Bar managers warn against the dangers of drinking

| News Editor

As students began to prepare for Mardi Gras, one of St. Louis’ biggest party weekends, bar managers and a Washington University Police Department officer came to campus to share their cautionary tales with the Washington University community.

Student Conduct Ambassadors, a group that aims to increase student awareness about academic and judicial policies at Washington University, held the event, which was called Bouncer Tales.

The speakers were WUPD Officer David Goodwin, John Mangelsborf, the night manager at Humphrey’s, a bar frequented by SLU students, and Robert Hazelwood, a former Washington University student and the general manager at Market Pub House.

“There have been plenty of off-campus issues with students doing dumb things,” senior Amanda Sabele, one of the organizers of the event, said. “We felt it was prudent to bring these things to life.”

The speakers shared funny and embarrassing stories about their encounters with college students.

Mangelsborf related an anecdote about a girl who was visiting friends for Mardi Gras who decided she couldn’t wait in the long bathroom line and began to urinate in the middle of the bar on the floor. When Mangelsborf and his staff went over to her, she began screaming at them, calling them sick perverts for being in the girl’s bathroom.

Goodwin spoke about a student who, after bending over the toilet to vomit, dropped his cell phone inside, and consequently got his hand stuck in the toilet while trying to fish it out.

“We had to call the fire department for these folks!” Goodwin said.

Hazelwood explained that when Humphrey’s gets busy, and he has to help bartend, students often get “lippy” with him. He responds by taking out a baseball bat.

Last Wednesday he did this to a student, who immediately covered his face and apologized, and then left the bar soon afterwards. At first Hazelwood felt bad that he left, until he was told the real reason of the boy’s departure: He had wet his pants in fear of being hit with the baseball bat.

But not all the stories were funny. The speakers also warned students about the dangers that come with drinking.

Goodwin spoke about an incident at last fall’s W.I.L.D.

“We had a kid last year who [drunkenly] climbed on the Clocktower and slipped and hit his head,” Goodwin said. “We had to call an ambulance and his parents, because we weren’t sure he would even make it 48 hours.”

Hazelwood told a story about a Washington University student 22 years ago who got into a scuffle with some guys outside of a bar. The curbs were made of granite, he said, and the student’s neck snapped the moment he hit the ground.

“I regret what drinking does, but it is part of my life and the industry I’m in, and I hope you guys hear that and hopefully you won’t have to deal with any of those problems in your personal life,” Hazelwood said.

The speakers also talked about fake IDs, something they frequently see from underage students.

Goodwin told a story of a group that came into Ibby’s and showed IDs saying they were 21 to order drinks, but then had a birthday cake delivered that said “Happy 20th Birthday!” WUPD was immediately called. Ibby’s, one of the only places left on campus that serves alcohol, is trying to crack down on fake ID usage.

Hazelwood said he usually collects about 25 fake IDs per month while Mangelsborf obtains 48. They both said that buying off the Internet, no matter how good the ID is, is useless, and that if your hologram is a key, a globe, or the word “official,” they already know it’s a fake. Some students even come in with IDs that say “novelty item, this is not a real ID” on the back of the card.

Mangelsborf added that at his bar, using a fake ID can often be seriously detrimental to students, because the IDs taken from SLU students are handed over to the university. Punishment for having a fake ID at SLU is the equivalent to that for cheating on an exam, unlike Washington University where students only have to pay a fine.

“I collected a fake ID from one kid who was an athlete, and he lost his scholarship because of it,” he said. “He lost going to SLU because of his fake ID.”

Hazelwood and Goodwin both agreed that if Washington University wants to stop fake ID usage, they should hit students where it hurts: their academics, not their pockets.

The punishment for a first offense is a $400 fine; the second, a $750 fine.

“I had a Wash. U. girl who will remain nameless—all I know about her is her name and that she is loaded, because a law firm contacted me the next day to set up a meeting to get her fake ID back, to protect her,” Hazelwood said. “Your parents are gonna throw money at this problem.”

The speakers all agreed that drinking isn’t necessarily bad, but they stressed the fact that moderation is always key.

“I’ve seen single nights that change a person’s life forever” Goodwin said. “You’re young and you think you’re indestructible until your life is shattered by that one night.”

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