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USF bars buying beer between classes

Students and faculty can’t grab a beer before class anymore.

Barely a week after the long-awaited Beef ‘O’ Brady’s sports bar opened on campus, USF started limiting when the restaurant can serve alcohol.

As of Tuesday, Beef ‘O’ Brady’s can serve beer and wine only after 6 p.m. on weekdays and all day on weekends.

Before, students could drink beer and wine at Beef ‘O’ Brady’s at any time.

But that was because the University administration forgot about its own alcohol policy, said USF spokesman Michael Hoad.

“The thing we hadn’t thought through was there is a University policy that prohibits people from drinking and working,” he said.

The policy, enacted in 1993, outlines that no student or employee of USF is allowed to report to class or work under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Associate General Counsel of USF Colin Mailloux said students or employees could be punished if found drinking alcohol before work or class, whether they were legally intoxicated or not.

Students and employees could be written up, suspended, fired or expelled.

The spirit of the policy, Hoad said, is to prevent employees from drinking and working and to keep students from potentially unsafe situations.

“People go to science labs where they deal with things more dangerous than taking notes,” he said.

USF decided to limit the times alcohol could be served because it is impossible to manage who is drinking when, Hoad said.

The University recognizes that this limit will not prevent all students and employees from drinking before working or going to class, but Hoad said it will “allow some leeway without making it too easy to break the policy.”

Steve Dobrowolski, who manages food services in the Marshall Student Center, said that Aramark — the food company that owns all eateries on campus — had no input in the decision.

University Police (UP) spokeswoman Lieutenant Meg Ross said UP received no reports of public drunkenness at the Marshall Student Center last week.

Chris Rynne, a server at Beef ‘O’ Brady’s, said most customers last week ordered beer, and that many patrons came to the restaurant Tuesday and decided to leave because they couldn’t buy alcohol.

“Right now, there isn’t as many people (as there) usually is during the week,” she said Tuesday afternoon. “It might be busy, maybe, after 6.”

Rocky’s, the restaurant located at USF’s golf course, still serves beer and wine without hourly restrictions.

Other universities across the state allow drinking on campus throughout the week.

Wackadoo’s, a restaurant located in the University of Central Florida’s student union, serves beer and wine from 8:30 a.m. until midnight. At Florida State University, the Chili’s on campus has a full bar and will only refuse alcohol to those who appear intoxicated.

Student reaction to the change is mixed.

Carly Timmons, a junior majoring in religious studies, described the policy as ridiculous.

“Now only people that live here can drink,” said Timmons, who was planning to meet a friend at Beef ‘O’ Brady’s to have a beer before class.

Peter Franklin, a senior majoring in biology, said he sees both sides of the argument, but thinks the decision may have been premature.

“You have certain policies that are not applicable to the rest of society and students tend to feel like they’re being treated like children,” he said.

At 41 years old, Franklin said having a beer between classes doesn’t appeal to him anymore, but might have when he was younger.

“Maybe there would have been certain days when it would have been nice to kick back with a beer,” he said.

Additional reporting by Victoria Bekiempis