By Jeff DeMartino Salad Days

I cry a tear for Chadwick’s because it’s gone to the dogs. Back in the day, nobody could throw a party like Chad. The Wick was the place to be. Then people started getting hurt.

Last year some poor guy got mauled by a blustery football-playing fool. A few weeks ago, some drunk guy fell from the stairs, according to reports. The good word now is that Chadwick’s has been busted by the cops for underage drinking.

The off-campus bar scene is sketchy at best and, at worst, dangerous. We legal drinkers need a wholesome, safe alternative to the jungles of Champs and the Rhino. Rhino management advertises the place as a “Pumphouse.” No “pumpin'” for me.

Whither Hoya’s, our very own on-campus watering hole? One source told me that Hoya’s will lose $200,000 this year, bleeding significant losses for the third year in a row.

One has to wonder how a Leavey Center bar could actually lose money. That is, until you walk into the place. It’s quite clear that Marriott has pumped a fair share of money into the rich mahogany bar and the numerous TVs.

The lack of thought and student input, however, astonishes me. Unlike the 2 a.m. shutdown of bars of M Street, Hoya’s has closed at midnight for the last couple of years. The lanky tables shake when you lean on them. The food menu offers few choices besides the not-so-delightful chicken tidbits. A couple of low-budget video games sit idly in the corner. Recently, though, arriott has changed its tune.

“[Marriott is] extremely open to what [students] say,” said Georgetown Program Board Chair Michael Boyle (MSB ’00), who is working with school and Marriott officials to renovate Hoya’s. The wounded Marriott could not possibly keep its eyes and ears shut to potential customers; students must lead the way in creating a student bar.

To little avail, GUSA tried to step in last year to help. Student Bartender Night, the brainchild of then-GUSA President John Cronan (COL ’98), brought Hoya tapsters and their friends to Leavey. Several GUSA representatives started talking about bringing back the Pub, the infamous Leavey Center bar/pit that Dean Donahue closed when things got out of hand. But GUSA reps strayed onto bigger issues like student artwork in Leavey and moronic infighting.

“GPB realized that GUSA was out of its element,” Boyle said. Of course, we all know that GUSA’s rare earth element doesn’t include simple tasks like programming.

Thankfully, the program board has already taken over GUSA’s bad act. The board held a Nintendo 64 Goldeneye Tournament on Hoya’s wide-screen TV this fall. GPB has scored student guest bartenders almost every Thursday this semester. Campus bands will play come April.

This spring, Boyle and GPB Vice Chair Arjay Yao (COL ’00) will work with several other students, Marriott and school officials to renovate Hoya’s. Instead of high, rickety tables, look for lower seats and booths. A dance floor will replace the pinball machine and the basketball shooting game. Marriott will bring in a stereo, speakers and lights to heat the joint up a little.

The burden belongs to the guys and gals on the program board, but I believe in them. They’ve done the event legwork while GUSA pats itself on the back for putting two cents into the matter. Next year look for weekly bands, weekly student bartenders and all the accoutrements you associate with a serious bar.

You, however, are no accoutrement. A campus bar is more than a convenience. It is a rallying point, a place for school spirit to foment. A couple of evenings ago, students leaving Hoyas broke into the fight song as they were leaving. A student band rocked in nearby Uncommon Grounds. It’s truly been so long since last we met in Leavey, or at all. If you’re sick of the cruddy bar scene, obnoxious fights, dangerous return walks and frightening townies, then get the hell off of M Street. Stick on campus. Go to Leavey. And, for the last time, learn the fight song. What a rallying cry to echo from our bar.

Salad Days appears every other Friday in The Hoya.

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