Students speak against open container city ordinance

The Hammond City Council met on Tuesday, May 3, to discuss an ordinance that would allow for open-containers of alcohol to be carried in the streets of Hammond’s Historic District.   

In attendance were several members of the Southeastern organization PEEPS, who were there rallying against the ordinance. Junior business administration major and PEEPS President Ryan Pattison had his voice heard, along with members of the community. Pattison and PEEPS members brought a garage bag full of empty beer cans they picked up. They used this to show how, if the ordinance would pass, littering would increase in the Historic District.

“It was a good victory for PEEPS and for the city of Hammond that the motion was denied,” said PEEPS Vice President Bryce Barras. “Many lives will be saved and it’s definitely a step in the right direction.”

Barras also voiced his concern on whether the ordinance would pass or not.

“I was very nervous. If it would’ve passed, it would’ve been very bad for not just Southeastern, but for the city of Hammond,” said Barras. “It would’ve, as we demonstrated in the meeting, left the city very dirty. It would’ve endangered Southeastern students and promoted bad behavior.”

Mayor Mayson Foster did not expect the bill to pass.

“The vote came out as I expected,” said Foster. “I did not think that it would pass because we have been getting a number of calls from churches, citizens and people that are living downtown that were not in favor of it. This came up at the request of one of the bars downtown, so it was brought up, again, by request. It turned out like I expected.”

District 4 Councilman Lemar F. Marshall spoke of why he voted to deny the ordinance.

“I think the Historic District is way too wide to allow for public drinking, and I’m not in support of it,” said Marshall. “I think that it was just not thought out, and it needs to be thought out a lot more before we commit to allow open containers on a permanent basis.”