Liquor pending sign hangs outside of Centennial Hall.
Photo by Carolyn Corcoran
By Carolyn Corcoran

The University of Arizona will sell alcohol at special events held in several buildings, pending the approval of liquor license applications.

With alcohol sales being restricted to seven UA buildings, university officials do not believe that the licenses will have repercussions on campus.

“It really doesn’t affect the campus at all,” said Joel Hauff, interim director for the Arizona Student Unions. “At the end of the day, it’s just procedural change for us.”

The seven buildings include the Student Union Memorial Center, Centennial Hall, Arizona State Museum, College of Fine Arts, Arizona Stadium, McClelland Hall and Biosphere 2. All have hosted events with alcohol before.

From fundraisers to skyboxes at the stadium, alcohol has previously been available if the establishment had obtained the necessary permit for the special event.

“We tend to have events fairly often in those buildings,” Hauff said.

The license will give UA the ability to sell alcohol at the buildings for special events without having to apply for individual permits.

By having a license, the application, wait time and permit fee are eliminated.

Though chatter about the licenses began last year, some community members have yet to be informed.

Jordi Carvalho, general manager of Wilko, a locally owned restaurant on University Boulevard, knew nothing about the pending licenses.

She predicts that the licenses will affect their pool of customers.

“They won’t pre-party here,” Carvalho said. “I think it will hurt the university strip as far as pre-party and post-party, but it’ll keep (the students) safe.”

Green signs informing the public of the pending licenses were posted around campus on May 17.

“I saw the huge signs,” said Analia Cuevas, a recent graduate from the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. “I think it’s something that everyone wants, especially at games. I think it’s just common sense. People need to be responsible.”

Any complaints about the licenses were to be submitted in writing to the City Clerk’s office by June 6. 

The City Clerk’s office did not receive any written complaints, said Thelma Sanchez, who is in charge of alcohol permits. 

However, the pending licenses have caused mixed feelings among parents. 

“I don’t think as a parent I would be for it,” said Laura Driver, who brought her son Cole, to campus to explore the racetrack program. 

Jack Gardiner, an associate research scientist with the School of Plant Sciences, entertains the idea of the licenses. 

“I think allowing alcohol on campus is pretty contemporary,” Gardiner said. “Its time has come, if they supervise it correctly.”

However, as a parent of a 19-year-old, Gardiner is cognizant of the potential effect on younger students.

“I’m a little bit concerned about fake IDs,” he said. “I just don’t want young people exposed.” 

Sgt. Juan Alvarez, a public information officer for the UA Police Department, does not believe the presence of fake IDs on campus will increase. 

He said the events containing alcohol held within the seven buildings are “more tightly controlled” and “really specific in invitation,” as opposed to open-invitation parties hosted in residence halls. 

“(The) less control, (the) more offenses,” Alvarez said. 

A hearing will be held on June 26 at 5:30 p.m. before Tucson’s mayor and city council to review the license applications. The hearing will take place at the Mayor and Council Chambers. Once the applications are reviewed, they will go to the state for final approval. 


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