From a Wet Bar to a Dry Bar

By Katie Muller
Staff Writer Skjermbilde 2014-02-25 kl. 22.49.08

The opening of the new sports bar, The End Zone, on Super Bowl Sunday has received positive reactions from students and faculty. However, The End Zone strictly serves non-alcoholic drinks, which raised a question throughout campus: Why doesn’t LIU Post have an actual wet bar LIIU Post once had a wet bar, “The Rathskeller, that was in the same place as the new sports lounge.

Daniel Cox, the general manager of the campus radio station, WCWP, was a C.W. Post student when the old bar was part of the campus during the 1980s.

“When 3:30 rolled around in the afternoon, I might go over to the bar, ‘The Rat’ as we called it… and I would have a drink,” Cox said.

“…And often times, I wasn’t having that beer with friends. I was having it with my professors, with adults, with people that I respected and admired… It was a much different environment.”

Cox continued to say that also, at the time, the legal drinking age was 18. Cox felt that having a bar on campus, as well as the lower drinking age during that time, helped the students become more “responsible and mature” drinkers compared to today’s binge drinkers.

“In my opinion, because it was on campus and with people we admire and respected, we learned to drink in a more social manner. The professors would certainly set a tone if you had a beer in the afternoon, before dinner or with dinner… it was a much different environment.”

He also playfully explained that because the bar was on campus where the students live, students didn’t run the risk of drinking and driving. “Did I overdo it a few times when I was in my twenties? Absolutely…But, I [was] safe because I didn’t go home. I crashed on campus.”

Cox explained that the bar was also an excellent meeting place, which hosted many different kinds of events. “These were the days of the jukebox… You’d go over and play music on the jukebox… The stage was there, so occasionally you’d have an open mic night of a comedian or you’d occasionally have live performances of a local or smaller band in there,” Cox said. “It was a social meeting place; it’d be packed… They’d also schedule some kind of event on the weekends, so it always kept us here,” he added.

“I feel like what they are doing now, [with The End Zone], is a good move. The highlight [of the old bar] for us was the jukebox and the pinball machines. There were no videogames or Internet, or downloading music. But what they’re doing now with the screens is very up to date, and they show what people want, such as sports.” Cox also stated that he hopes the radio station could eventually get involved with providing entertainment on the stage in there, such as “DJ nights.”

The Rat eventually closed once the legal age was raised to 21. “In the mid ‘80s, when I left here and came back in ‘87 to teach, it happened between then,” Cox stated. “But I know [what] the policy was, at that time: we were a dry campus. [The campus] was going with the law; they didn’t want any alcohol on campus [any longer],” Cox said.

When asked about the campus’ dry bar, Dr. Abby Van Vlerah, dean of students said, “We want to make every effort to ensure all of our students feel welcome, safe, and comfortable in our spaces, including The End Zone.”

As for plans of re-opening an alcoholic bar in the future: “We are always willing to listen to student input and value the opinions of all students. At this time, opening a bar on campus, which serves alcohol is not being discussed,” Van Vlerah said.

It’s hard to tell if LIU Post would ever serve alcohol on campus again. However, The End Zone serves as a reminder to what was, and what could be in the future.

“That’s how it was, you can’t go back,” Cox said. “But, I think what the university is doing with the Pioneer room is a great step forward.”

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