The liquor store, which has been a big part of the culture for college students at the university festival, has become difficult to open this year. Last year’s school festival showcased distinctive liquor stores, events, and meaningful experience booths in each department, and was run to help students actively participate and enjoy themselves. However, on May 1, 2018, the Ministry of Education issued an official letter to each university stating the “Law on Mainstream Sales of Liquor.” This is in accordance with the current liquor tax law, which states that 'selling alcohol without a liquor sales license will result in imprisonment for up to three years or fines of 30 million won or less.'
Originally, to operate a street liquor store on campus, you must have a corresponding license. Previously, however, there was no government oversight or crackdown on this issue. That's why college students were illegally operating street liquor stores every year on campus without any problems. The university's student association was investigated and cautioned by the National Tax Service for operating a street liquor store without a license to sell alcohol.
So why the sudden alcohol sales crackdown?” In 2017, a student association of a university located in Incheon purchased liquor from a liquor company and sold liquor by opening a street liquor store during the festival. The university's student association was investigated and cautioned by the National Tax Service for operating a street liquor store without a license to sell alcohol. Afterwards, students of that college questioned the fairness of crackdowns and punishments, and the National Tax Service asked the Ministry of Education to send the above official documents to universities nationwide.
The opinions of university students about 'prohibition of alcohol sales on campus' are divided. Some students are complaining about the ban, claiming that running a street liquor store is a special culture that only college students can enjoy. But some students say it is desirable to remove unnecessary drinking accidents on campus and support the ban to enjoy a healthy festival.
Before discussing the conflict, however, the government had already issued official letters, so students at each university had to come up with a plan to organize a festival without selling alcohol right now. In the case of other universities that have already held festivals, the so-called "liquor store without alcohol" was popular. “Liquor store without alcohol does not sell liquor, but sells only snacks eaten with drinks. Instead, if customers buy alcohol from other places, they can enjoy drinking at a liquor store on campus. This is not a direct sale of liquor from a liquor store, but the purchase or drinking of alcohol by a customer indirectly or voluntarily. Therefore, students are not operating a pub which sells alcohol without a license and is not legally problematic because there is no profit from selling alcohol. In addition to this, there are some cases where they can rent out a shop outside of their campus and run a liquor store. This method is not run on campus, and if the liquor sales license holder is in attendance and the student who sells the liquor does not receive profit for liquor sales, the IRS has notified stated that it is not a legal issue.
So, how are the students at Changwon National University preparing for the upcoming changed festival in September? The Department of English and English at Changwon University College of Humanities has changed the 'liquor store without alcohol' by changing the ordinary liquor store system of last year. They will make and sell only a snack eaten with drinks, but they are planning various events such as roulette and distributing drinks as prizes. The International Trade Department at Changwon University will also operate a "liquor store without alcohol." Merely, alcohol is not provided in any way, but it is possible for customers to bring in and drink it voluntarily. There are some departments that legitimately operate 'liquor stores' and some departments that have planned other measures instead of pubs. The department of special education at Changwon University's College of Humanities will run a meaningful festival with the help of a business group instead of a liquor store.
As such, for the upcoming September festival at Changwon National University, each department is preparing to welcome the festival that has changed in various ways. Students are paying a lot of attention to 'Will the Changed Festival operating successfully, really?’
Park Ji-Hwan, cub-reporter email@example.com
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