As University of Kansas students return for classes, they will find a campus climate that's become increasingly more open to alcohol but, at the same time, a city cracking down on underage drinking.
Kansas Athletics announced in July it would sell beer and wine at home football games — an initiative University students previously expressed they wanted.
But students will also find more stringent policing on underage drinking. Local law enforcement agencies are continuing their grant to find people using fake IDs at Lawrence bars and liquor stores.
The University remains a dry campus. No alcohol is permitted in any classroom settings or residence halls, according to KU policy on alcohol service at events. And all newly enrolled students at the University are required to take AlcoholEdu, an online course used to spread awareness about drinking and its effects.
But as of 2019, students can sit down for a beer at the stadium.
Additionally, last semester the Kansas Union announced plans to open a pub on the first floor.
Alcohol at football games
Kansas Athletics tested alcohol sales at baseball, softball and soccer games in 2017.
In 2016, the University began selling alcohol at Lied Center and Spencer Art Museum events, according to a 2018 article in the Kansan.
After testing alcohol sales at different campus events and finding success, Kansas Athletics decided to start selling alcoholic beverages at home football games.
Beer and wine will now be sold at Kansas football home games starting this season, according to a Kansas Athletics press release Wednesday.
“Fans have told us that one of the best ways to enhance their experience at Kansas Athletics events is for them to have the ability to enjoy beer and wine, and we are pleased to provide this opportunity,” said Jeff Long, Kansas Athletics director, in a July press release.
Campus police don't anticipate changing strategies at football games, said Deputy Chief James Anguiano of the KU Public Safety Office. Alcohol had already been sold in premium seating areas and in suites at Memorial Stadium. Plus, fans were allowed to tailgate and drink outside the stadium.
“We’re just going to have to play it by ear,” Anguiano said. “And if we have to adjust the way we patrol around the stadium, then we’ll adjust as needed.”
Fake ID 101
While Kansas Athletics rolls out its new alcohol policy at the stadium, Lawrence law enforcement will begin the second year of its grant toward stopping underage drinking and fake ID use.
The Kansas Department of Transportation, the Lawrence Police Department and KU PSO received about $30,000 to fund a task force called Fake ID 101.
Lawrence police declined to comment on how much of a difference the grant has made.
Members of the task force last year went to restaurants, liquor stores, bars and house parties to find minors in possession of alcohol.
From Aug. 31 to Oct. 31, 2018, the Lawrence Police Department issued 137 citations for minors in possession of alcohol and 200 citations for fake IDs. Not necessarily all of the citations are directly tied to periods when the grant was in effect, said Sgt. Amy Rhoads, a spokesperson for the Lawrence Police Department.
Anguiano said the grant made a difference in attendance at bars.
“There were times establishments didn’t have very many people in them,” Anguiano said.
The grant will be in effect through the fall semester.