A large, orange slip of paper hangs in the dining hall.
In big, bold letters, it reads: “Public notice of application for alcoholic beverage permit.”
For 10 days, this slip hung on the dining hall wall, grabbing the attention of students.
It was notice of Sodexo’s application for a permanent liquor license.
Last April, Sodexo’s Director of Operations Mary Harvey started the process that led to that orange slip on the wall—a move from the company holding temporary alcohol permits to a permanent license.
After no objections to their application, Sodexo’s permanent liquor license was granted on Sept. 12.
Sodexo has always been able to serve alcohol at campus catering events.
But now, they don’t have to apply for a temporary permit every time they serve alcohol at an event—cutting down on the time, hassle and money Sodexo previously spent.
Sodexo General Manager Les Petroff said the company caters alcohol at up to 40 events a year.
“It’s much easier [with a permit],” Petroff said. “When you have four [permits] in three weeks, that’s four times you have to drive to the police station and get the police chief to sign off on it, and send it to the excise police. Plus, it costs money every time you do that.”
With the permanent license, Sodexo can also have companies deliver alcohol to campus instead of going off-campus to purchase liquor, Petroff said.
Even with the new license, the company still has to go through the same steps of applying for permission to serve alcohol at all events.
Any Franklin College organization can request Sodexo to cater alcohol at their events, as long as they have approval from the college first.
Although the Student Entertainment Board has never worked with Sodexo to cater alcohol at an event, S.E.B. President Hanna Ballard said the organization has discussed it in the past.
“We were planning on bringing a concert to campus, and with that, we wanted to have alcohol served on Dame Mall at the outdoor concert,” Ballard said. “Time kind of caught up with us, and we didn’t have time to plan it or get the correct permits.”
Ballard, a senior, said S.E.B. is considering catering alcohol at upcoming events, but is concerned about safety situations.
“The biggest concern … we would have as S.E.B. members is that whatever happens—if people get drunk or something like that—then we’re responsible,” Ballard said. “If students do it on their own, it’s not as much the campus’ responsibility.”
But Sodexo’s Director of Operations Mary Harvey said the protocol for any of Sodexo’s events with alcohol—on campus or off—will follow state law for safety.
“If you’re under the age of 21, we will not serve you,” Harvey said. “If you don’t have an I.D., we will not serve you. … If it’s an event with anybody there who is under 21 years old, then the ones that are over 21 will have to have a wristband.”
Petroff said he doesn’t expect any change in the amount of events Sodexo caters now that they have a permanent license.