#Students' Rights
University of Essex Student's Union
United Kingdom

For years, Top Bar, one of only two bars on campus at the University of Essex, Colchester, was a haven for Students, Postgraduates, Alumni and University Staff (lecturers included) to sit and enjoy a quiet drink in a relaxed atmosphere.

Contrary to the louder, busier atmosphere of the Student's Union Bar, Top Bar was relaxed and laid-back, the main attraction for older students who preferred a quiet drink, alcoholic or not. However; this is no longer the case.

As of the start of the Academic year 08/09, the Students Union have prohibited the sale of alcohol in Top Bar before 6pm. This is to provide a "non-alcoholic space" for students who "prefer to socialise in a way which doesn't involve alcohol".

The logic of removing alcohol from display and sale in a licenced bar, as it might encourage drinking, is akin to that of removing teachers from schools, as it might encourage learning. Perhaps the Students Union plan to remove cigarettes from the Campus shop, as this could encourage smoking?

The essential argument behind this petition is the idea of choice. Everyone is entitled to a choice. Student's no longer have a choice in where to drink alcohol on campus before 6pm. There is not a daytime alcoholic culture on campus; nobody wants to get hammered during the day. However we should have a right to choose if we want a swift pint or not!

So I urge you, if you believe in the rights of individuals to make decisions for themselves, then please support this campaign. After all, we are all adults, albeit young ones. We do not need the Student's Union imposing 'nanny state' type rules to look after us. There are already plenty of non-alcoholic spaces on campus, and the places that do serve alcohol also serve many non-alcoholic beverages.

Thank you for reading, I hope for your support.

Ryan Grimes

We, the undersigned, call on the University of Essex Students Union to reverse the decision to prohibit the sale of alcohol in Top Bar before 6pm.

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The Get Top Bar back! petition to University of Essex Student's Union was written by Ryan Grimes and is in the category Students' Rights at GoPetition.