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ECSU moving carefully on alcohol decision

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By Reggie Ponder
Staff Writer

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Elizabeth City State University officials are in no hurry to approve selling beer and wine at campus athletic events.

While ECSU officials have not ruled out allowing alcohol sales as permitted under recent state legislation, they are not following the lead of some larger campuses in the University of North Carolina System that have fast-tracked the decision in order to begin alcohol sales by the start of the upcoming college football season.

Harold Barnes, the Suffolk, Virginia, attorney who chairs the ECSU Board of Trustees, said last week the issue of alcohol sales at campus sporting events had not been placed on the agenda for the board’s September meeting. He said the matter would not be brought forward by the trustees themselves but might be added to the meeting agenda by ECSU administrators.

Brown also said trustees will look to the university’s administration for guidance on the issue.

According to the new law, in order for beer and wine to be sold at UNC-school athletic events, the individual campus’s board of trustees must vote to allow Alcohol Beverage Control permits to be issued for the venue where the beverages are to be sold. For ECSU football games, that would be Roebuck Stadium. For basketball games, it would be the R.L. Vaughan Center.

ECSU administrators have been discussing the issue of allowing alcohol sales but had not settled on a recommendation as of late last week, according to university spokeswoman Michelle Ball.

Ball said the matter will come before the trustees in September but may come without a definitive recommendation from the administration.

The administration might present the issue to the trustees with a list of pros and cons to consider, but recommend no proposed course of action, she said.

“This is not a high priority for the chancellor,” Ball said.

Ball noted some other campuses in the UNC System have moved quickly to approve alcohol sales in advance of the football season, but ECSU is not taking that approach. ECSU’s first home game will be Sept. 7 against Allen University.

If the trustees approve alcohol sales it would still take a period of time to implement the change.

Ball said the university might not proceed with alcohol sales even if the trustees approve the change.

According to The News & Observer, trustees at three UNC schools — UNC-Chapel Hill, N.C. State University and East Carolina — have already approved alcohol sales at sporting events.

UNC-Pembroke is the only campus so far to say it won’t approve alcohol sales at athletic events.

UNC Greensboro, meanwhile, does not plan to allow alcohol sales at on-campus events but will allow them at off-campus events, according to the Raleigh newspaper.

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