Campus Life: Urgo Begins Talk of Pub on Campus

Plans are currently underway to bring to life what has perhaps been the dream of many a St. Mary’s student: an on-campus pub, where students over 21 could swipe their OneCards and grab a pint with professors, staff, and President Joseph Urgo himself.

The pub is the idea of Urgo, who wants to create, “another venue [for] faculty and students to have social interaction.” Urgo stated that he believed a pub on campus could foster the kind of atmosphere where students and professors would be more capable and willing to socialize in a relaxed and informal environment. Urgo further said that he’d “much rather have students going to a pub on campus” than off-campus, and that he’d seen great success with pubs and bars on other college campuses. The pub would be open to students of legal drinking age, all faculty and staff, and alums.

Currently, many questions still remain regarding what form the pub will take. According to Kathy Grimes, Associate Vice President for Trustee Relations, the administration has just begun looking into the legal issues of such an arrangement, and she is currently waiting to hear back from the State Attorney General. She did note, however, that, “Other campuses in the University of Maryland system…have pubs, so it’s not out of the question.” Other issues that are still in contention include where the pub will be housed, since according to Grimes, “We are not in the position to build another building.” Urgo suggested that the Upper Deck of the Campus Center was one possibility, but that it is currently to be determined.

According to Grimes, other ambiguities include whether the pub would serve just alcohol or a larger selection of menu items, whether it would be a permanent fixture or a recurring program, and what sort of other events would coincide with the pub.

Both Urgo and Grimes, however, want to hear student and faculty opinion on the issue before anything is set in stone, and plan to raise the issue in forums and discussions throughout the year. Grimes said, “My goal at this point is to get an answer [concerning the pub’s legality] and then get a framework for discussion that we can take to the President’s Forum.”

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