU drink. There isn’t any stopping that. Currently, most students head off campus to get their alcoholic fix.  Sadly, the trip back to their dorms can prove dangerous for dozens of students every semester. 

Since the beginning of August, the WKU Police Department has reported 31 DUI arrests and 27 public intoxication arrests. Those numbers might be different if fewer students were leaving the Hill in the name of booze.

WKU wouldn’t even be alone in embracing on-campus drinking. Earlier this year, the University of Kentucky decided to allow alcohol to be served and consumed on their campus. Their motivation was moving the inevitable partying closer to both campus and the safety of its dorms. 

It isn’t just Kentucky schools making the change either. Just 24 percent of surveyed schools prohibited all possession of alcohol on campus compared to 32 percent in 2005, according to the American Journal of Health Studies. 

Beyond simple accident prevention, the university has a lot of potential financial gains to make just by green-lighting brews.  With all the recent budget cuts and financial headaches at WKU, it makes sense to institute such an obvious moneymaker. 

WKU obviously flirts with the idea of selling alcohol. RedZone is a sports bar without an alcohol menu. There is a literal bar inside. Why not start using it? The history department is even hosting a class this semester in which students will brew their own beer. WKU has a wine-tasting class, and there is even such a thing as the WKU winery.

The point is WKU already enjoys plenty of alcohol. If residents of the Hill decide to make a push, the WKU student body can make this happen. 

To show your support, tweet at @WKUSGA and include the hashtag #DrinkingOnTheHill.