Every year, hundreds of BU students flock to State Street for the University's annual bar crawl. Marcia Friedman, a Binghamton University Senior said, "I think it's a very important tradition at this university. It's one of the few we have.”
But many university officials are worried about the consequences. Gerry Johansen, the Associate Director in Health Services, said, "How do we keep it so that people who can drink, can have a drink, and other people who shouldn't be drinking don't have access to the alcohol. So now it becomes a community effort."
And everyone from the bar owners to the state liquor authority to the city is getting involved. Johansen said, "The city is pretty adamant after the St. Patrick's Day thing and the noise that created to make sure there's no open containers in the streets."
BU Senior Katrina Hedeen said, "I guess it's because the St. Patrick's Day Parade Celebration got a little out of control, which I think it's totally irrelevant because a bunch of people there weren't even college students so I think that's fair to blame the college students for everything for that and take away a tradition of theirs."
So Binghamton University students are looking for a compromise.
One group is developing an idea for a separate event, Bearcats Day, to be held at the same time. Jason Bronowitz, an organizer of the event said, "Our motivation for this is that not all of the students want to participate in bar crawl. Not all of the seniors see that as the way of celebrating the end of the year. So to be able to provide an alternative event, not necessarily taking away from bar crawl, but not the same thing as bar crawl."
Owners of the Rathskeller who agree that the open container laws should be enforced during the bar crawl. But they also stressed what a great revenue builder the event is for the city, and that it would be a shame to change it too much.