Beer prices still outrageous – There is no agreement on possible price reductions at the bar-formerly-known-as- Eastside despite VUWSA and the Union meeting amicably on the bar’s future direction.
VUWSA President Nick Kelly says that changes in price, which currently sit at $9-$12 for a jug will be negotiable. He believes that the increased prices have “undoubtedly” been responsible for a downturn in numbers, saying “it’s the law of demand and elasticity. If you put the prices up beyond the market rate, people are going to stop going.”
According to Union Manager Rainsforth Dix, patronage of the bar has been low since the start of the year. There was a small dip in numbers when prices increased, but numbers have since reached their previous level.
She claims that “the price thing is a huge red herring”. Students may say they’re worried about price “but in reality, they’re just as happy to spend their money down at Jet.”
Currently, the bar is run by the Union, an arm of the University delegated the task of running non-academic student facilities, with VUWSA having little input in the bar’s running.
Further consultation is set to occur over the longer-term future of the bar. VUWSA is keen on bar agreement, but Union Manager Rainsforth Dix says that “we haven’t got to the stage of deciding upon a bar agreement or not.”
Kelly says that “there’s reasonable acknowledgment that the way it is now isn’t acceptable.” His opinion is “either we have a better bar or none at all.” The only bottom line he says that VUWSA want in any agreement with the Union is an end to “erratic” opening hours.
Dix says that the reason to get VUWSA involved is because they are responsible for the “student voice” and it will be their role to draw students to the bar with activities. Kelly agrees, saying that VUWSA does have the ability to pull students to a bar. He gives the example of the “huge” turn-out for their Team Vic Winter Snow Games party at The Establishment.