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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Boo Hoo, Only 748 Drinking Options Left

So, when history looks back upon the administration of UWSA President William Ma, what will be noted most highly?

--The police riot at the Pub in January?
--The disastro-f*ck that was the General Election?
--The closing of the student pub?

In the interest of fairness, you can't blame Will personally for all of these, but the fact that they all happened under his watch leaves a pretty damning impression. Lucky for him, when people see the 'Served as UWSA President' bullet point on a resume, nobody calls to follow up on the job they did [and trust me, Will ain't the only one thanking God for that one].

If you really want to watch this pub car crash unfold, join the Facebook group dedicated to saving it [and skim through the arguments for and against], and muffle your gasps of surprise that Kenny B. shows up during every other post. The man's like a hummingbird, I swear, I just don't know where he finds the time.

Much to my shock and horror, I find that his highness and I continue to agree on much of the core argument to close the doors, at least long enough to take a long hard look at the state of things down there. As nice as it is to have the place, it costs money to operate, and it has not been generating enough of it for some time. So the UWSA gives Uniwin [the Pub] a $50K loan every year that never gets paid back. On what planet does this continue to make sense from a business perspective?

People are bemoaning the closing as one more example of the clown shoes that is life at the UofW. "Oh, now we don't even have a student Pub!" they wail, which begs the question of if they'll even miss it. Methinks no.

Pubs are expensive to run, and four tables of multiple students nibbling on one order of nachos isn't going to keep the lights on. The people who eat there the most are the UWSA exec. Why? Because they eat for free, a perk I've reaped the benefit of on more than a few occasions, I admit [full disclosure].

Don't get it twisted, Windsor, you are not owed a student pub. Despite what the college comedies of your youth may have suggested to you, a place to split pitchers at 11 a.m. is not guaranteed you in the UWSA constitution. It was a privilege dependent on successful fiscal management, which for reasons that are your own to speculate on, never happened.

Whether or not you get your Pub back may very well depend on how you want to have it: as a business or a service. As a business, things roll on the way they always have, and maybe with some dramatic restructuring at the management level [like giving someone with more business acumen than running the high school tuck shop a vote on the BoD] one day before you graduate it'll reopen for two days a week.

As a service, the Pub does become something you are owed, something you're promised, because you'll be paying for it. So is your student pub worth enough to you to pay say, an extra $20 a year in tuition? Your call, Windsor, but don't be surprised when money hurting groups all over campus start showing up with their hands out.

I'd like to clarify that my support for closing the Pub has nothing to do with Codling. We at The Lance have had philosophical differences with Jay over the years, but I've always considered him a fine gentleman whose hands have been tied by the current organizational structure of the business he's supposed to be running.

Off topic, I'm pleasantly surprised to see the ire aimed at UWSA GM Dale Coffin. For years, Coffin's acted as what we affectionately refer to around here as the student svengali, advising the executive since before some of you got to campus. Make no mistake, executives come and go, sometimes there are years of history surrounding any given issue; who do you think puts it all in perspective for them? Whose bias is it filtered through? The D-Man. It's a heartwarming development to see the word's gotten out.

Once again [and you'll be hearing this ad nauseum til it happens] but you can voice your concerns, and maybe even reverse some decisions on this and a number of other issues at the UWSA AGM, April 10, 2008 @ 4.00 pm in the CAW Commons.

Put up or shut up, kids.

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