Marx, Cal Poly ask bars not to open before graduation
May 2, 2014
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.