Editor’s note: This October, the CU Independent will celebrate Halloween by featuring the more exciting parts of CU’s history. This article is the first in a series of stories about some of CU’s most interesting and obscure facts.
“Back when I went to CU…” is a phrase one commonly hears when asking about the school’s history, but when it’s succeeded by “…we used to get wasted at the UMC,” people begin to pay attention.
The UMC was a social hotspot for students in the late 80s and early 90s, according to Assistant Director of the UMC Kristi Graham-Gitkind.
“The UMC used to host live music on the south terrace with food and beer for purchase as part of the event… I think those events stopped when Colorado liquor laws changed,” Graham-Gitkind said.
Despite allowing the sale of alcohol at events, the UMC did have numerous rules and regulations to keep events from getting out of control, and still do. The UMC policy manual restricts several activities from taking place.
“Uncontrolled sampling events are prohibited in the UMC. These include ‘drown nights’ or ‘all you can drink’ promotions,” the policy manual says. “Drinking contests or other forms of irresponsible alcohol use will not be promoted or permitted in the UMC.”
These days the UMC hosts various events ranging from cooking classes to international coffee hour, excluding Irish coffee. The events still draw crowds, perhaps more tame, but nonetheless they are receptive in their weekly meetings.
The prohibition of alcohol sales on campus was proposed and acted upon by former President Hank Brown in September 2006.
Brown addressed the campus in 2006 saying the university did not spend much money on alcohol, but the fact they did spend any money needed to change.
“We are to set an example, if we are to move forward,” Brown said in this speech. “That same reform – I think – is followed by other schools, and I suspect will be followed by almost all.”
Brie Strimbu, an 18-year-old freshman open-option student, said she thinks the UMC should allow drinking. Strimbu also said she thought the atmosphere would be friendly and wouldn’t get out of hand on campus.
“I don’t think drinking at the UMC is a big deal as long as you I.D. people there,” Strimbu said. “It would be a safer environment for students—especially for girls—as long as they only allow students in. Students (who are) 21 years old will be drinking regardless. Why not have some friendly place on campus, rather than a creepy bar?”
Freshman open-option student, Taylor Stratton, 18, said allowing alcohol on campus could restrict her options as well as other underage students.
“My only concern would be closing the UMC to kids under 21 if they allowed drinking,” Stratton said. “The UMC is a great place to hang out, especially late. And if they allowed drinking then there’d be some conflict with underage drinking.”
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Adrian Kun at Adrian.firstname.lastname@example.org.