NEOSHO, Mo. — For the first time, Crowder College is considering allowing alcohol consumption on its campuses across the region, but only for when the Crowder College Foundation is hosting fundraising events.

The college's Board of Trustees approved the first reading of the policy during its regular meeting on June 24. It will be brought for a second reading and final passage during the board's next regular meeting, set for July 22.

"This is the first time we've considered anything like this," said President Glenn Coltharp. "Our current policy is that there is none. This is pretty basic, and pretty conservative."

The policy provides a vehicle for the foundation to offer alcoholic beverages on campus properties when raising funds. Among its provisions:

• Requests to offer beverages must be made to the college president 30 days in advance.

• All state and federal laws, including those banning sale to minors, must be followed.

• Only foundation or donor funds may be used to purchase alcohol for the fundraising events.

• The events would require an external caterer with a state liquor license, and must be held outside normal day-time operation of the campus.

Discussion of the policy has been ongoing since January, Coltharp said, when Crowder College Foundation Director Jim Cullumber suggested a change to policy would make holding certain types of fundraisers much easier. Finding an off-site location for events such as a recent Tour de Cass in Cassville and a dinner theater gets difficult, he said.

The policy is not viewed as the beginning of a wider expansion of alcohol on campus, Coltharp said. There are no current efforts to allow alcohol sales at Crowder athletic events, and the campus of the two-year college does not offer the same types of traditional, on-campus communities as Missouri's four-year universities.

"I think this is as far as any of us want to go," Coltharp said. "I also see us monitoring how things go, so if this change is something we feel like didn't work out or didn't have a positive impact, we can review it."

Joe Hadsall is the digital editor for The Joplin Globe. He has been the editor of the former Nixa News-Enterprise and has worked for the Christian County Headliner News and 417 Magazine.