What SCSU Needs: A Beer Major!
by Silence Dogood

According to an MPR article on April 24, 2016, “an Illinois university has a new accredited degree in fermentation science to train future brewers, distillers and vintners.”

According to the article, “We know this is a growth industry and our students will be well prepared to gain employment in this field.” As a result of enrollment declines and the concomitant budget deficits, SCSU’s President Potter is beating the bushes to grow enrollment by creating new programs. With an on-campus FYE enrollment decline from FY2010 through FY2016 of 24.5%, rushing to create new majors to attract students seems a bit like an act of desperation. However, in this case, a ‘beer major’ fits in well with the university’s decision to sell beer at hockey games “to enrich the student experience.” In fact, with the explosive growth in micro-breweries, the potential for a “Husky Brew” to enhance the SCSU brand is obvious. SCSU could be the first MnSCU university with its own brew! Think of all the free publicity you could get for that! After Colorado legalized consumption of pot, applications at the University of Colorado at Boulder increased by 30,000 applicants in the first year. So considering the recent enrollment declines this seems like a natural decision for SCSU.

The MPR article ends with the statement: “a 74,000 square-foot, geo-thermal building called the McLafferty Annex Collaborative Research Facility on the campus’s west side will be home to the program.” Another plus would be that a ‘beer major’ would fit in well with the intended purpose of the Integrated Science and Engineering Laboratory Facility (ISELF) and in even a cursory walk around the ISELF building it is clear that there is plenty of space available to house it. As a result, SCSU already has available building space for the program saving millions in building costs.

A Beer major would be a natural tie in to Husky Hockey beer sales with the potential for additional revenue coming from eliminating the middleman. All that would be necessary is to simply run a line from the ISELF building to the Brooks Center and voila, Husky Brew on tap! And you can’t say it wouldn’t be popular—I’m sure there would be all kinds of interest!

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