If you have a lot of homecoming festivities on your agenda Saturday, there might be another one on tap, just in a different location.
For this year’s pre-football game celebration, the beer tent will be moved to the north side of Aquinas Hall from its usual location on the west side of the John P. Monahan Plaza. Doug Hennes, vice president of university and government relations, said the tent had to be moved to prevent overcrowding.
“Last year, they were a little cramped because we had five different reunion classes having reunions,” Hennes said. “So, you’ve got groups of people coming in, and it just got too crowded on the west end of the Plaza.”
Hennes said food and activities will take up the limited space on the Plaza, which didn’t leave a lot of room for the tent.
“For homecoming, considering how we’re going to have a larger crowd, we want people…to have plenty of room,” Hennes said.
2012 marks the first football season and first homecoming that St. Thomas will sell beer with its own liquor license, which Hennes said is good for the university.
“We save money by having our own liquor license instead of having an outside company come in and run it for us,” Hennes said. “It’s also more efficient to have our own people do it.”
Junior Brady Whalen said he thinks getting the liquor license was a good move for St. Thomas to make.
“I think this is a great opportunity for St. Thomas to cash in. St. Thomas football games are very popular to attend, and whether we like it or not, people associate beer with football,” Whalen said. “It is great that St. Thomas gets to capitalize on that finally.”
Hennes said people shouldn’t expect a big change in Saturday’s atmosphere because the sale of alcohol before football games has never been an issue in the past.
“It was very low-key. People would show up and have a beer and a burger, and then they’d go into the game,” Hennes said.
Sophomore Brooke Hill said she isn’t worried about alcohol being sold before the game.
“I don’t see any problem with it if they’ve served alcohol in the past,” Hill said. “I’ve never heard of there being an issue with adults drinking.”
Some neighbors raised concerns when St. Thomas decided to get the liquor license, but Hennes said that the university is responsible and prepared to sell alcohol.
“I think we’ve proven that we’ve been very responsible in how we’ve handled the sale of alcoholic beverages at various events and there have been no problems or incidents,” Hennes said.
Whalen said he is excited to go to the game this Saturday and take advantage of all the festivities.
“I imagine that I will make a few trips over to the beer tent on Saturday,” Whalen said. “That stuff (beer) tastes really good to me.”
Hennes said people won’t be able to leave the beer tent area with unfinished beer, and the tent will be closely monitored.
“We don’t want people wandering around campus with a beer,” Hennes said. “We don’t want people taking beer into the game; that would be an NCAA violation.”
Baihly Warfield can be reached at email@example.com.