On Wednesday Apri 6, the college formally reopened Chet’s – the college’s own student-run bar. The bar is located in Rathskellar and is only open on Wednesdays from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Chet’s initially opened its doors to the college community in 1948, at which time it was located in Reamer Campus Center. It was later shifted to Rathskellar, but had to be closed due to the flooding incident that took place in Rathskellar several years ago.
Student Forum, led by Ilan Levine ’16, started an initiative to reopen Chet’s after the Student Forum unanimously voiced their support for the reopening of the bar in the beginning of winter term this year. A small subcommittee made up of certain members on the Student Forum, as well as interested students, was formed, which then met with the Dean of Students, the Director of Student Activities and the Director of Dining Services to organize support for the initiative.
The subcommittee also created an application for the management of Chet’s, reviewed applications and selected five students to take the reins eventually.
Commenting on its opening, Levine said, “The idea behind reopening Chet’s was to create a mature environment around alcohol that will promote safe drinking on campus, one that would serve as a role model to the rest of the campus. I am very happy to say that the management of Chet’s has done a phenomenal job so far and we should all be on the lookout for some unique, community-oriented programs in the coming weeks.”
The five student managers are solely responsible for running the bar. They oversee day-to-day matters, ranging from hours of operation to deciding what to sell.
The student managers are also TIPS certified – a skills-based, online responsible alcohol training and certification program. Olivia Ricci ’17, one of the managers, noted that, “I’m really thrilled to make Chet’s a reality for Union students.
So far, Chet’s has proven to be a great community for students to interact and enjoy some down-time. I hope the tradition continues and I am excited to see what the future holds.”
Jeff Kurto, Director of Dining Services, commented, “Chet’s is an excellent opportunity to engage students in their own environment within their own community.” He also said that the bar is currently being funded by Dining Services and they’re hopeful to break even in terms of profits, as they believe spring term will be an excellent trial period.
Matt Wu ‘17 commented, “I believe spring term is the perfect time to start such an initiative.”
If the trial is a success, Kurto believes that the student-run bar could be a major step towards similar initiatives or projects down the road.