President Jones Announces Affiliation with Prohibitionist Group

President John E. Jones has recently announced to the Dickinson community his affiliation with the Pennsylvania Anti-Saloon League, a prohibitionist group founded in 1883, after rumors  of his affiliation have circulated campus over the past few weeks. The league has lobbied politically for the end of all alcohol manufacturing, sales, and consumption nationally until 1933, when laws supporting prohibition were removed. The group has since rebranded into what is known today as the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board. 

“Jones has been an active supporter of the Pennsylvania Anti-Saloon League since he first came to Dickinson in 1973” said Mary Daiquiri, a member of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board since 1998. “He learned about prohibitionist policies in one of his law courses and has been an activist ever since. I am in admiration of his work and am a firm believer that he is the reincarnation of the founder of the Anti-Saloon League.”

Toward the start of his legal career, Jones served as the chairman for the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board from 1995 to 2002. He notably banned all sales of Bad Frog Beer during this time, after determining that the company’s label (consisting of a frog giving the middle finger) was in “bad taste” and was quoted saying that the logo was “too rich for my blood.” He was also a board member and president-elect of the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association (NABCA), until resigning to pursue his career in law. 

Brandee Gin-Negroni, one of the former presidents of the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association and a fellow prohibition activist, stated, “During his time with the NABCA, our organization was able to begin a stricter regulation of alcohol consumption on college campuses nationally. His work has also enabled the NABCA to become closer to enforcing prohibitionist policies today at places like Dickinson College.”

Many students, however, have expressed their outrage with the college’s current regulation of alcohol and the presence of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board on campus. Samuel Adams ‘23 was fined by undercover police working with the PLCB last semester for the public consumption of alcohol, but argues that this fine was unjust. 

“I was 21 years old at the time and was walking back from Quick Stop Deli to my friend’s apartment in Goodyear,” Adams told The Dickinsonian, “I had purchased a couple of drinks and decided to open one while I was walking over. Two people dressed in black were standing by one of the entrances, saw me with the open beverage, asked for my ID and fined me on the spot. I wasn’t drunk and only had a couple of sips of my drink, so this was extremely frustrating. Open consumption shouldn’t be a crime.”

Sirah Sangria ‘24 also spoke of her frustrations with the PLCB. “It feels like most of the parties on campus, regardless of whether or not alcohol is present, are being shut down. We are literally in college, I don’t understand why we are being penalized for wanting to have a good time.”

Jones’s announcement has also lead to various posts to circulate on the social media platform Yik Yak, with claims that “President Jones is looking FIRE for a guy who born in 1893” and “John E. Jones better watch out for Juni. B. Jones who will not stand for this injustice.” As the year progresses, many hope that the prohibition era will remain in the early 1900s where it belongs.