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COC University Center Allowed To Serve Alcohol Under Certain Restrictions

Gov. Schwarzenegger recently signed a bill that permits the selling and consumption of alcoholic beverages during events held at a community college-owned facility used to school K-12 students, but only if those students are off the grounds.  

AB 1643, written by Assemblyman Cameron Smyth, R-Santa Clarita, defines “event” as only a fundraiser for a nonprofit.  


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The bill, which was supported by College of the Canyons, affects the campuses’ new University Center as it is home to both the Academy of the Canyons (grades 11 and 12) and the Early College High School (grades 9-12).  

The University Center is a robust three-story building, located on the campus’ south end, that offers various advanced degrees, certificates and teaching credentials. COC had also planned on using the top floor to hold various community events. However, as both the Academy of the Canyons and the Early College High School are also in that building, the use of alcohol was prohibited.  

The new bill, effective immediately, allows for alcohol consumption, but only when any K-12 students are not present at the facility.  

“This will all be highly regulated,” said Eric Harnish, Director of External Relations at COC.  

When serving alcohol, Harnish said the event will require an alcohol permit, of which COC is given a limit of 24 per year.  

“We already had the ability to serve alcohol during events on other parts of the campus,” said Harnish. “Now we can do that when the University Center holds community events, which usually take place later in the night.”