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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Wiley apologizes to ALRC for announcement of extension of Union hours

At its meeting Wednesday night, the Alcohol License Review Committee received an apology from UW-Madison Chancellor John Wiley regarding the abrupt manner in which the ALRC learned of the university’s decision to extend Union hours to bartime next fall.

ALRC chair Ald. Tim Bruer, District 14, said the committee was startled at its last meeting with the news of extended hours at the Union.

“We were working together on alcohol-related issues when we learned the university was going the other way,” Bruer said.

Wiley wrote a letter to the committee apologizing for the manner in which the announcement was made.

“In the future, we’ll work harder to keep the lines of communication open on such issues,” Wiley wrote to the committee.

Union director Mark Guthier told ALRC the proposal to extend Union hours was introduced by students, and the decision was made in order to create a safe environment for students to drink.

“This decision is consistent with our philosophy to provide many alternatives and options for students,” Guthier said.

ALRC asked the university why it did not extend the Union’s hours alcohol-free if it had the goal of creating an all-ages venue.

Robert Wood Johnson director Sue Crowley said the university supports all-age nights at all taverns, and alcohol sales at the Union would avoid potential problems downtown.

“Alcohol is only one aspect of the Union, and we are responding to tavern and police-department concerns regarding students flooding the streets when the Union closes,” Crowley said. “There may be some validity to this, and now we can test it.”

Bruer said he appreciated the chancellor’s public apology.

“I appreciate the chancellor’s recognition that the ALRC felt somewhat broadsided with the news development,” Bruer said. “The university should place themselves on the same level of scrutiny as other liquor license holders, and the ALRC should look at the broader goals involved.”

Bill Lugo, the project evaluator for the RWJ project, presented a Global Information Systems report analyzing the correlation between drink specials and alcohol-related problems in downtown Madison.

The report, which was requested by Wiley, mapped out taverns with drink specials from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights along with the locations of alcohol-related violations.

“The majority of alcohol-induced violations and assaults were within the 600-800 block of State Street, University, and Johnson,” Lugo said. “This same area that has a high concentration of taverns with drink specials.”

The study found the area with the highest concentration of violations was not necessarily where students live, not related to the density of liquor-licensed establishments and had violations four times more prevalent than in any other area in the city.

ALRC member Dick Lyshek said the report does not fully analyze drink specials.

“The deepest drink discounts are on weeknights, not weekends, and the report includes no relativity as to how deep the drink specials are,” Lyshek said.

ALRC member Sergeant Emil Quast said the report gave a correct impression of the reality downtown.

“I think the data was very representative, and I have finely tuned data that says the same thing,” Quast said.

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