Editorial: Watson's beer garden denial sadly predictable

    Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Joseph W. Watson’s decision to reject former A.S. President Jenn Pae’s detailed proposal for a Sun God festival beer garden is hardly surprising; rather, it is in line with Watson’s history of paying lip service to students while pursuing a hard-line anti-alcohol agenda. Even though he professes to have carefully considered the plan and scrapped it because of safety concerns, it seems that no plan for a beer garden would have ever stood the slimmest chance of winning approval.

    Furthermore, Watson’s conciliatory, contradictory defense, that he’s “not opposed to a beer garden, and we have no objections to it,” reeks of disingenuousness. The vice chancellor should come clean and admit that he does object to beer gardens, and there’s little or nothing students can do to make him change his mind.

    While Watson’s concerns about student alcohol consumption may be legitimate, it’s unfortunate that he is so unyielding, even after Pae did her best to address all the worries any reasonable person would have about the beer garden. Watson consistently denies that students can be responsible, opting instead to unreasonably assume that serving a drop of beer will make the event’s safety fly out the window. It’s obviously easier for his office to pursue an inflexible agenda instead of paying attention to the desires of UCSD students, but it’s not a thoughtful or wise style of leadership — and particularly odious given UCSD’s stagnant campus social scene.

    We challenge Watson to update his dogmatic stance on alcohol on campus — and to stay sober during this year’s Sun God festival.

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