By M.H. Cavanaugh
Christian Action League
June 14, 2019
RALEIGH – A bill that would authorize North Carolina’s public colleges and universities to sell beer and wine at stadiums, athletic facilities, and arenas located on their property, cleared its last committee on Thursday morning. The measure now goes to the Senate floor for consideration. It had already passed the House by a large margin of 88-24.
Champions for the legislation (HB 389 – ABC/Univ Athletic Facility) were Rep. John Bell (R-Wayne), and Sen. Rick Gunn (R-Alamance). Gunn filed companion legislation (SB 296) on the Senate side.
Bell told fellow lawmakers that fourteen of the state’s schools within the state’s university system had expressed support for the bill.
Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League of North Carolina, has vigorously fought the bill arguing that college binge drinking is already a major issue for colleges and universities and that HB 389 would only exacerbate alcohol-related harms for students. He said that the data cited in defense of the bill and proponents’ claims that the measure would reduce game day alcohol related problems was seriously in question. He added the policy would negatively impact game day alcohol-related incidents, as well as the broader problems of campus drinking and that there is a link between the two.
Creech told the Senate Rules Committee today that even though he knew the legislation was likely to pass, he had dogged the bill all the way to the last committee because he felt a moral obligation to do so.
Creech told the committee:
“Today I rise on behalf of the forgotten stakeholders on this bill – the parents who send their children to one of our state’s universities but know nothing about it and would surely disapprove. Today I stand on behalf the families who have no assurances, no guarantees, from this legislation that there will any longer be seating for them at a collegiate sporting event where they may not have to deal with a drunken fan. Today I stand on behalf of the nearly 2000 college students who die every year because of some alcohol-related unintentional injury. Today I stand on behalf of those students who don’t drink but lose sleep because of their fellow students’ binge drinking, or they find it exceedingly difficult to study because of its interruptions. Today I stand on behalf of those living adjoining to college campuses, who suffer everything from serious litter problems to violence because of college campus drinking.
“We can debate the data given in defense of this bill which says that when colleges and universities sell beer and wine at collegiate sporting events it helps reduce game day alcohol-related harms. Recent reports, however, from the University of Florida and the U.S. National Library of Medicine have come away with different findings. Nevertheless, the principle is really a simple one. If I come home to find that I left the faucet to my bathtub open and the water has spilled over the tub and onto the floors everywhere, ruining them. Do I go over to the sink and open another faucet, and then argue that will help me get control?
“If this bill advocated ending the practice of tailgating, while restricting all beer and wine sales with higher prices to inside the stadium, that would be a step in the right direction. But it doesn’t. By every standard of scientific peer-reviewed alcohol research and by every standard of common sense, this bill fails to do anything except serve the interest of the state universities who have yet to prove that they can even make a dent in college binge drinking.”
HB 389 is likely to be taken up on the Senate floor for a vote as early as Monday night, July 17th.
For additional information on this measure read:
Senate Education Committee Says State Universities Can Sell Alcohol at Collegiate Sporting Events.
Take Christian Action:
Please contact your state Senator by email and urge him/her to vote “No” on HB 389. Follow up your email with a phone call.
If you don’t know who represents you in the North Carolina House and Senate, go to this link on the NCGA website: https://www.ncleg.gov/RnR/Representation
Then, do the following:
- Click on “NC House” in the left margin.
- Enter your residence address in the box in the right margin.
- Look back at where you first clicked on “NC House” in the left margin again, and you should see your House District sited and your State Representative’s name listed beside it.
- Click on the name of your state Representative. It should provide you with his or her contact information.
- Save this information to your computer so it will be easily accessible for future reference.
- Repeat the same process to find who represents you in the State Senate, except first click on “NC Senate.”