Though student leaders initially hoped to open a proposed alcohol-licensed pub in the Ivy Room in Willard Straight Hall this fall, the opening date has been pushed back until the spring.
“Right now it is kind of in the final approval by the president’s staff,” Student Assembly President Natalie Raps ’12 said. “It has to go through many different administrators to make sure everything’s on board ... But we’re all working with the expectation that it should be open next semester.”
The pub’s fall opening was delayed due to a need for more planning, including risk management precautions and obtaining a license to serve alcohol.
Although concerns about the pub have taken longer than expected to resolve, Raps said the delays were largely due to the size of the project.
“This is a really big change, and big changes take time to get approved and to make sure that everything is ready before it opens,” Raps said. “We’re basically making sure that all the pieces of the puzzle are fitted together before we go forward.”
One of the major issues to be addressed is getting a license to serve alcohol.
“We need to understand how long that will take,” Dean of Students Kent Hubbell ’67 said. “Until we know that, it’s hard to understand how long it will be until the pub opens.”
Additionally, leaders are working to resolve safety issues.
“We’re still working with Dining and Risk Management to make sure that all the issues and the kinks that we’ve foreseen can work out,” Raps said. “But everyone is very optimistic at this point.”
Raps emphasized the importance of the social element that the pub would provide.
“We have a need for some social outlet, not only for upperclassmen but for new students,” she said. “This is the way that the pub can really bring all undergraduates together in a way that right now there is a real void.”
Hubbell agreed that the pub would provide a unique opportunity for students of all ages to socialize.
“It seems to me that we need a variety of social venues,” he said. “While we know that five eighths of undergraduates cannot consume alcohol legally, we also know that three eighths can. We need to find a way to create a social venue that permits all students to socialize together despite the law that requires us to only serve alcohol to those who are of age.”
Raps said the recent changes in the University’s Recognition Policy — which prohibited freshmen at fraternity parties, among other changes — render the pub essential to a dynamic social environment on campus.
“Right now, with the changes that are going on around our social environment on campus — including with the Recognition Policy — the pub is a very important priority on campus,” Raps said.
S.A. Executive Vice President Adam Gitlin ’13 agreed.
“It’s a very big priority for the S.A. because the S.A. recognizes that there’s a need for late-night programming,” he said. “The pub is a great over-under venue so that students of all ages and classes can go to it, especially after the changes in the past year.”
Gitlin said that the pub will make Willard Straight Hall a focal point of campus life.
“It will allow a lot of student organizations to come together to plan and create programming. More students will be coming to Willard Straight to see all the concerts and events, so it will become a larger center — even more so than in the past,” he said.