Editorial: Tailgating is great, but UK should open an on-campus bar

UK took a step in the right direction this year when it revised its alcohol policy.

The policy change turned UK from a completely dry campus to a “moist campus.” While this makes it easier for tailgating, there are other benefits as well.

People can, under certain circumstances, serve alcohol in the Main Building, Singeltary Center, Good Barn, Student Center, dining facilities and other properties belonging to the university. It even allows fraternities and sororities to have official functions where alcohol is served or sold.

Read UK’s alcohol policy

To make campus a more alcohol-friendly place for students, UK should make an on-campus bar or, at a minimum, allow students to buy some alcoholic drinks on campus.

Before you start thinking this is a terrible idea, pause for a moment and imagine the possibilities.

One of the reasons UK changed its policy is the problems that come with off-campus partying. Bars like Two Keys and Tin Roof are are rowdy and crowded; an on-campus bar could be a safer alternative.

And off-campus parties can be downright dangerous. Not only are these parties unsupervised, but people would probably be more likely to drive home from a house off campus than a bar on campus.

At a bar facilitated and run by UK, students over the age of 21 could hang out with their friends in a comfortable and controlled space. And if UK required students to scan their Wildcard ID to enter an on-campus bar, it would help ensure that people act responsibly.

There could be problems that come with any place serving alcohol, but a drink limit and not serving hard liquor could help minimize those problems.

Places like the Cats Den could serve beer and wine coolers for students who want to play a game of pool or ping pong and have a quick drink. If the new Student Center brings back something like Worsham Theater, you could grab a beer at the Late Night Film Series instead of driving out to Movie Tavern.

UK needs to set an example for young students. Everyone knows students with hyper-strict parents who came to college and puked their guts out during their entire first semester.

UK has a responsibility to students to stop demonizing alcohol and start teaching students how to drink safely.

We all know freshmen are going to drink. But if UK allows older students to drink on campus and set an example by behaving responsibly, we can begin to change the culture on our campus from “drinking to get drunk” to “drinking responsibly.”