A bar is needed on campus
March 23, 2007
I really don’t like flying; I hate takeoffs, I’m not a big fan of those jolted landings and I can’t stand being stuck in such a cramped area with some of the most odorous people who feel the need to tell you their life story.
Needless to say, as my plane landed in London this past August, I had one thing on my mind: I needed a drink.
I jumped on a train to the town of Reading where I was off to meet an old friend. After my nine-hour flight, an hour-long train ride and one of the scariest cab rides I have experienced to date, I found myself at the University of Reading.
My instructions were simple, “Go to the Student Union, wait for me in the pub and I’ll see you when I’m done with work.”
School was not in session at this point, which seemed like a relief to me. I just wanted some peace and quiet for the next hour or so. It was to my surprise that the Student Union was packed with students and faculty. School was not in session, the dorms were not in use and yet students were all hanging out on campus. It was lunch time, and the campus pub was transformed into the city’s hotspot. All around me there was good beer, good company, British accents and, of course, the hospitality of a gorgeous English “barmaid.” I spent the next hour drifting away in an ice-cold pint of English cider - Strongbow, as we know it.
Back to reality, it’s Monday night, I’m frantically trying to finish this column by deadline, I need to study up on the everso- exciting topic of “age dating rocks” and find time to practice for my ill-prepared saxophone lesson tomorrow. Again, I could use a drink. So it hits me - why doesn’t our campus have a bar? Here I sit in the brand new University Center, staring down at the barren area around Momma Leone’s pizza, envisioning myself taking a five-minute break to clear my head and relax with some friends.
I can already hear the clicking of the keyboards inside Student Health Services as they write their pre-emptive letters to the editor, but hear me out.
A bar on campus would be extremely beneficial and not at all uncommon to the UW System.
River Falls would join surrounding universities that serve alcohol on campus. Steven’s Point and Platteville have their own microbreweries, and Milwaukee’s Gasthaus pub is more than just a bar, it’s a restaurant, bar and hangout.
This University needs an establishment that serves both food and alcohol to the student body.
By having a pub-style establishment, students who are over the age of 21 would be able to drink and hang out in a safe setting. Students who are under the age of 21 would still be able to hang out and eat, just the same as popular restaurants like Applebee’s or Green Mill. This would keep students on campus at night and also on the weekends.
Having a bar on campus would mean that the students living on or around campus would be able to walk to the bar instead of driving and risking a hefty ticket, or consequences much worse.
Also, Public Safety would be much closer than the River Falls Police Department may be on any given Friday or Saturday night. There is a lot to be said about this topic that I will not be able to fit into my column.
I think that an establishment like this would benefit the campus and draw the students together. I am well aware of the dangers of binge drinking, but if Student Health Services is properly doing their job of educating us, then this should not be an issue. Students at this university are occasionally underestimated when it comes to personal decisions.
I realize the dangers of drinking under any circumstance, and I am well aware that not all students on this campus drink. However, on a warm, homework-filled night such as this one, an ice-cold Strongbow sounds like the perfect way to step back and relax for a minute.
Mike Pearson is a student at UW-River Falls.