Marx, Cal Poly ask bars not to open before graduation

May 2, 2014
Jan Marx

Jan Marx

A longstanding tradition of outgoing Cal Poly students drinking downtown on the morning of their graduation ceremonies may soon come to an end if bar owners fulfill a request made by Mayor Jan Marx and a university administrator.

On April 16, Marx and Cal Poly Vice President for Student Affairs Keith Humphrey wrote a letter to the San Luis Obispo Downtown Association asking that bars not serve alcohol until 9 a.m. on June 14 and 15, the days of the upcoming Cal Poly graduation ceremonies. In years past, bars have opened at 6 a.m. on graduation days, and students have come to drink with family and friends prior to venturing over to campus for the festivities.

Marx and Humphrey stated that intoxicated students have created unsafe conditions on graduation day and have overshadowed the ceremonies.

“All too often, the commencement ceremonies are overshadowed and become unsafe due to the conduct of intoxicated students who have visited city bars prior to the ceremonies,” Marx and Humphrey wrote. “This ultimately spoils the moving graduation experience for others.”

The Mayor and Cal Poly administrator said they understand that they are asking downtown bars to make a financial sacrifice. The bars have yet to announce publicly whether they will agree to the request.

Many Cal Poly students have criticized the plan to close the bars, saying it will only send their drinking to different locations.


40 Comments

  1. fishing village says:

    There must be value in their request (Jan Marx, Mayor & Cal Poly) or they wouldn’t have asked! I hope the bars listen to the pleas.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

    • kayaknut says:

      I hope they finally place the responsibility on these young adults, adults we hope someday to lead our country, and make their own behavior their responsibility and the consequences there’s and someone else, legal bar owners.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  2. Niles Q says:

    One would hope that students out with their parents would behave themselves.

    Most kids out with their parents would tend to behave themselves, but who knows, there are whole families of alcoholics out there.

    This could be a moment of truth for the mayor, show just how much influence and respect she garners with the bar owners in town.

    The point that was made of closing the bars on Fridays and Saturdays to ease the impacts on the neighborhoods is a good one. The drunkeness that goes on during the school year is a much bigger issue for the residents. This one day (held twice a year) being singled out is dumb.

    Just another example of Cal Poly trying to run the city, even as it ignores and even dismisses the concerns of the residents over its dorm project. They expect business owners to sacrifice this commerce without compensation, to solve THEIR problem. Take, take, take, that’s all that school seems to do.

    What you have is a downtown with what, two dozen bars in a 10 block radius? So the Downtown has been made over to drinking and partying. Concentrating so many drinking establishments in such a small area might not be such a good idea but the bars seem to be the most stable businesses.

    They collefct a whole lot of sales taxes too.

    The mayor and Poly VP seem to assume that cutting off the students before graduation would solve their problems during graduation but what happens AFTER graduation ceremonies? Don’t even more students then get drunk in celebration? I did. And frankly, I and my dad had a couple of beers at my Los Osos home before my grad ceremony in 1991 at Poly. I did it to calm my nerves. Didn’t help much.

    Poly has its own police department, can’t it handle a few rowdy students at graduation? The problem is the school has this ideal of what the perfect respectful and dignified graduation ceremony is supposed to be, and the students want it to be a celebration, so drinking in the bars or not, there’s bound to be some kids acting up.

    And the bar owners would be making the sacrifice for nothing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  3. fishing village says:

    How sad. Good idea Jan Marx. For heaven’s sakes young, energetic people don’t need to be drinking, especially before graduation ceremonies…..oh that is sad.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

    • kayaknut says:

      Well taking your logic, they also don’t need to drink during finals week, so close all bars then, and lets just say they shouldn’t drink any weeknight, they should be during homework, so close then Monday through Thursday. Or here is a novel idea, hold the students responsible for their own behavior and not blame someone else who owns a business and is running it lawfully.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

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