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The Blue & Gray Press | September 26, 2017

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To Drink at Late Night, Wristbands Required

By ELIZABETH NOWROUZ

A new sign has appeared outside of the Eagle’s Nest recently, marking a significant change in the University’s policy regarding the serving of alcohol on campus.

Presently, Late Night at the Eagle’s Nest is the only venue and time that alcohol is sold on University property. The previous alcohol policy stated that employees checked the IDs of any patron requesting alcohol, and then brought them their beverage in the opened container. But the newly instituted policies have much stricter guidelines and rules for the distribution of alcoholic beverages at the Eagle’s Nest.

Late Night at the Eagle’s Nest runs from 11 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. In addition to alcohol, other late night menu items are served each evening, including mozzarella sticks, chicken quesadillas, and cheese fries.

Under the new policy, an employee is designated to stand at the door and ask each person upon entering whether they plan to order an alcoholic beverage. If the person answers yes, the employee is to then check his or her ID and put a white wristband on the person. Upon entering, IDs and wristbands are again checked each time an alcoholic beverage is ordered. There is now an official bartender who opens each container and pours the beverage in a cup before giving it to the waiter, who delivers it to the table.

Junior Laura Pilati believes the new policies are too strict.
“People should be able to trust [students],” Pilati said. “We should of course be checking IDs, but three times is ridiculous. Bars don’t even do that.”

Sophomore Kelly Reeder works at the Eagle’s Nest on Thursday nights, and has been designated as the doorperson for that evening.  According to Reeder, the Eagle’s Nest now needs to hire additional personnel to fulfill the specific new positions.

Reeder was informed by Barbara Bailey, director of the Eagle’s Nest, that on the night of Feb. 4, an undercover officer from the Va. Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control issued five citations to the establishment regarding violations of mandatory state alcohol policies.

John Dering, general manager of dining services, refused to comment on the new policies.

The Virginia ABC could not be reached last night.

“There was also an excessive amount of people at Late Night [that night],” Reeder said, which may have affected the vigilance with which the policies were followed.

Feb. 4 was the evening of Senior Countdown, which took place in the Great Hall above the Eagle’s Nest.

At least one of the citations, Reeder said, was regarding the serving of an unopened beverage. This presents a large problem, as the Eagle’s Nest is only licensed to serve beverages that are consumed on the property.

The appointing of a full-time bartender has come with the new policy, and patrons now get their beverages in a cup instead of an opened container.

The stricter Late Night alcohol policies have only been in effect for a short time, but some students and staff believe it will have a negative impact on Late Night attendance.

“This will make service even slower at Late Night,” Pilati said. “If we know it’s going to take forever, I think my friends and I would just go somewhere else.”

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