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City Council votes Oxford Township dry

By Chris Curme
On April 1, 2014

This is a satirical piece.

The Oxford City Council voted Thursday to prohibit the sale and consumption of alcohol in Oxford Township effective May 1. On that date, Oxford will join roughly eight other dry communities in Ohio.

City ordinance number 3252, introduced by Councilman I. M. Bibe, passed overwhelmingly with six yeas, one nay and no abstentions.

Bibe, a Miami University alumnus, had previously been Miami's liaison to the Oxford City Council and the Oxford Chamber of Commerce.

"The abundance of alcohol in the township and its ready availability to students is the root cause of almost all crime in the city proper," Bibe said. "I see most of the city's grievances toward the university as stemming from alcohol related actions on students' part."

Mayor Erin Gobrales was the lone dissenting vote.

"We need to face facts," Gobrales said. "Alcohol, both its sale and consumption, keep Oxford's economic environment viable. Whether we like it or not, we have built a town around alcohol sales and activities, and to suddenly remove that element may be disastrous."

This sentiment was echoed when the floor opened to the public.

"This is a complete rejection of free market principles," Oxford Liquor Hut manager Devansh Sengupta said. "Who is to tell me I cannot participate in a business legal in the eye of the federal government? You are going to destroy this town. Not only will liquor stores and bars be the first to go-then late-night restaurants, too."

However, the majority of public comments expressed support of the measure.

"I cannot count the number of times drunken students have upturned my flowerpots or vomited on my front step," Mile Square resident Anna Septic said. "They are paying large sums of money to earn a degree; I can't see how destroying their bodies and others' property is essential to such a venture."

Septic's comments were met with applause from the packed courthouse. No Miami students were in attendance, as many were getting intoxicated on spring break last week.

"I just wish a single student had shown to this meeting," resident Ida Clair said. "Then they might sympathize with the council the slightest bit. But of course, they're not here. So screw 'em!"

This was, again, met with thunderous applause. In a scene that may appear bizarre and hostile to some, a detached observer could see an overarching empathy in the room-a sense of care for a shared community, inundated with "careless interlopers."

Oxford resident Al E. Gory once lived on Oberlin Court in the Mile Square.

"I was essentially forced out of my house as students moved in around me," Gory said. "It wasn't the mere presence of students that was damaging, it was their behavior. It was their constant drunkenness on weekends, the noise and the destruction of our property and peace of mind."

Among a sea of sympathetic tears, resident after resident waited behind the microphone to tell stories hauntingly similar to Gory's.

"Ordinance 3253 will unquestionably lead to a reduction in petty crime," Oxford Police Department (OPD) Sergeant Erasmus B. Dragon said. "Consequential layoffs are a fair price to pay for a safer city."

While drunken conduct keeps OPD busy on weekends, Dragon said no officer wishes for more crime just to stay on the job.

Miami President Havid Dodge was careful not to endorse or criticize the City Council's actions.

"It was a democratic decision made by the city's leaders," Dodge said. "There is little I could have done, if I would have wanted to intervene, which I'm not sure I would have, but maybe-I don't know. What's done is done."

"Wait-what!?" wide-eyed Miami sophomore Anita Drink said. She sputtered and was speechless.

This will indeed be surprising to most students returning from break, as getting drunk is now irrevocably synonymous with "going Uptown."

"I wonder if the council considered how this might affect Uptown businesses," sophomore Lucy Bowels said. "I know it's not the most healthful activity, but it certainly will really change up the Uptown landscape."

Indeed, Oxford Spirits has already posted a "Going out of Business," sign in their window. Various bars up and down High Street have begun advertising "End of an Era" blowout parties.

Who is to say how High Street will look in the coming years? Perhaps it will fill with bookstores or cafes. Now that The Princess is again boarded up, Brick Street may well resume operations as a movie theater.

"If students want to get drunk that badly, they should brew it themselves-like real men," Oxfordian Rusty O'Dowell said. "I've got two moonshine stills out back and one down'a Riley. I'll be damned if I ever pay for no bottled crap."

O'Dowell was removed from the chamber in handcuffs at the conclusion of Thursday's proceedings.

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