The Winonan

Dry campus sends mixed signals

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Winona State University wine glasses are set on in the Winona State bookstore. Winona State, which is a dry campus, sells multiple drinkware items which are typically used for alcoholic beverages.

Winona State University wine glasses are set on in the Winona State bookstore. Winona State, which is a dry campus, sells multiple drinkware items which are typically used for alcoholic beverages.

Nicole Girgen

Nicole Girgen

Winona State University wine glasses are set on in the Winona State bookstore. Winona State, which is a dry campus, sells multiple drinkware items which are typically used for alcoholic beverages.

Morgan Reddekopp, News Reporter

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Despite Winona State University being a dry campus, the campus bookstore has been known to sell a variety of “drinkware” including shot glasses, bottle openers and wine glasses. Whether or not it is a good idea for a campus bookstore to be selling these items has been a subject for debate.

Karen Krause, the Bookstore supervisor, oversees the sale of these items. Since the bookstore is a public gift store, it is allowed to sell these items.

“We are open to the public. People can come in and get souvenirs,” Krause said.

The function of the drinkware items and what they are being used for is up for much debate. Krause believes that students are primarily using the shot glasses and wine glasses to consume non-alcoholic beverages, such as soda.

“Talking about bottle openers and shot glasses, you can put soda in those and use a bottle opener to open a soda. [The bookstore] doesn’t look at it as alcohol-related, it’s souvenir-related,” Krause said.

Some students say that it is naïve to assume that a college student would use a shot glass to drink a soda or a bottle opener to open a ‘classic coke.’

In a group of randomly selected Winona State students, all of whom requested to stay anonymous, 90.9 percent of the group stated that they believe that their fellow students would use the drinkware items for alcohol-related activities, whereas only 9.1 percent of the group stated they believed students would use the drinkware for non-alcoholic beverages.

“If we are a dry campus, you would think that [the university] wouldn’t want [the drinkware] on campus,” one student said.

Krause does not know if the students are actually using the drinkware items for soda, but states that they should be.

“I don’t know, they should be. I mean, I would. You can use anything for anything. You could use a bottle opener to pry a nail out of a board. You can use things for anything you want,” Krause said.

However, most of the students surveyed do not seem to agree with her statement.

“What else would students use [shot glasses] for? We aren’t allowed to have [drinkware items] or anything related to alcohol in the dorms, so it’s hypocritical for the bookstore to sell them,” a student said.

Another student believed that students should be allowed to own shot glasses if they are over 21, but that the bookstore should not be the one supplying them.

Concern has been expressed that the sale of drinkware items at Winona State’s bookstore could potentially be seen as the university encouraging on-campus alcohol consumption.

When surveyed, the group of randomly selected students answered whether drinkware sales would encourage students to consume alcohol. 59.1 percent of the group said ‘yes’, 13.6 percent said ‘no’ and 27.3 percent of the group said ‘maybe’ or ‘I don’t know.’

Although some students believe that most students are more likely to see the bookstore’s sale of drinkware as an encouragement to drink, it is still up to interpretation.

“It really depends on the student, alumni member or parent buying the items, and what they’ll use them for,” a student said.

Regardless of what the bookstore sells, there will likely always be drinking on campus.

“If a student is going to drink, they’ll do it no matter what is sold in the bookstore,” another student said.

However, there is still the possibility that students could be encouraged by the sale of drinkware items.

“I think that selling shot glasses at the bookstore could potentially encourage students in Winona to drink more,” a third student stated.

The Winona State bookstore is sticking to their original statement: that they are a retail store and can sell retail items.

“I think that a lot of the items that are purchased at the store are purchased as gift items. That is what they are meant for: gift items. [The bookstore] is a retail store and sells retail items,” Krause says.

Krause also states that many of these drinkware items could be seen as souvenir items.

“You go to a resort during the summer, you buy a koozie that has ‘Winona State University’ on it. We sell koozies here, I put my sodas in a koozie. To connotate it with and connect it directly to alcohol I think is jumping the gun,” Krause said.

Krause still believes that these drinkware items made for alcohol consumption should not be tied directly to alcohol.

“Directing your thoughts towards something they can be used for, rather than using [the drinkware items] for what they are, which are just overall items, are two separate things,” Krause said.

Krause also states that many people actually collect shot glasses, which could be a reason for the purchase of them at the bookstore of a dry campus university.

“The store is open to the public. The things I look at can be used for anything, like the shot glasses. You know, a lot of people collect shot glasses as souvenirs to places they’ve been or places they want to go or things like that,” Krause says.

There is debate over whether or not the bookstore’s sale of alcohol consumption items encourages students to drink, but one thing is certain: Winona State is a dry campus and students should not be drinking on campus regardless of what is sold at the bookstore.

Next week, the Winonan will be following up on this piece by covering the drinking at the Alumni booth at the Warrior Game Day Experience, as well as comparing Winona State’s drinking violation statistics to those of a wet campus.

Nicole Girgen
Winona State University shot glasses are set on display in the “drinkware” section of the Winona State bookstore. Winona State, which is a dry campus, sells multiple drinkware items which are typically used for alcoholic beverages. According to Karen Krause, bookstore supervisor, the assorted shot glasses the bookstore sells could be intended for use with soda pop and other non-alcoholic beverages.

Nicole Girgen
Winona State University can and bottle koozies are set on display in the “giftware” section of the Winona State bookstore. Winona State, which is a dry campus, sells multiple drinkware items which are typically used for alcoholic beverages.

Nicole Girgen
Winona State University wine sets are set on display in the “giftware” section of the Winona State bookstore. Winona State, which is a dry campus, sells multiple drinkware items which are typically used for alcoholic beverages.

About the Contributors
Morgan Reddekopp, News Reporter

Morgan Reddekopp works as online editor, news reporter and photographer for the Winonan. Before working at the Winonan, Reddekopp worked for two years...

1 Comment

One Response to “Dry campus sends mixed signals”

  1. Sue Kirk on October 17th, 2018 2:00 pm

    Informative article. Good writing and pictures.

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




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