ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Students at the University of New Mexico are gaining support for a beer taproom on campus, and administrators seem to be open to the idea.
Senior leadership at UNM said they welcome any idea that will help create a stronger sense of community. Gus Pedrotty is a fourth-year student at UNM.
“I’m in a dual-degree program for chemistry and psychology. And I do research with music in the brain,” said Pedrotty.
But he took up another focus recently. Inspired by a trip to Colorado State University, he is campaigning for a beer taproom at UNM.
“We saw a tap room that vitalized the community, invigorated student groups and was just a great meeting place for faculty staff and students,” said Pedrotty. Realizing New Mexico’s brew scene is one of the best in the nation, really a community jewel. We wondered why we didn’t incorporate it into our campus.”
In just a few weeks, the UNM taproom petition on change.org has collected more than 400 signatures. UNM undergraduate student body president Kyle Biederwolf said students are excited about this possibility.
“Eighty-one percent of undergraduates who had participated in this poll said they supported it as well,” said Biederwolf.
Student organizers said the taproom is about much more than simply another spot to drink on campus.
“Seeing a space where everyone is interacting. Graduate students, med school students, law students, people from South campus, and the athletics department. And the wall is lined with fine arts, beautiful photography assignments,” said Pedrotty.]
This sense of community is something UNM’s administrators encourage.
“Our master plan, liive-learn-work-play, this is building community,” said Chris Vallejos, Associate Vice President, UNM.
Students said they think the sub would be an ideal location for the new tap room.
“The SUB is really an epicenter for the whole community. It’s the heart of a lot of things that go on here. It’s a place where people relax, enjoy each other’s company.”
So where does this idea go from here?
“We have to seek input from not only regents, but from senior leadership, and faculty and students,” said Vallejos.
And Vallejos said further discussion is needed to really flesh this idea out.
“We don’t know. Is it going to be a full taproom. Is it going to be one we bring brew in from a different taproom,” said Vallejos.
And organizers didn’t forget to mention there is an educational element to this idea — after all.
“Drinking responsibly, responsible consumption and what that’s like. Normalizing it and destigmatizing alcohol consumption,” said Pedrotty.
A powerful message, one senior leadership said they can get behind.
And the general area either in the SUB or smith plaza are possible locations being discussed for the future taproom.
Students will present their ideas for a taproom to the regents for the first time at a meeting on Tuesday.