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21-ordinance unfair to responsible underage patrons

While many underage students drink at the bars, there are also plenty who don’t. Personally, I enjoy the bars because I love to dance. There is nowhere else to dance in a “bar setting” in Iowa City than the bars.

If the city could create a nonalcoholic setting for those under 21, then this ordinance would be OK. But other than that, it’s just another right being taken away from me, even though I’m an adult. Just because I’m not 21 doesn’t mean I don’t deserve to make decisions for myself.

I don’t think the problem is in the bars. I think it’s in the underage students who abuse alcohol. You need to punish them, not the underage students who are being responsible.

Stefanie Zock
UI freshman

21-ordinance a terrible idea

In 1998, the townies declared war on the students.

Why? Because Coral Ridge Mall opened up, and the area’s economic center shifted away from downtown. This occurred because downtown businesses couldn’t compete with Coral Ridge Mall.

Yet because new drinking establishments moved in to fill the spaces of the vacant businesses, some local business owners blamed their ill fortunes on the drinking culture at the University of Iowa, a popular scapegoat.

These anti-drinking laws are promoted by moneyed interests trying to recapture the downtown for retail business. It won’t work; it can’t work. A 21-only ordinance would hurt the current downtown economy and raise the cost of police enforcement, as drinking shifted away from the downtown and out into the residential areas of the city.

The 21-ordinance has always been a bad idea for Iowa City, and it always will be a bad idea. It’s time for the City Council to end its war against the university.

Burgess Smith
UI graduate

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