Senate to address alcohol ordinances

Declan O’Higgins, who was recently appointed as the SOFA liaison attends a student senate meeting. Photo by Chester Beltowski/The Dakota Student.

For the second straight week, Student Senate had a short meeting with no bills or resolutions to discuss. The one bill that had been on the table regarding the Virtual House Party put on in September by the Pike fraternity was pulled by the author because it was found that there was no reason for the senate to sponsor the event at this point. As for new business, Senator Declan O’Higgins was appointed as the new student organization funding agency Liaison by unanimous vote. He will report to senate each week on SOFA’s activities.

The members of the executive team have also begun to email their reports out to members of the senate each week, instead of presenting all the matters they are dealing with each week.

Student Body President Tanner Franklin and Vice President Brett Johnson were the only members that spoke about their reports.

Johnson announced that members of the Grand Forks City Council will be meeting jointly with the senate on Oct. 26. That meeting will take place at 4:30 p.m. instead of the usual 6 p.m. meetings. Mayor Michael Brown may also be present.

Franklin talked about his work with the Community and Campus Committee on High-Risk Alcohol Use, which is looking to reduce high-risk alcohol drinking in Grand Forks.

“They are recommending to city council that a few ordinances be put in place,” Franklin said.

One of those is a public intoxication ordinance, something that Grand Forks does not have. It will, “enable police officers to take action” when they encounter an intoxicated individual on the streets, Franklin said.

A social hosting ordinance is also being looked at as an option. That ordinance would carry a civil penalty for anyone hosting a party where individuals under 21 are consuming alcohol. The person who owns or is renting the house would be subject to that penalty.

The third ordinance being looked at has to deal with extreme drink specials. Franklin referenced the former Grand Forks bar Gilly’s and its $5 wristbands.

“This would be a ban of unlimited drinks,” Franklin said.

The CCC is also working on plans to offer new events on the day of Springfest to help lower the amount of high-risk behavior that takes place at that event.

Nothing is in writing yet, but all ordinances would have to be supported by the city council.

Megan Hoffman is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected].