Transforming the concept of ‘Student Bars’

Student Bars should be the centre of Student life.

In my view they should be organised and run by the SU, as opposed to profit-driven companies and the workers should be student volunteers that would work for fun as a way of meeting new people and gaining experience. In exchange the SU could pay them with drink vouchers on top of a series of privileges gained via the reward system.

The common idea of a ‘Student Bar’ is a place open in the evening where students go to get trashed before going on a night out. Although for many this is a great part of student life, I believe they could and should offer more.

How could this be done?

Becoming more then just a Bar:

How?

  • Having longer opening hours
  • Serving tea, coffee and hot drinks .
  • Serving food such as: snacks, fresh sandwiches, salads, pastries, basic meals and so on.
  • Creating special events during the day such as a Waffle-buffet, Brunches on weekends, Pancake days and so on.

Helping deal with the ‘alcohol problem’ in the evenings.

How?

  • Cheaper prices for drinks (even alcoholic ones) would encourage people to pre-drink in the bar as opposed to bedrooms or corridors. The bar workers would stop serving someone if they are ‘worryingly drunk’ and seek for medical assistance if need be.
  • Offering complementary soft drinks with each shot of spirit you buy.
  • Removing invasive posters advertising beers and spirits.
  • Making water jugs readily available so that anyone can help themselves without having to ask or cue.
  • Offering a variety of non-alcoholic cocktails.

Why Bother?

  • So to create vibrant, local, student-run, social centres that don’t limit themselves to selling booze.
  • Create more opportunities for students to get experience as barman, baristas, cooks (preparing sandwiches, salads and basic meals) and in managerial roles running a small business.
  • To offer cheaper prices then a student bar would normally (as most are run as a profit-driven business).
  • To create a cheaper, ethical, environmentally conscious, student-run alternative to Starbucks or other similar franchisers.
  • The minimal profit could be re-invested in supporting other SU activities and projects.
  • To create a community around them, both amongst the volunteer workers and amongst the people who go there.

Potential Problems:

  • Nobody will want to work for free.

The shifts would be short (max 6 hours long). The students would get rewards for what they do via the reward system.  Freshers and exchange students, who generally have less academic pressure, would be particularly encouraged as being new to Manchester they would be more eager than most to get to know new people and be part of a community of student-workers for that bar for which socials and free staff parties would be organised. them. A small wage could be given if working on a busy evening shift and together with the tips they could earn an extra few ££ a week (that is better than nothing!).

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