Student named to liquor commission

By Danielle Gaines

The Champaign City Council unanimously approved the appointment of University graduate student Joshua Reed to the Liquor Advisory Commission on Tuesday night.

Josh Rohrscheib, co-president of the Illinois Student Senate, recommended Reed for the position.

“I had seen several city council and commission meetings in the past and realized that there was no student representation, which I thought was needed,” Reed said.

He said he initially became interested in joining the commission to protect student rights. More than 50 percent of the members of the commission are bar owners or liquor license holders, giving them the ability to increase prices and exploit consumers, he said.

The Liquor Advisory Commission proposes changes to the city’s liquor code, addresses citizen complaints with regards to alcohol and recommends the licensing of establishments.

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Additionally, the commission oversees incentive programs at local bars including wristband distribution and drivers license verification.

Reed said the main issue facing the commission is the celebration of unofficial St. Patrick’s Day on campus. He said that some commission members want to see all activities related to the holiday to end, while others are indifferent.

“I’m not sure there needs to be additional regulation for the holiday,” Reed said. “The idea that bars are not able to have promotions because it attracts too many customers seems silly.”

If the holiday is pushed out of the bars, students will simply move to private parties, Reed said. He feels that students are safer in bars because they will not be served if a bartender thinks they have drank too much.

“Some people are upset with the general festivities, but that is what happens on a college campus,” Reed said.

The next Liquor Advisory Commission meeting is to be held Thursday at 8:30 a.m. at Champaign City Hall, 102 N. Neil St.