Fliers advertise Drink Off; officials warn of dangers

Fliers that advertised a drink off competition between the College and Rider University at the restaurant and night club Sambuca two weeks ago prompted many college officials to discourage students from taking part in the event.

The flier read, “TCNJ vs. Rider 1st Annual Drink Off. $1 Shots/ $1 Bottles. Who Can Party Harder? It’s Time To Find Out!”

College officials felt advertising such an event on the College campus was inappropriate.

“We were shocked that the College’s name was used in an incident of this nature,” Lynette Harris, College disciplinarian, said. Harris felt the fliers promoted underage and binge drinking.

“With alcohol and binge drinking also comes those larger problems,” Harris said. “Studies show a lot of the time with sexual assault there is a high percentage of alcohol use. You don’t want to get involved with the criminal offenses it could bring. We are just thinking about the bigger picture.”

The Alcohol and Drug Education Program (ADEP) met to decide what measures to take in response to the flyer. According to Joe Hadge, ADEP director, the organization decided to inform different departments and organizations of the flyer so that they could talk to students about the event.

“Our goal was to make sure

that people were informed about the event,” Hadge said. “It wasn’t about trying to stop it. Our main goal was everyone’s safety.”

While departments worked to notify students of the dangers of such an event, allegations were made that a College fraternity was responsible for the fliers.

According an Oct. 16 Trenton Times article, Leslie Gonzalez, owner of Sambuca, claimed she knew nothing of the event. Gonzalez said the bar was booked that night by a student of the College for a friend’s birthday party.

Gonzalez could not be reached for comment.

According to an Oct. 17 Trenton Times article, the College will be investigating which fraternity, if any, is responsible for the event.

“It was not a responsibly planned event,” Hadge said. The New Jersey department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC), Hadge said, will also investigate the situation.

In the end, the drink off did not take place. Ashlee Stetser, senior computer information systems major, went to Sambuca that night to attend the drink off.

She arrived with seven friends and did not expect to pay a cover fee, as the charge for the drink off was to be waived for women arriving before 11 p.m.

However, bouncers asked for a cover fee and then explained that the event was cancelled.

Stetser and friends proceeded to enter the bar and found many undercover cops inside.

One undercover cop asked a member of Stetser’s group to show valid ID.

The Trenton Times reported on Oct. 16 that city police officials, state troopers and ABC officials and inspectors handed out 11 hand-summonses to five people for underage drinking and for possession of fraudulent identification.