Two students running for President and Vice President of the student government at North Dakota State University want to open up Bison games to alcohol sales, and they’re making a pretty interesting argument for it.
You can read their full press release below, but this jumped out at me:
Under their “Your Campus, Your Voice” platform, Kringler and Weber propose the sale of alcoholic beverages at the Fargodome, citing similar changes at peer institutions that has been shown to decrease alcohol related incidence at sporting events. “Unfortunately, binge drinking before a game is far to common,” said Kringler, “allowing alcohol sales during the games will encourage safer consumption habits.”
That rings true to me.
Very often the side effects of prohibition policies are worse than the original problem they’re intended to solve. Some people at these games are going to overindulge in alcohol and cause problems. There’s no question.
But is that more or less problematic than sports fans “pregaming” to build up a buzz to last them the whole game? Do we want sports fans, including students, getting blitzed out in their cars because they can’t buy a beer inside?
Plus, think of the infantilizing message prohibition policies sends students, specifically. If we expect them to behave like adults – and we should, because that’s what they are – then how can we justify prohibiting them from making adult decisions?
Let’s face it: Sports fans are going to drink. Rather than prohibition, it seems to me a better approach is to serve that demand as responsibly as possible.