The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Senate approves bar and grill legislation

Final decision expected late this semester

In an overwhelming show of support, SMU Student Senate voted Tuesday to approve a resolution encouraging the administration to form an on-campus bar and grill.

The bill, which passed by a vote of 23-1 with two abstentions, strongly echoes the recommendations of the President’s Task Force on Substance Abuse Prevention released on Jan. 31.

“The task force got the ball rolling on their end and we got it rolling from ours, and when those two meet up, there’s no way that can be shoved under the rug,” co-author and Finance Chair Jace Hinderland said after the meeting.

Before casting a roll call vote, senators debated extensively on a range of issues, including the need to see more detail in the resolution and issues of volatility and immediacy.

“There are people within the administration that are thrilled about the concept, and then there are people that aren’t or who are cautious,” Hinderland said, “but I think they can only stay that way for so long once they find out this is what the students truly desire.”

Voicing concerns of the resolution’s many generalities and of what message it would send to prospective students, several senators questioned the idea of bringing a bar and grill to campus, including sophomore Marc Bullock – the only senator to not support the resolution.

“Senate is moving forward in the direction of the task force recommendations,” Bullock said, “but after discussing the issue with constituents, members of the Board of Trustees, prospective students and their families, they feel that a bar, no matter the size, location, type or facade will promote drinking to all members of the SMU community, not just the members above the age of 21.”

Bullock remained hesitant to support legislation that could bring a bar to campus.

“I do not think SMU would be pleased with another incident related to alcohol after the tragedies of last year, especially one where SMU would be the catalyst to such an incident.”

Senators are aware that this is only the first step in the process of bringing a bar and grill to campus and in no way does it guarantee that it will come to fruition.

The bill will now be passed on to members of the task force and to President Turner, who, after reviewing information from several committees, is expected to make a decision on the matter before the end of the semester.

Funding for the project has already been discussed among senators.

A likely scenario, according to Hinderland, involves a process similar to the funding of the Dedman Center, in which the student association takes out a significant loan to be slowly paid down using student fees.

“Not every student cares about what goes into student fees – what they do care about is having a place like that on campus,” Hinderland said, who remains confident that President Turner “truly wants what is best for the students and will do the best he can.”

“Not tomorrow, next week, or maybe even next month, but, ultimately, this will get done,” he said.

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