Lower bar entry age gaining support: Student Association

By Ashley Morse

The Student Association Senate held a reading and discussion Sunday for a resolution to support lowering the entrance age to bars from 21 to 20 in DeKalb.

Ben Donovan, Student Association director of Governmental Affairs, said the SA is aiming to change the age where people can get into bars and not the drinking age. The resolution was only discussed Sunday and will be voted on at next week’s meeting. It would give the SA the Senate’s support to continue researching the implications of lowering the bar entry age. Donovan said a statement will also be delivered at today’s City Council meeting.

“We also want to have a chance for both sides to come together and discuss what they think would be good for the change and go from there,” Donovan said. “And perhaps next week allow for people to have their questions answered on the law itself.”

If the research the SA finds shows this proposal wouldn’t be good for students, Donovan said, the SA would withdraw any consideration for the support of a policy change.

Mayor John Rey has had no official comment on lowering bar entry age, Donovan said, but officials like Police Chief Gene Lowery have expressed that they will not support it.

The SA has researched Carbondale, Urbana-Champaign and Macomb, which house Southern Illinois University, U of I and Western Illinois University, respectively, all of which have lowered their bar entry ages. Donovan said the research has delivered positive results.

“The research for whether or not it would be good for the student body was originally intended to be a semester-long project,” Donovan said, “… Since now we’ve gained a lot of support for it and some senators have shown interest … essentially is causing for more research with towns with similar policies in effect.”