Last Friday students, faculty and staff gathered in the Meliora for Club Rochester, relaxing and socializing before the evening’s men’s and women’s basketball games against Washington University in St. Louis’s teams. The event, which was co-sponsored by the Dean of The College, Dean of Students, Dining Services, Wilson Commons Student Activities, Senior Class Council and the Students’ Association, provided plenty of free food and discounted alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. “This event was a great success,” Senior Class Council President Sara Finiki said. “It was fun to see everyone relaxing and building school spirit before the big basketball games. For a first time event, this is a great turnout.”That sentiment was echoed by Dean of Students Jody Asbury and Assistant Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences Lisa Norwood, who proclaimed that the event was a slam dunk. The success of this pilot program is likely to lead to future Club Rochester events. “I’m thrilled with the experiment and turnout,” Asbury said. “The bartenders were fun, charismatic and skillful. We hope that the success of this event will continue on the last Friday of every month through the end of this semester.”The bartenders enjoyed helping out at the event. “I get a great deal of satisfaction when I can help show my friends a fun time,” senior and SA President Chris Calo said. “The room was packed for much of the time. We received a lot of positive feedback. Everyone kept asking if Club Rochester could happen more often.” Director of Wilson Commons and Student Activities Anne-Marie Algier said that future Club Rochester events will probably not have as much free food as this first one did but that there will still be discounted beverages, free snacks and great company. “We are still in the trial stage of the program, but if it keeps going well, we may offer the program next year on a more regular basis,” Algier said. Students attending the event were just as pleased as administrators. “This event had a better turn out and better drink specials than The Hive ever had,” senior Mike Hakiel said. “I think it’s good that the university is trying to foster school spirit. Having students bartend attracted a lot of students.” Club Rochester was just one of several events which took place during Spirit Week. “This week it seemed like UR was a big-time college,” senior Danielle Pappas said. This event got people excited about the games. I hope the school continues this program.” Asbury and Dean of The College William Green thought up the idea for this event. “Dean Green had the idea to try this out, and we loved it,” Calo said. The first Club Rochester is part of a greater effort being made by the university to provide more social outlets to students. The success and excitement surrounding the basketball teams was a great opportunity to launch this event. Reaction to the idea of the event was completely positive. All of the co-sponsors worked with one another to create the social atmosphere that they envisioned. “This was a tremendous effort between many parts of the university,” ARAMARK Resident District Manager Brad Bingaman said. “Club Rochester was a huge success and [Dining Services] is proud to be a co-sponsor. We are looking forward to future ones.” “ARAMARK was very receptive to our goals,” Calo agreed.”I think this is a great opportunity for students to interact with deans and faculty in a relaxed atmosphere,” junior Anna Lessenger said. “I like seeing so many people here supporting the basketball team and showing school spirit.”The event certainly seems to have helped revitalize school spirit. rwood, who is also a UR alumna, echoed the students’ positive reaction to school spirit. “It’s a great rebirth of the camaraderie between students, faculty and staff,” she said. “I remember when I was a student here and we had Happy Hours with the faculty. Seeing this type of event from the university’s side, I can see its benefit.” “I am hopeful the event brought some more people out to the games than would have otherwise attended,” Algier said, speaking of the impressive turnout to that evening’s basketball games, which filled the Palestra with excited fans.”We thought having an opportunity to get some food and drink right on campus before the games would entice some faculty to stick around for the games and I think it worked.”Keesing can be reached at

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