Alcohol impairs manners

Laura Hoesman and Laura Hoesman

According to local business owners, managers and employees, University students mind their manners – when they’re sober, at least.

But when students add alcohol to their bloodstreams, please and thank you are left at the doormat. Actually, some students steal the doormat.

“Every bar night something turns up missing,” said Lindsey Zacharias, a junior who works as a crew leader at the Subway at 524 E. Wooster St. “One night we didn’t realize one of our rugs was gone until the police brought it in.”

Zacharias, who has worked at Subway for two years, works nights when students are just leaving the bars. She said since Subway serves drunken students at 2:30 a.m., the business has had to make changes to reduce theft.

“We have to bring everything to the back,” she said, referring to the chips stand. She said students have also been known to make off with window signs, cups and pop.

Outdoor furniture, signs and a gum dispenser have been stolen from Pisanello’s Pizza at 203 N. Main St., according to Manager Miranda Liff. However, she was reluctant to pin the blame on college students.

“Everybody’s pretty respectful,” Liff said. “They come here, they eat and they leave. It used to be worse.”

Liff, who has worked at Pisanello’s for 12 years, explained that since the introduction of food cards on campus, students have not frequented the pizzeria as much.

“Students really have stopped coming around here,” Liff said. “They stay on campus. They have food cards. A lot has changed in the way students buy food.”

But Pisanello’s still has the occasional student-related incident. Liff cited a fight that broke out between two students last summer, but emphasized that such occurrences are rare.

Ben Franklin’s Variety and Crafts, at 154 S. Main St., has not had trouble with students, according to Floyd Craft, the owner.

“We probably have some shoplifting, but if we do it’s not much of a problem,” he said. He added that University students are not necessarily the people who shoplift.

Cosmo’s Cafe, at 126 E. Wooster St., hasn’t had much trouble with students, either, according to Melissa Griffith, a junior.

“There’s a diverse crowd of townies and college students who come here,” she said. “Usually college students come here at night because we have live bands. The college students are not disruptive.”

The somewhat intimidating presence of large, male tattoo artists who work at On the Edge Tattoo Studio, at 136 N. Main St. may have something to do with the respectful attitude of students who enter the shop, according to Cameran Drew, the owner.

The fact that drunken people are not allowed in the shop, which closes its doors at 11 p.m. may also have something to do with it, she said.

“They are respectfully asked to leave the premises if they are drunk,” Drew explained. She added that she has never had a problem with theft in her five and a half years of business.

“People that come here come to get a tattoo or body piercing,” she said. “They’re here for the business. They treat the shop with the utmost respect.”

Cara Contris, owner of Concepts Salon at 124 W. Wooster St., said she and her employees are so young that they do not notice if students are boisterous.

“We’re all under 25 here,” she said. “We have fun here. We’re all a little bit rowdy.”

Students are always just as polite as ordinary customers, she added.

Contris said that while students help keep her in business, they are not the only source of income.

“It’s not like we completely depend on them for business, but they’re a big contribution to it,” she said.

Other business representatives said students, despite their flaws, breathe life into the city’s economy.

“If it wasn’t for the students, a lot of [businesses] probably wouldn’t be here,” Craft said. “We appreciate the business from the students.”