University of Otago COO Steve Willis has indicated that a new or revamped student bar on campus could be a possibility as the Uni looks at new developments over the next couple of years.
The Union Food Court is “not losing money any more,” Willis said, while addressing the OUSA Exec in a meeting last week about expanding food and entertainment services. He hopes to build on that to revitalise the whole area.
“I think there’s a better use of money. We can have more interesting amenities, hopefully a student bar.”
According to OUSA President Caitlin Barlow-Groome, one of the most likely outcomes at the moment is a bar facility next to or as part of Union Grill, which could host functions and serve alcohol in the late afternoon.
Last year a tender was put out to companies for a “campus-wide food, beverage, and retail strategy” which would “maximize the relevance of services, excellent customer experience and surplus returned.”
The need for a new, dedicated student bar has been brought further into the spotlight after lines have grown increasingly out of contral at U-Bar (née Re:Fuel). At last week’s Pint Night two students said they waited in line for “at least 45 minutes” before they could get in. Last month, police were called over an “out of control” line after reports of people being crushed and unable to breathe.
The Union building (Union Hall, U-Bar, Common Room, Food Court and OUSA Offices) is owned by University Union Ltd, an independent holding company, owned jointly by OUSA and the University of Otago. The businesses operating out of it are run by the University.