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Regents approve liquor license for UMM Student Center

MORRIS, Minn. -- As early as this fall, the University of Minnesota, Morris Student Center could be licensed to sell alcohol.

On Tuesday, July 10, the University of Minnesota Board of Regents approved a resolution to support liquor licenses for three additional campus venues -- Northrop Auditorium and Les Bolstad Golf Course on the Twin Cities campus and the Student Center at UMM.

Dave Swenson, UMM director of student activities, said the license will make it easier for UMM to cater for external events.

In the application, Swenson said UMM was clear that "our interest in applying for an alcohol license for this facility is to better support external events that use campus facilities such as conference groups, business meetings, professional organizations, anniversaries, weddings and alumni and donor events."

"We will not be selling alcohol on any routine basis or at any of our dining venues," said Swenson.

UMM has served wine and beer at a limited number of events on campus over the last few years -- fewer than one a month, said Swenson.

In those cases, Sodexo, the company that manages campus dining services, has had to subcontract with a secondary caterer with an alcohol license to provide that service. This process involved significant time, paperwork and coordination.

"We really appreciate the effort it has taken for other businesses in town to work with us," said Swenson. "With our own license we will now be able to manage events held in the Student Center internally with greater efficiency."

Swenson also noted that external caterers will remain a partner when alcohol service is needed for UMM events outside the Student Center or at other U of M facilities like the West Central Research and Outreach Center.

The U of M's Office of the General Counsel will submit the licenses applications to the state. A representative with the Minnesota Department of Public Safety will make a site visit to campus in early August to review that the Student Center will be in compliance with all conditions, said Swenson.

The license, if approved, will be site specific to the Student Center and, perhaps, the campus mall -- no beer at Big Cat Stadium.

Swenson said the university hopes to have the license in place by the beginning of September.