margarita

It’s been more than two decades since UTSA students could legally enjoy a beer without going off campus. In the eighties, a bar existed at UTSA called the Roost. Ultimately, the bar was closed, and UTSA remained dry until now.

Happy times are here again. With a vibrant football debut, beer at Chili’s Too might be an all too natural step to take.

On Wednesday, Aug. 24 at 3:00 pm, students will be able to purchase alcoholic beverages at Chili’s Too. The drinks are limited to beer, wine and wine-based margaritas. The beer will be in bottles only, since installing draft beer pipelines proved problematic. Spirits are also excluded; Chili’s Toon does not have a license to sell hard liquor.

“It isn’t necessary,” Louis Keefe, resident district manager of Aramark (the firm that manages the restaurant) said. “We want to start responsibly; we don’t want to turn this into a bar.”

Controversy surrounded the decision to offer alcohol on campus. “This is another example of why UTSA students need to vote,” writes Gabriel Rubio on the event page Beer at Chili’s Too at UTSA! “When the proposition for the football team passed, many students were outraged and felt like UTSA should strictly focus on academics and build a bigger library. When the proposition to increase transportation fees in order to improve the shuttle routes didn’t pass, the end result was longer wait times and crowded shuttles.”

Alcohol on campus was one of the cornerstones for the many Student Government Association campaigns. It was promoted during the administration of former SGA President Derek Trim and continued by current president Xavier Johnson.

As many other controversial subjects, such as handguns on campus, the decision was submitted for online voting. These polls are often characterized by lack of participation and poor student involvement.

“The idea of having alcohol served on campus is not a new one by any means,” writes Junior Drew Jackson. “What the cynics fail to see is this as a progression for our campus that will strengthen us as a student body whether they enjoy alcohol or not.”

Incoming freshmen are required to complete an Alcohol Education test, which has been norm in many other universities including Harvard and the “Public Ivies.”

Other universities such as Dartmouth, University of Wisconsin, Penn State, Vanderbilt University and Ohio State regularly sell alcohol on campus. Programs such as a Safe Driver have not surfaced during administrative talks, according to Todd Wollenzier, assistant director of Student Judicial Affairs.

More than 1,700 students have selected “I’m attending” on the event Beer at Chili’s Too at UTSA! While it is highly unlikely that all of these students will go, it is important to note that even if a small fraction decided to, they could easily overflow the small Chili’s Too.

Aramark management seemed unconcerned by the Facebook event. “We shouldn’t have any problems,” said Keefe. “We will have two bartenders.”

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