As the Ronald Tutor Campus Center celebrated its grand opening last week, USC’s historic on-campus bar, Traditions, re-opened to the public with some major changes.
Traditions, located in the basement of the campus center, is now adjacent to Tommy’s Place, a new concert venue featuring performances by both USC students and other non-affiliated groups. In addition, Traditions is now a full-service bar and grill restaurant.
According to Kris Klinger, director of USC Hospitality, the venue was created as yet another location for students to relax and have fun while on campus.
“Our goal was to provide a space for all students, staff and faculty to enjoy,” he said.
In the past, Traditions was only accessible to students who were 21 or older. Now, the age restriction has been lifted and all students can visit both the restaurant and Tommy’s Place.
However, officials said this modification of rules does not change USC’s zero-tolerance policy for underage drinking on campus.
The entrance to Traditions is monitored by a Department of Public Safety officer who will check the identification of every person who wishes to enter the facility. People older than 21 will receive wristbands indicating they are allowed to order and consume alcohol.
Thus far, Klinger reported there have been one or two instances of underage students attempting to acquire wristbands from others.
DPS Capt. David Carlisle said he anticipates that underage students trying to obtain alcohol will be a minor issue.
“We hope that by publicizing that we are enforcing the rules, it will discourage people from breaking them,” Carlisle said.
Any student found breaking the rules will have their student information documented and sent to USC Student Judicial Affairs.
Beverly Tse, a sophomore majoring in biological sciences, said she doesn’t believe underage drinking at Traditions will be a problem, even with the opening of Tommy’s Place.
“There are so many ways to get alcohol off campus,” she said. “I wouldn’t come to a school-operated facility.”
Jacquee Bell, a sophomore majoring in theatre, disagrees.
She said she believes opening Traditions to underage students will allow them to find methods of obtaining alcohol once they are inside.
“The potential for problems exists because people can very easily slip off the wristbands or find discarded ones and put them on their wrists,” she said.
But, Klinger said he believes the security measures that are already in place will be adequate to deter students from engaging in illegal behavior.
“It’s a concern and we take it very seriously, but we also need to realize all the security resources we have available,” he said.