Edward Rada, a UCLA economics professor who has fought every effort to serve alcohol on campus, claimed victory last week with the conversion of a proposed student pub into an ice cream parlor.
"I'm extremely pleased," said Rada, who is associated with the public health department. "It may be incongruous, but entirely fitting to serve ice cream, rather than alcohol on a university campus."
Rada made his comments after students abandoned their three-year attempt to obtain a liquor license from the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Board to serve beer and wine at the Cooperage, a student-run restaurant at UCLA.
The 69-year-old professor has been a virtual one-man band in the campaign against serving alcoholic beverages on campus. He was twice credited with persuading the alcohol control board to deny a license to the Board of Control of the Associated Students of UCLA, a corporation that acted on behalf of UCLA students. However, he lost two other battles: one to keep alcohol out of some parts of Westwood near the campus and another that would have banned alcohol from the faculty center on campus.
Richard Wheeler, food services director for the UCLA Associated Students, said that the students "at this point" have dropped plans to seek a liquor license for the Cooperage, which was equipped with beer taps and wine spigots when completed in 1982.
He said that facilities for serving beer and wine will remain intact, should student leaders decide to renew efforts to obtain the license. Several University of California campuses, including those at Berkeley, Santa Barbara, Irvine and Riverside, have obtained such licenses.
"Our basic position is that prohibition does not work," Wheeler said. "You'd have to be an ostrich with his head in the sand to believe that not allowing beer and wine in a legal setting means that there is no alcohol drinking among students on campus."
Ron Taylor, UCLA's undergraduate student body president, said that student efforts to obtain a liquor license will be concentrated on LuValle Commons, a newly completed graduate student union, and on a new pub to be incorporated into a proposed remodeling of the floor of the student union on which the Cooperage is located.
He said that the ABC may look more kindly on a license for a facility serving graduate--thus older--students at LuValle Commons. And one of the problems at the Cooperage, he said, has been the difficulty of separating the pub from the area in which food is being served to presumably minor students.
Plans to remodel the floor housing the Cooperage will include a separate place for serving beer and wine, Taylor said.
"There has always been a strong student sentiment for a pub on campus," Taylor said, "and my hunch is that students still strongly favor such a facility. While I personally do not drink alcohol, I support a student pub on campus."
Rada, who is planning to retire next July, said that he "will be around" to oppose any future efforts.
"I plan to maintain an office on campus after my retirement," Rada said. "I will continue to oppose alcohol at the university."
He said that he developed an aversion to alcohol while serving as a Navy officer during World War II. "I saw the general debilitating effects on performance in the Navy," he said. "Although I am basically a teetotaler, I will drink as much as I have to to make a toast . . . " Rada acknowledged that he has been the only person publicly identified with opposing liquor licenses at UCLA.
"But I have a lot of silent allies on campus," he said. "They feel it's too risky to come out into the open. You are considered an oddball to take a public position against alcohol. I guess I am something of a crusader on the issue."