Some students have expressed anger that a pool table carried up from No Meat Please Café to the Mount Street Bar by 15 members of the Brotherhood Of Ordained Bogans (BOOBS) was ordered to be returned back to the café.
The bar, formerly known as Eastside, used to have a pool club, known as the Eastside Pool Club, which used to draw many patrons to the bar late in the week.
BOOBS President Reverend Paul Danger Brown told Salient that Student Union Operations Manager Catriona McBean told him that “people don’t want a pool table”, in response to which he has asked, “why wouldn’t students want a pool table in the bar?”
Brown says that members of BOOBS who wanted to play pool and drink had to carry their drinks down to the café, something that has been curtailed recently due to the lack of bar staff with a Duty Manager’s license.
Andrew Stubbs, ex-president of the Pool Club, feels that a combination of the bar and balcony being made smokefree (when the balcony was originally created to house smokers), pool tables being removed to downstairs and the imposition of $12 jugs have led to patrons disappearing from the bar.
Stubbs says in its last year, the club had 77 members, most of whom were active members, with the club historically being one of the University’s strongest social groups. The Club was sponsored by the Student Union and at times had to cap membership due to overwhelming demand.
Student Union Manager Rainsforth Dix says that the current set-up of the bar is what the majority of students want, pointing to the take-up of the facilities on offer this year. “We’re really busy from 8am onwards…Every time we put something in i.e. a stage, pool table etc. it takes up space and our past surveys have indicated that the current space is what students want,” says Dix.
She identifies the issue as being the lack of comfortable social space on campus, leaving the café and bar as one of few social spaces on campus available, something that the Campus Hub Project aims to work on.
Dix says she has been thinking about ways to deal with the situation to satisfy all involved, but that nothing can be done this year due to budget constraints as well as the limited time left in this trimester.
Issues have also been raised around the lack of a Duty Manager on premise whilst patrons are drinking – which is in breach of the bar’s liquor license. Dix told Salient that the bar was currently lacking in those qualified as Duty Managers, but that more training of staff was now being done, and that the issue is not currently as bad as it has been in the past.