Houses' 'Happy Hours' Violate State Liquor Licensing Laws

House "Happy Hours" violate Massachusetts liquor licensing laws, a spokesman for the Cambridge Licensing Board said last week.

Drinks sold at these weekly "Happy Hours" are illegal because the Houses do not have liquor licenses. Phyllis McLaughlin, secretary of the Cambridge Licensing Board said.

McLaughlin said liquor can be served without a license only in private clubs where the members bring their own liquor.

Most Houses Imbibe

All but a few of the 12 Houses have served liquor at "Happy Hours." Some, like Winthrop and Lowell Houses, have "Happy Hour" on a regular weekly basis.

Warren H. Otto '76, chairman of the Lowell House committee, said Monday he believes Lowell's "Happy Hour" is legal because it does not actually sell drinks, but merely accepts suggested donations to cover the cost of the liquor.

The Lowell House committee has sought no legal advice on the subject, Otto said.

McLaughlin said the law mandates fixing and posting drink prices, so that even voluntary contributions are illegal.

John L. Thornton '76, chairman of the Eliot House committee said Eliot does not sell drinks, but accepts activity card points for them, as the House does for dances and movies. Activity cards are sold by the House.

The chairmen of other House committes with regular "Happy Hours" were unavailable for comment yesterday.

Archie C. Epps III, dean of students, said that Kirkland House approached him last year to ask if they could have a "Happy Hour." Epps said he told them then that this would be illegal.

Kirkland holds "Happy Hours" occasionally.

Epps also said he did not know that the Houses were selling liquor, but he will now contact the Houses to inquire about the Happy Hours.

The Crimson reported on November 21 that Harvard final clubs violate Massachusetts law by selling liquor without a license, as do the Happy Hours.

John Sennett, chairman of the Cambridge Licensing Board, said that no club has filed an application for a liquor license since the appearance of the Crimson article.

H. Gilman Nichols '52, graduate president of the Fly club, last week declined to comment on what action his club would take in the matter, but he said "the authorities" were aware of the situation in the clubs for 20 years, and hadn't cared about it.

John Larkin, executive secretary of the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission said his office was unaware of the situation in the clubs until contacted by the Crimson.

He said his office would have to know more about the case before taking any action.