Community Alliance forum

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Earl H. Potter III, president of St. Cloud State

Earl H. Potter III, president of St. Cloud State.

St. Cloud Community Alliance logo Earl H. Potter III, president of St. Cloud State Dave Kleis, mayor of St. Cloud 

A new campus-community coalition will host an open forum on high-risk drinking 6 p.m. May 25 in the Bell/Alexander Rooms at the St. Cloud Civic Center.

The forum will be led by St. Cloud Community Alliance co-chairs Dave Kleis, mayor of St. Cloud, and Earl H. Potter III, president of St. Cloud State University.

View the event flyer (PDF).

The forum, which is titled "The Impact of High-Risk Drinking on the St. Cloud Community," seeks input on these topics:

  • Experiences, perspectives and opinions about high-risk drinking in St. Cloud
  • Perspectives on the impact that high-risk drinking has on the quality of life for students, neighbors and businesses
  • Strategies for creating a safer, healthier community

Proposed ordinances

St. Cloud City Council will host public hearings May 24 in Council Chambers, City Hall, on these ordinances favored by the St. Cloud Community Alliance:

A Social Host ordinance that would address underage alcohol consumption by holding criminally responsible persons who host events or gatherings where persons under the age of 21 are possessing or consuming alcohol.

A Responsible Consumption ordinance that would expand the limitations on “all you can drink” specials to all hours of operations and to establish a prohibition on the promotion of “drinking games”, which is generally inconsistent with the goal of promoting responsible alcohol consumption.

A Disruptive Intoxication ordinance that would prohibit the public behavior of intoxicated persons that creates a disturbance or that is disruptive to the peace and quiet.

In addition, the City Council will hear comment on two ordinance amendments that would place greater accountability on  establishments with repeat liquor license violations. 

High-risk drinking can increase vandalism, littering, property damage, fighting, car accidents and death from alcohol. Community consequences can include:

  • Increased need for police/emergency response personal and resources
  • Increased cleaning, security and legal costs to businesses
  • Negative perceptions about educational systems

Critical aspects of high-risk drinking include binge consumption of alcohol and underage drinking.

St. Cloud Community Alliance, in conjunction with St. Cloud State and the Neighborhood University Community Council, a group of University-Southside neighborhood residents, is supporting a series of proposed ordinances aimed at reducing high-risk drinking and its ill effects. 

Among those proposed ordinances is a so-called social host law, a statutory strategy that is increasingly popular in Minnesota. In the last 12 months St. Paul, Mankato and Minneapolis have enacted laws that hold criminally responsible those persons who host gatherings where there is underage alcohol consumption.

Other St. Cloud Community Alliance leaders include Robert Reff, interim assistant dean of students for chemical health and outreach programming at St. Cloud State and Thomas Workman, a assistant professor of communication studies at the University of Houston-Downtown.

For more information, contact Robert Reff at 320-308-6290.

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