Regents revise policies to allow alcohol sales, deny medical marijuana use on campus
Southeast’s Board of Regents approved the revision of two existing business policies — alcoholic beverage use at sporting events and tobacco use, specifically relating to medical marijuana.
At their meeting on Sept. 20, the regents adjusted the policy to allow alcohol offerings at home collegiate athletic events, falling in line with several other institutions, such as the University of Missouri and St. Louis University.
This trend has become increasingly popular since the NCAA began selling beer and wine at the NCAA Baseball and Softball College World Series in 2016.
The policy revision allows for the sale of beer and wine, but the sale of spirits or liquor is not permitted.
“We remain committed to ensuring all of our fans have a safe and enjoyable experience and believe this approach will lead to more responsible consumption prior to and during our events,” director of athletics Brady Barke said.
The university has introduced the idea with pilot programs at home basketball games the last two seasons in a “Fast Break Lounge,” and will launch a similar program for football games starting this season with the “Field Goal Club.”
“We've kind of slowly stepped into it with these pilot programs, just to gauge: Is there an interest? What's the fan reaction? What do we have to think about in terms of risk management?” said Kathy Mangels, vice president of finance and administration.
She added the policy change is partly based on responses from these programs and feedback from student groups.
“We’re trying to provide different experiences for different types of fans,” Mangels said. “This could potentially add to the experience for some of our fans.”
Mangels explained under the previous statement, permission had to be requested and approved by the president in order to provide alcoholic beverages. However, a change to the policy statement warranted a larger discussion involving the Board of Regents.
According to Mangels, management at the Show Me Center will be in charge of alcohol sales, which requires a liquor license through the Southeast Missouri State University Foundation or a contracted state-licensed vendor.
As the pilot programs continue, Mangels said some additional risk-management practices will be considered, including the implementation of wristbands and additional security at events, a limitation on the purchase of alcoholic beverages allowed per person, the designation of alcohol-free seating sections and the use of caps rather than bottles, as a safety measure.
Alcohol sales at home games could become a regular occurrence as early as the 2019-2020 basketball season.
The regents also revised a policy statement pertaining to tobacco use to prohibit the use of medical marijuana products among students, faculty and staff, as well as working under the influence of medical marijuana.
The policy applies to all university owned, leased or occupied facilities and properties, as well as in university vehicles and at events on university property.
Mangels explained this change was in response to the passing of Amendment 2 to the Missouri Constitution in last year’s midterm elections, which legalized marijuana for medical purposes for qualifying patients.
“We wanted to make sure our policy was clear with relation to changes in state law,” Mangels said.
Also included in the revision was the allowance for academic research projects on hemp, which is marijuana containing less than 0.3% of the THC compound, within parameters governed by Missouri Statutes, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and city ordinances.
The complete agenda from the meeting on Friday, Sept. 20 can be found https://www.semo.edu/board/pdf/2019-9-20-Open-Session-Materials.pdf.