Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


True colors

PACE, after months of hibernation, rears its ugly head once
again in effort to chip away more and more student, business


Once again, University administrators are missing the mark on
student drinking, and their error could result in a further
trampling of student and downtown business owners’ fundamental


UW-Madison’s Policy Alternatives Community Education (PACE) is
funded by a private organization that is nothing short of
anti-drinking. Similar organizations operate on campuses throughout
the country where problem drinking cultures have been observed.
Though PACE claims not to be against the practice of consuming
alcohol, its ideological roots shine through in its consistently
malicious pursuits with regard to student drinking.



Last semester, PACE sponsored a press conference delivered by
Dean of Students LuoLuo Hong and Madison Police Captain Luis
Yudice, in which city and university administrators announced a
“safe-house-party” plan to combat the dangers of house-party
consumption. To the best of our knowledge, nothing much
materialized from this hyped-up event; and thankfully crackdowns on
student house parties have yet to occur.


Two years ago, PACE’s legislative efforts resulted in political
scare-pressure on downtown tavern owners to force a “voluntary”
termination of weekend drink specials in State Street’s
entertainment district. The privately funded but University-backed
organization has shown itself to be most effective in lobbying
Madison’s politicos for regulation, not influencing student
behavior through coercive means.


What PACE fails to realize is that the consumption of alcohol on
this campus is not the crux of the problem; rather the manner in
which alcohol is consumed. House parties on 100-year-old balconies
packed with revelers are without question a public health hazard
and should be addressed as such by city officials. Unfortunately,
PACE’s efforts in this arena have failed thus far to significantly
combat this problem. The potential for a Chicago-like balcony
collapse is the worst nightmare of each and every Madison emergency
worker; and many alcohol related sexual assaults and other crimes
occur at these large, unregulated gatherings.


However, house parties that operate within the bounds of reason
and licensed, professionally operated bars are not and should not
be the targets for the wrath of PACE’s university-backed killjoys.
Peddled under the guise of an “environmental approach” to the
problem of student drinking, PACE’s “solutions” are always nothing
more than neo-Calvinist attempts to regulate the environments in
which students drink by restricting access and driving up


Students, especially at a large university in beer-hardened
Wisconsin, are going to drink and have done so since time in
memoriam. To think that further prohibitions will significantly
curb the problems associated with high-risk binge drinking ? and
they are well-documented on this campus ? is na*ve. These measures
may push students out of safely regulated bars, toward handles of
vodka and open kegs.

We urge members of the ALRC to respond to student concerns and
place these proposals firmly on Madison’s ash heap of long
discarded ideas. This country went through Prohibition eighty years
ago. Apparently, Sue Crowley and her minions still haven’t


We urge readers to read below PACE’s proposals (provided to the
Herald by Sue Crowley and reprinted verbatim) as discussed in all
of their glorious absurdity. Comments from this board are



Proposed Best Practices in Licensed Establishments

Recommendations to the Alcohol License Review Committee on best
practices at outlets to reduce the negative consequences of alcohol


The University of Wisconsin ? Madison

The PACE Project

February 18, 2004


Fallout from alcohol abuse costs our community in money and
human resources. The city, working with the ALRC, can regulate
?keyword of the entire document — best practices in alcohol
venues to create a safer environment. Below are recommendations
that alcohol outlets can use in an effort to reduce the negative
consequences of alcohol over-consumption.


Eliminate late-night drink specials:


Raising the price of alcoholic beverages reduces consumption.
College students have been targeted with late-night drink specials.
These specials encourage students to drink frequently and
excessively. Adopt licensing standards that eliminate late-night
drink specials.


This is perhaps the most damning of all PACE’s proposals.
Sue Crowley defines “late-night” as anything after 8 p.m.. This is
nothing more than an extension of the current prohibitions on
weekend specials. Crowley herself conceded this as little more then
a second trip to the regulatory trough.


Examine advertising practices and prohibit advertising in
student papers:


In a campus with a substantial population of underage students,
advertising to students encourages underage drinking. Student
newspapers are often filled with advertisements offering cheap
drink specials, while more than half of the readers of the campus
papers are underage.


Admittedly, this hits a bit too close to home and is the
most legally ominous. Though downtown bar advertising is not a
sizeable chunk of this newspaper’s advertising revenue, they
represent some of the Herald’s most valued clientele. Crowley
explains that PACE would urge downtown establishments to pursue the
same standards employed by the brewing industry; i.e. not targeting
under agers by advertising in publications with primarily underage
readership. Crowley contends that because approximately half of the
total student population here is underage, the restrictions would
be appropriate.


Rigorous ID checks during sale of alcohol. ? more
tomfoolery, DUH.


Require responsible alcohol beverage service (RBS) training
for bar owners and servers:


While server training programs are tailored according to
community needs, all RBS programs are based on existing regulations
that prohibit the sale of alcohol to underage and inebriated
individuals according to three key principles: (1) Develop, clarify
and implement sound management policies governing alcohol outlets;
(2) Conduct effective management trainings; and (3) Conduct regular
server trainings. ? bureaucrats proposing more bureaucracy.
Common-sense bartending does not require an advanced degree.
suggest an RBS program that includes the following components, in
addition to the suggestions outlined above:


Manager on premises at all times. ? any smart tavern owner
does this already

Eliminate promotions, contests, and games that reward patrons
with cheap or free alcohol. Promote games that offer food as a
reward. ? say ‘bye-bye’ to Flip Night if the PACE minions have
their way… God forbid you enjoy a couple cheap drinks after class
on Tuesday night. Pardon us for suggesting a little common sense,
but we don’t know many students consistently adversely affected by
vicious Wednesday morning hangovers.

Consider use of ID scanners. Require training on ID checks by
outlet staff. Consider working with MATC to improve RBS training.
Consider policies on standardized drink servings, limiting sales of
discounted pitchers and other related initiatives. ?another
subtle attack on freedom of establishments to set their own
competitive prices. Often last in the debate is the bar owner’s
inherent rights (or so we thought) to engage in competitive
business practices


Provide food service and non-alcohol beverages for patrons:


Outlets should provide accessibly priced food service and
non-alcohol beverages during regular business hours. The
consumption of food slows the absorption of alcohol in the blood
stream. ? On certain fronts, we must give credit where credit is
due, and this seems to us a good idea.


Provide entertainment options for college students under the
age of 21:

Help to create and sustain affordable, viable, non-alcohol
alternatives for all ages. Possibilities include club-like settings
that do not sell alcohol, non-alcohol nights at venues that
traditionally sell alcohol, and practices that safely allow
underage patrons admittance to shows where alcohol is served.

— Seems like a benign enough idea on the surface, but the
problem is that it simply doesn’t work in a competitive economic
environment. Club-like settings that do not sell alcohol will not
be patronized-they do not work.

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