SCAN sued by TAMIU Alumni Association

Sometimes… you just have to know how to pick your battles. Apparently the Webb County Community Coalition of SCAN hasn’t because they have just been SUED. That is right, ladies and gentlemen and all readers of this funky little blog. If you recall in my post titled “Go back to the drawing board” yesterday, SCAN wants TAMIU to ban alcohol from its campus, particularly from the Autmus Festival and the Laredo Heat soccer games. They launched a misguided (in my opinion) media campaign and well… if they wanted to be in the media so badly, guess this is one way to do it.

The TAMIU Alumni Association is suing SCAN for defamation and “tortious interference with prospective relations” because as stated in the lawsuit:

beginning in September of 2009, Melissa Belmares-Cavazos and Mario Flores, who are SCAN “Program Director(s)”, began a campaign to undermine Autmus Fest by targeting the TAMIU Alumni. Belmares-Cavazos began associating “underage drinking” and “binge drinking” with Autmus Fest in an email to the SCAN e-mail listserv.

By the looks of what is in the suit, the TAMIU Alumni Association had a meeting in 2009 AND in 2010 with SCAN and stated:

(1) the TAMIU Alumni were not in violation of any of the university’s rules; (2) the TAMIU Alumni encourage alcohol education awareness and even offered to provide SCAN with a booth at AutMus Fest to promote alcohol awareness; (3) that alcohol sales would take place in designated, controlled areas; and (4) the TAMIU Alumni were in strict compliance with the law and were vigilant regarding safety and crowd control.

Apparently, this was just not good enough for the SCAN representatives.

What I don’t understand is what does SCAN win with this campaign? To target a music festival where there is vigilance and plenty of witnesses doesn’t make sense – the real targets should be the culture of drinking in Laredo and the students who fall into it.

There was a comment on my post from yesterday that really struck a chord with me by someone named Ed Oviedo (who shares my birthday – NQV!):

Drinking culture??? I’ve been in Laredo for 14 years, actually to the day today. When we stepped out or went out in other cities where I resided, we would say, “Let’s go out.” or “Are we going out???” Sure, there would be drinking at times, but only in Laredo have I heard the phrases, “We went DRINKING”, “Let’s go DRINKING” or “Are we going DRINKING???” It may be perceived as the same thing but, in other cities, the emphasis is in having fun, not in imbibing. Go figure…

Interesting observation, no?

The saddest part in this lawsuit, though, are the attached exhibits. For representatives with such enthusiasm to prevent heavy drinking, there are pages and pages and pages of Facebook posts with status updates like:

“…I have a major headache this morning but i am out and about …” with a response by JFS asking “La Cruda?” and the SCAN rep responding, “Oh yea!!!”

“Having fun…” with a response from CR-B, “I bet u R… drink some for me.” and the SCAN rep responding, “We will girl.”

“Free drinks….”

“I really need to go out and have some fun… let me know who is going out on Thursday night.. Where is a good place to go and just chill with some cold ones???” with a response from CCV, “Mel, let’s go to Mary’s house… she’s having a gold party, but not for you to purchase gold, but u take ur scrap gold & get paid top dollar for it… …PS) There will be alcoholic beverages served there… & its all for FREE!!!…”

Uh, what color was that kettle again? Don’t make me go quoting Gandhi again… oh, alright, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

Another lesson to learn here is that Facebook is public record and your words can speak just as loud as your actions, but that is not the point of this post.

I know that binge drinking and underage drinking are a problem, especially on college campuses. I still believe the battle should include a more effective approach to fighting heavy drinking at an early age and with the college community and not a disingenuous media campaign that is only keeping us writers busy commenting.

If the TAMIU Alumni Association wins, they will get an ex parte temporary restraining order (which means no disparaging remarks, no insinuations of illegal drinking, no entering the property during AutMus, no disturbing the peace, and no to a bunch of other stuff) and damages which means the above SCAN representative leading this charge won’t be able to go get “a cold one” at AutMus.

So that leaves us with the following hopes:
1) that AutMus is a huge success to help increase scholarship monies and get people who have never been on the TAMIU campus to consider a university experience (I guess the line-up helps this point),
2) that SCAN can refocus its efforts on fighting heavy drinking by addressing the real issue and not a fundraising activity associated with the university but not the university,
3) that the two can actually come together to do something constructive and more inclusive of the community to help fight alcohol abuse,
4) and that people follow my example of not drinking other than the occasional sip of wine – hahaha, sorry, had to throw that in. I have fun whether people around me drink or not but start to lose fun when anyone drinks excessively. Sorry friends who drink – but you already know that.

If you go to the AutMus Festival on September 4, 2010 – have fun and drink in moderation!!

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About Que Fregados

Que Fregados is a quirky look at little things that strike us funny in Laredo and the unique Latino culture. Suggestions and comments are welcome. You can also email to quefregados@gmail.com.
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9 Responses to SCAN sued by TAMIU Alumni Association

  1. MaryHelen says:

    Well said and ditto.

  2. ChuckO says:

    Good comment QF. SCAN got a bit overly ambitious, we think. They do good work but this definitely seems over the top, leaving the TAMIU association not a lot of choice.

  3. BT Blues says:

    Great writeup! I’ll have a Dos XX in recognition of your post!

  4. Erinn says:

    Well said, and, having worked with SCAN on other projects, I will say they are a little misguided at times.

    However, I don’t think that they are that far reaching in attacking AutMus. I just think the reasoning they used was a little misguided. I think you touched on a very important topic in your 4th recommendation….The people of Laredo should drink less. I have lived in several communities, and right now I live in a college town, where literally everything that exists in town is because of the school. Even here, the drinking culture pales in comparison to that of Laredo. No one can seem to even attend a birthday party at Peter Piper’s without at least one pitcher.

    Now, AutMus is touted as a family event. Children under 12 even get in free, and even on the website there are pictures of kids enjoying themselves at the various game booths. Perhaps SCAN should have touched on that nerve, that maybe we’re setting a bad example to the kids, showing them that the only way to have a good time is to do it with a few drinks down the hatch.

    I also don’t think the appropriate response was a lawsuit. SCAN actually does do good work in the community, and depleting their legal budget for the year with a lawsuit they will clearly lose is not a good way to get on the good side of those who are SCAN benefactors. They are often the same people you may want to ask for a favor for from later…

  5. rick78 says:

    A Florida couple started to advertise a private massage gig on the paper in which the wife a buxom blonde beauty would give them. Since the mayor ,also a pastor , had gotten rid of all strip clubs along with spring breakers more less like the temperance movement of the early 1900’s there many male customers . The blonde beauty then turned giving sexual gratification to the male customers all the while the husband videotape the sexual encounter. The mayor , you know the pastor holier than thou, one day was a customer and was video taped having a sexual gratification session with the blonde beauty. Such is SCAN pushing the morality issue in they themselves use the evil product .

    • Que Fregados says:

      I see your point, Rick, but none of us are perfect. I think the problem comes with declaring your perfection, then you make an easy target when your imperfections are glaring. SCAN does serve for the good but in this case… se salieron

  6. Pingback: Beat Alcoholism

  7. Minors or beer?? says:

    To whom it may concern:

    I think this whole situation has been blown out of proportion! By carefully reading the letters to the editor written by both parties, SCAN and TAMIU, it seems to me that they are not on the same page.
    SCAN is in no way trying to stop the Autmus fest from happening, like pro 8 news said last nite, they are just not in favor of underage drinking and binge drinking. As an educational institution, the ones picking their battles should be TAMIU for allowing minors into the Autmus fest. It is sad to see how we as a community allow our children to see how we as adults can only have fun by drinking and getting intoxicated. There are other universities that hold festivities like these and ban minors from attending, why?? Because they care more about the safety of the children who of course end up going home with their intoxicated parents.
    If you see the advertisement that the Autmus fest has, there’s moonwalks and booths with children of all ages. Furthermore, they promote the free entrance of children under 12. If this is a family event, it should be clean fun, no beer. But since it is not, there’s a decision that needs to be made, minors or beer? One or the other, you can’t have both.
    I think that the intent of SCAN was not to harm the reputation of the university. What they want to do is to prevent a disaster from happening. Why do we have to wait for an accident or a catastrophe to happen? SCAN is known for their prevention programs and I think that their mission on this issue is loud and clear, to PREVENT!!
    Para el que dijo que esta vez si se pasaron: porque esperar a que el nino se caiga al pozo para poder taparlo!!!
    And the TAMIU Association does have a choice, to ban alcohol or make it an adult event. If SCAN was not in favor of alcohol sales altogether, they would have targeted the bars don’t you think??

  8. Pingback: Getting ready to imbibe | Que Fregados

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