In his appearance at the Students’ Association Senate meeting on Monday, Feb. 11, Dean of the College Richard Feldman began a dialogue to potentially redefine night life. The discussion, which was led largely by Feldman and supplemented by Associate Director of Wilson Commons Student Activities Laura Ballou, covered night life opportunities for students both on and off campus.
Feldman first addressed Senate concerns about a lack of safety for students who pursue off-campus venues.
“It’s our responsibility to cooperate with the city to provide a safe environment for students,” he said. “But it’s difficult to understand the capacity UR security officers have to protect students off campus.”
While not opposed to the idea of improving off-campus night life, Feldman maintained the importance of a vibrant on-campus night life that would be supervised by the University. Citing the fact that all fraternities are currently off probation and able to organize social events, Feldman assured Senate that “there is no opposition to providing opportunities for a thriving student life.”
Amid a round of supportive senate snaps, he added, “I’m on your side.”
Despite Feldman’s confidence, some senators remained skeptical.
Once Starbucks closes, there’s not much to do on campus, pushing students to bars and clubs. A few proposed solutions involved keeping Starbucks open unil 2 a.m. or bringing back the on-campus bar.
“I don’t see why not,” Feldman replied. “If there’s going to be business, it seems like a terrific idea.”
Nevertheless, he argued that such a concept — a University-funded, University-supervised bar located on campus — had already been explored, referencing a bar that previously occupied the space that is now Starbucks. Though widely endorsed in theory, the bar closed in 2003 after losing popularity as students migrated to off-campus events.
“Still, it’s a possibility,” Feldman said.
Gould is a member of the class of 2014.