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Tensions Rise Due To Alcohol Issues Around CCSU

by Diondra Clements

In light of the incident that took place in early March at the Angry Bull Saloon in Downtown Hartford, underage drinking has a topic of conversation on many occasions.

Central Connecticut State University freshman Taylor Lavoie fell to her death from the roof of the Angry Bull early on March 3. The aftermath has caused bars in the area, students and the school itself to be on close watch of what is going on.

Following the tragic incident, many students have become weary and more careful of what they do. Several bars in the area have said they have always taken serious measures to ensure no one is coming in that is underage or using fake identification.

A popular bar with CCSU students is Elmer’s Place, right down the road from campus. Many students frequently go to Elmer’s because it is easy to get to from their dorms or off-campus houses. It also has a reputation of being “easy” to get into for underage students.

“We’ve always done aggressive carding. When we card, we also video record it to a machine that blows it up and saves it on a hard drive, so this way the guys at the door when they put it in the machine it blows it up on a screen even the customer can see it blown up that way we look for imperfections on if they tried to change the date or anything,” said “Butch,” a manager at Elmer’s Place who wished to remain anonymous.

“When we do have someone with a knowingly fake ID, we pretty much confiscate them and turn them into the police department,” the manager said.

Another bar popular with CCSU students is Los Imperios Restaurant and Lounge in West Hartford. The bar had its liquor license suspended back in September after a shooting incident. The liquor license was reinstated one month later.

“What we do is, we have a scanner to determine and it will tell you if it’s a fake ID or not,” said the manager of Los Imperios, who did not want to be identified.

Some students agree that the bars near the Angry Bull Saloon have taken higher security measures, while bars further away have not changed their practices.

“I would say all bars in Downtown Hartford are a lot more strict. Before the Angry Bull incident, with the right fake, you could definitely get into some of the bars,” said one 20-year-old CCSU student. “However, after the incident, I don’t believe any bars are willing to take the chance and are not allowing anyone knowingly underage in. Although, I think this is mostly due to the proximity because I haven’t had problems with bars elsewhere. Other bars have not changed their ‘quick look and go’ technique. I recently went to Los Imperios and had no problem getting in.”

When it comes to the question of if CCSU students are encouraged more to drink on campus and in their dorm rooms, some students believe nothing has really changed.

21-year-old CCSU student, Kristina Frederick believes that, regardless of the recent situation, CCSU is a dry campus and it will remain that way.

“Drinking isn’t allowed in the dorms anyway, so I think the Resident Assistants follow the rules if they have any suspicions with drinking in the dorms,” said Frederick.

However, Frederick does feel as though bars have tightened up on carding. “They’ve started using a scanning system, where they scan cards and even take pictures for their records,” she said.

Some CCSU students do not believe much has changed in light of the recent situation, and that bars that used to card aggressively still do.

“Nothing has changed at all honestly. There will always be drinking in the dorms and that hasn’t changed at all,” said 20-year-old CCSU student, Victoria Minervino. “Angry Bull was the only bar that didn’t card aggressively. Every other bar I know of still cards heavily, even if you are of age.”