Reviving the long-fought battle for a pub on campus, the Students? Association Senate passed a resolution Monday, April 2 supporting the building of a pub.
Sophomore and Chief of Staff Lonny Mallach now chairs a new committee to explore pub options.
There are no specific plans yet, but Mallach is optimistic.
?We who are working on it have a lot of hopes and goals of what will come about. In terms of what has actually been done, right now we?re still in the initial stages,? he said.
If a pub is going to exist on the River Campus, don?t expect it very soon.
River Campus Dean of Students Mary-Beth Cooper said that there will be no movement between now and the beginning of fall semester.
She said that the issues of feasibility and viability are at the forefront of the issue.
?I?d love to be able to create an environment where students would be able to linger and hang out,? she said.
Mallach expressed frustration with the lack of action in the eight months since the original plans were put on hold.
He said that the cost of building a pub, projected at less than half a million dollars, would be less than the cost of recent projects on the River Campus, such as Dandelion Square and the Robert B. Goergen Athletic Center.
?I think it just wasn?t a priority for them,? he said. ?If the university wanted a pub, the university would have a pub.?
He also stated that the recent tuition increase will bring millions of dollars in additional income to UR next year.
Giving up on the pub is the last thing on Mallach?s mind. He is circulating a petition to students. He said he has never heard of a petition at UR that gained more than 1,000 signatures, and he hopes to far surpass that number.
?If students want this, which I think they do, then they can sign the petition,? he said.
Cooper said that the number of students old enough to drink had to be taken into consideration when considering the pub?s feasibility.
Mallach however, said age is not an issue, because the pub should offer options for underage patrons.
?We?re not trying to build a place where you go to get trashed,? he said.
The pub project has been in the works since fall 1998. Student leaders submitted a proposal to administrators in the spring of 1999. A final proposal went to the Board of Trustees in February 2000.
At that point, the student committee involved in planning the project hoped to have the pub open on the third floor of Wilson Commons in the fall of 2000.
Over the summer, however, the pub was put off indefinitely. The Board of Trustees never voted on it, and remodeling at Danforth Dining Center and Douglass Food Court were made priorities over the new pub.
Quentin Roach, director of purchasing and auxiliary, said at the time that the pub was put on the ?back burner? because of the remodeling.
Senior and former class of 2001 senator Sam Tasker originally proposed the pub. He is pleased with the resolution.
?This new resolution is clearly sending a message to the administration and to the UR community that the students believe in this idea and are not going to back down until the right thing is done,? he said.
Tasker has hopes for the new pub committee.
?The committee is going to try to improve by being more efficient, by including more students and by using a more diverse committee of UR community members to try to make this fit,? he said.
Tasker is happy to leave the pub effort in the hands of Mallach.
?He is an optimist and a very hard worker. His leadership in the effort to get a pub is our strongest asset,? Tasker said. ?The reality is that it isn?t a safe bet for UR students to count on the administration.?