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Students grapple with loss of 19 admittance

BY ALISON SULLIVAN | NOVEMBER 04, 2010 7:20 AM

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Sitting inside the Summit Tuesday night, three UI students reminisced between bites of artichoke dip and chips about the days before the 21-ordinance.

The three, who have birthdays near each other, celebrated them all together downtown.They had looked forward to doing it again this year.

"It's a sad night," said 20-year old Kate Christensen.

Iowa City voters upheld the 21-ordinance 52-48 percent Tuesday.

In the aftermath of the election, mixed emotions swirled around campus. But in the end, most expressed anger and disappointment.

Christensen and her two friends considered themselves to be regulars at the Summit Restaurant & Bar, 10 S. Clinton St., and they said they feel bad for those who didn't experience downtown pre-ordinance days.

"We've come here since freshman year — there are so many memories here," said Sarah Van Deest, 21. "Freshmen and sophomores now can't have those same memories."

And underclassmen understand that reality.

"I'm disappointed that I didn't get to experience it," said Joe Irwin,18, lounging cross-legged on his futon in Burge Tuesday night.

"I think there's a lot of upset people," he said, as he flipped through the channels.

Many used the accessibility of social networking to express their emotions.

Appearing almost instantaneously on Facebook, an event called "Mourning of the loss of IOWA CITY … make those 1,404 people feel sick," had 2,808 attendees by 7 p.m. Wednesday.

UI sophomore Miranda Marquez, a sophomore and creator of the event, said she created it 30 minutes after the results came in. She said she invited some of her closest friends, and within an hour, "it blew up" as people rapidly invited their friends.

Marquez said last year she enjoyed going to the bars to dance and hang out with all of her friends.

"I didn't even drink at the bars," she said largely because of the pricey drinks. "It was a place to go and to dance."

The Iowa City City Council orginally passed the ordinance last spring before the issue was petitioned to go on the ballot. Many students have said they feel like their opinions haven't been valued by city councilors.

City Councilor Mike Wright said the council hadn't organized any specific outreach to students.

City Councilor Regenia Bailey, however, acknowledged student concern on both sides and said the council was open to hearing solutions and ideas from both students and the community.

"Next year is a council election, and four of the seats are up," Bailey said. "I think if it's something people are interested in getting involved in, it's another step to take."

Despite the ordinance, one student, Lane French, 18, said things for her won't change.

"Now, I plan to just keep doing the same thing that most freshmen have been doing all year: pregaming in my friends' rooms, then either going to a house, apartment, or fraternity," she said.

"Just because they try to take us out of the bars doesn't mean we're going to stop drinking."

Despite the outrage, there are students who feel unaffected by the fate of the ordinance.

"I didn't lose anything, but I didn't gain anything," said Chris Allara, a 19-year old engineering student.


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