GSU Applies for Liquor License

 Grambling State University could soofn be the place for open bar events. For years, Aramark Educational Services has been the sole food provider for GSU. 

   The service is now wanting to up its game by selling alcohol too. Aramark has applied to the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control for a permit to sell alcohol. If approved, the company will be able to sell drinks, on campus, with premium alcohol.

   Kendra Hall, 26, is a graduate student majoring in public administration at GSU, and she is extremely excited about this new venture. 

   “I think this is a positive move just because the selling of alcohol does not mean the entire campus will start drinking,” said Hall. “This is an opportunity to add another level to entertain campus visitors.”

   In a GSU Facebook Live video, GSU’s President Rick Gallot addressed the idea of serving alcohol. “For those of you concerned that freshmen will be running around buying liquor on campus that is certainly not going to be the case,” said Gallot.

   According to Mike Pomranz, a Food and Wine specialist, many universities, including the University of Louisiana in Lafayette, Tulane University, and Louisiana State University have officially-licensed college beer.

   Nationwide, universities are now adding alcohol sales to the conversation. Universities such as the University of North Carolina, North Carolina State and Duke University have already started serving alcohol in select areas at football games. 

   “We have talked about selling wine and beer for years,” NC State Athletic Director Debbie Yow said on “I tend to think at some point in time that will happen, but there are requirements for state schools, a change in state legislation, so we would not go into that alone. We would want to partner with UNC-Chapel Hill, East Carolina University, and with other schools.”

   While students are excited about this change, older residents are not as happy about the potential difference. Grambling, La. resident and GSU staff member, Jane Doe, is concerned about campus safety. She wants to remain anonymous due to her position at GSU.

    “One, it is an open campus, and we already have an issue with violence between non-students and students. Just last semester, we lost two lives due to gun violence during Homecoming activities, a time when everyone is consuming alcohol,” she said.      “I do not like it at all. I am totally against it, but I cannot argue if that is what the president wants.” If approved, the university will need to bring in a dozen extra campus police offers to keep tabs on actions once the alcohol starts flowing. Still, although this sounds like a smart business move, in theory, it may take an unexpected turn.”

   In 2012, the University of Minnesota sold over $900,000 worth of alcohol, and they were still in the red of $15,516. 

   The Star Tribune broke down Minnesota’s first year of alcohol sales with its vendor, Aramark, and the school received a  22 percent share of the revenue from alcohol sales. So, they did not profit from the situation. 

   However, this could be a smart business move if leveraged correctly. Kristi A. Dosh a sports business analyst at Forbes Magazine weighed in on the topic. 

   “The real money comes from leveraging venues for events and from beverage companies themselves.”

   Despite both sides of this argument, it is impossible to deny that alcohol sales can add revenue to the university.  

   The application still has to be approved, but the following Louisiana schools already have approved licenses: University of Louisiana- Monroe, Louisiana Tech University, Louisiana State University, University of Louisiana- Lafayette and Tulane University.