After nearly four years of resolutions, promises and problems, John LaBoda, president of the Students? Association, announced, ?we are going to have a pub here on this campus around the start of next semester.? The announcement came at the conclusion of the 152nd Convocation ceremony last Friday.

The pub will be on the third floor of Wilson Commons, where the game room is currently located. Some of the pool tables will remain, but the room will be renovated to allow the serving of snack foods and alcohol.

The history of the pub goes back to the Residential College Commission, where the idea first surfaced, and to November 1998, when the Students?Association Senate established an ad-hoc committee to investigate the possibility of a pub on campus.

On March 22, 1999 the Senate unanimously passed a resolution to build a sports pub on campus. The faculty council followed on April 7, 1999 with a full endorsement of the idea. That spring student leaders submitted a proposal to the administration.

After the final proposal was sent to the Board of Trustees in February of 2000, many students believed a hangout would appear by the start of that fall. In Sept 2000, no pub was on campus due to issues relating to the viability of sustaining it and updates to Douglass and Danforth dining centers over the summer.

Plans for a pub resurfaced in April 2001 when the SA Senate passed a resolution supporting a pub. LaBoda and Dean of The College William Green, worked over the summer to overcome the obstacles that had prevented the pub?s creation before. Green said that the pub was ?something that students wanted and something I was happy to support.?

The difference this time, according to LaBoda, was University President Thomas Jackson?s definite ?yes.? Director of Wilson Commons, Rob Rouzer noted that the pub will serve snack food, but not have a grill, a cost that was seen as prohibitive before.

The details of construction are not set, but the goals for the pub are well articulated by faculty, students and administrators. John LaBoda?s chief-of-staff Lonny Mallach expressed his ?hope that it will be [a] positive affect? on student life.

?If the pub works, faculty should feel comfortable going there at the end of the day,? said Gerald Gamm, professor of political science and history. ?[It] will provide an environment where professors, graduate students and undergraduates should all feel comfortable.?

LaBoda also expressed his hope that a pub will ?break down invisible barriers? in order to improve the relations between students and faculty.

In addition to the physical presence of a gathering place, proposed programming that is ?edgier and louder? than the current Common Grounds Caf variety is viewed as a way to bring people together.

Rouzer foresees the pub as ?one more reason to make [Wilson Commons] a destination.? Bringing life back to Wilson Commons has been a goal of many, and played a part in the placing of the pub there.

When asked if a name had been decided on yet, Rouzer said there was ?nothing concrete,? but suggestions have been made. LaBoda?s pick ? ?T.J.?s Place.?

The CT?s endorsement for the pub?s name will appear in next week?s issue. If you have suggetsions, e-mail them to editor@campustimes.org or vote at www.campustimes.org.

Alissa Miller can be reached at amiller@campustimes.org.



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