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St. Patrick’s spring break

Green beer and beach getaways might be synonymous in the years to come if the administration has its way.

At last night’s Undergraduate Student Government open forum titled ‘St. Patrick’s Day Away,’ a panel of students, local business owners and professors discussed the idea of moving spring break back a week in order to coincide with St. Patrick’s Day.

The idea was proposed after a small number of students celebrating the holiday began attracting attention from the University and the city.

‘Students were showing up to class intoxicated, some were getting sick in class and there were reported incidents of vandalism walking to and from the bars,’ said Michael Ginsburg, the associate dean of students. ‘It has not been the greatest representation for the students by those [intoxicated] minorities.’

However, according to the University police, not one complaint was made last year about intoxication on campus.

As a result, the open forum was planned to explain to students the reasons behind the proposed change and give them a chance to react.

University police officer John Schumacher, Brewsters general manager Chad Hoover, Bacchus/Gamma President Ardy Gonyer, USG President Johnnie L. Lewis, associate professor of pop culture Montana Miller and the Interim Associate Dean of Students Michael Ginsburg made up the panel.

Although there were mixed feelings about the change, most of the panelists were against moving the break back a week.

‘I originally didn’t care,’ Lewis said. ‘But then I thought it over, and is it the purpose of this University to be a parent and ensure that we are safe at all times or to offer us the ability to make our own decisions? I’m an adult and what I do is completely up to me.’

Miller also felt it is vital for students to make their own decisions while enrolled at the University in order to prepare for life outside of college.

‘College is almost like the rehearsal period for real life,’ she said. ‘Students should be given the option to go out and get drunk on St. Patrick’s Day, because I would prefer to let them make the decision and deal with the consequences themselves.’

And though administrators believe that combining the two events will cut back drinking both on and off campus, Lewis felt that it may just bring about a new holiday.

According to Lewis, Miami University students created a ‘Green Beer Day’ in order to replace St. Patrick’s Day after their spring break was moved back.

‘I absolutely guarantee that this will happen at BG if the holiday is moved to spring break,’ he said.

Senior David Roberts also felt that moving the break back would result in another day of drinking binges.

‘Everybody knows that this is a party school, and moving the date back won’t take away the drinking associated with St. Patrick’s Day,’ Roberts said. ‘A student government that really represents the students would never make this decision.’

However, Gonyer stressed the fact that moving the break back would work to prevent binge drinking, student deaths and hospital visits.

‘It is honestly a responsible decision,’ he said.

But students wont be the only ones affected by the change.

Local business owners are also upset about the potential move.

As the general manager of a popular bar downtown, Hoover felt that taking the students away from the campus would diminish sales.

‘Our businesses rely on those St. Patty’s day sales,’ he said. ‘I’m not sure how those mom-and-pop bars would be able to stand that loss of revenue.’

In an effort to resolve the issue, Hoover suggested creating a downtown shuttle running throughout the year.

However, he predicted that if the bus were created, it would probably have to be funded through the students.

Regardless, the overall consensus is that the break remain where it is now.

‘The way we deal with this is what is going to make us better people,’ said Lewis. ‘If we want a University that really represents us, we need to make our own decisions and that’s what this issue really comes down to.’

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