Details of New South Pub Established in Memorandum
Published: Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 02:02
Student staffing and events for patrons 18 and over were among the main tenets of a memorandum of understanding between GUSA and Vice President for Student Affairs Todd Olson regarding the New South Student Center pub.
The Feb. 7 memo was the latest development in the effort to create a student center on campus that serves alcohol, which originally began with a movement to reopen Healy Pub, a proposal that was formally denounced by University President John J. DeGioia in November 2011. The New South pub is slated to open in fall 2014.
The memorandum, which was signed by Georgetown University Student Association President Clara Gustafson (SFS ’13) and Vice President Vail Kohnert-Yount (SFS ’13), as well as Olson, represented an understanding between GUSA and the university, guaranteeing student input and involvement in the development process.
“I am very pleased that we have reached a clear understanding with students about the vital student role in the New South Student Center,” Olson wrote in an email. “Students have played a tremendous role in the design of the center and in expanding the project through their generous support. It is heartening to know that we are committed to the same goals and are working together effectively to bring this new student center to life.”
Gustafson agreed, stressing the importance of putting the agreement in writing.
“We all came to a verbal understanding about what we would want in New South — all those things are written up in the memorandum — and we wanted to formalize it in writing, get all parties to sign on, so it could be something that is referred back to and held in perpetuity and not just in conversation,” Gustafson said.
According to the agreement, all part-time employees will be students, though full-time employees will be hired externally. In addition, the pub vendor will form a committee comprised of students, members of Student Affairs, a GUSA representative and a representative of University Services to determine menu selections, student programming and advertising. Student representatives will be chosen via an online open application.
The memorandum also states that the pub will serve alcohol on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings during hours comparable to local bar hours. Additional hours will be determined with GUSA input.
To address the problem of deterring underage drinking while encouraging underage participation, there will be evenings for students aged 18 and over and wristbands or hand stamps to distinguish underage students. According to Gustafson, the exact details of this policy still need to be ironed out.
“The main idea is that if you’re going to have a resource for students to use on campus, then a majority of students on campus need to be able to use it,” Gustafson said. “And so having a safe and fun way to have 18-plus nights is essential to making New South a place where everyone loves to go and spend time, whether you’re a freshman who can’t buy a beer yet or an upperclassman who can.”
Gustafson said that additional research and discussion is still needed.
“I think it’s a delicate balance that Georgetown hasn’t really had to explore too much in the past,” Gustafson said. “It’s something that needs to be talked about some more — about how that will work. I think getting a vendor that has experience with 18-plus events is really what [we] need.”
Pub service will extend out onto the New South Terrace, directly accessible from the pub. During bar hours, students will be able to bring food and alcohol onto the terrace. According to Gustafson, the student body will name the terrace with input from the Office of Advancement.
In comparing NSSC with the Leavey Student Center, Gustafson said that it would be more of a sit-down location, especially with the pub area.
“Leavey, while we definitely sit here and do our homework, is more of a walkway through campus for a lot of people who come to campus, not just undergraduates,” Gustafson said. “The hope is that the student center is a way for [all students] to be themselves in a safe and exciting space where they don’t have to go very far, and they can hang out and order a beer, a glass of wine or just a snack.”
Gustafson added that NSSC, located near O’Donovan Hall, Lauinger Library and freshman dorms, would be more focused on the undergraduate student population.
“My hope would be for the New South Student Center to be a place where you might walk through, but you’d probably stay and hang out a bit as an undergraduate,” Gustafson said. “It’s over by Leo’s and in an area where mostly undergraduates will go. I hope it will be a place for undergraduates — just undergraduates — to be.”
In addition, Gustafson said that the new pub area would draw visiting alumni.
“It can be a place where people come back to after they graduate, since there isn’t really a place like that on campus right now,” Gustafson said. “I know I’ll be back, sipping a glass of wine on the terrace while looking out onto the Potomac.”