Typical behavior for Castleton State College students on Thursday nights seems to be changing these days from being regulars at the local bar “The Dog” to regulars at the college’s Pub Night.Tables were packed and seats were filled on Nov. 5 as Long Trail beers and free pizza were served behind the voice of CSC comedian Doug Phillips and music blowing out of the turn-table from student DJ Jeff Dayton.
“I went to a few nights last year and it didn’t seem as busy as it is this year,” said senior Liz Garibay. “You can definitely see more support from the students just by looking at the crowd of people there.”
With Pub Night being at the peak of its popularity, it’s hard to look back to a time when it wasn’t a Thursday night option.
“The project got started from the class Communities in American Society. It was a project the class took on to help build community experience,” explained Sociology professor Philip Lamy. “They wanted to make a place where everyone could hang out and come together, and the class chose to start the pub.”
Pub Night’s main purpose is to bring together the Castleton State College community at all times, but having it only be one night a week is something that could stand in the way of their main objective.
“Our main goal is to have a place for people to go at all times and be able to hang out,” said Wyatt Andrews, CSC student involved with Pub Night since 2007. “We are looking into making this more than just Thursday nights, we want to go towards a full time operation. We have Open Mic nights on Tuesday’s and are just trying to get this to be more than a couple nights a week.”
Communities have many places that people can go at any time to hang out and they always know it will be there, and students wanted that same opportunity on campus.
“We decided that we should make Pub Night a weekly event so that the community could always count on it being there on Thursday nights,” said Nicole Adams, a CSC alumnus who was involved in Pub Night’s development. “Sometimes there are so many options on Thursdays, from cheap wings nearby, to Grey’s Anatomy, to on-campus Bingo, to the Dog; one place can always be there for everyone, Pub Night.
“Also, the Spartan Room got a facelift including a new paint job, new furniture, a stage area, a stove, window treatments, flat screen TV’s and brand new music equipment.”
Pub Night has been getting a lot more attention from the student population, in part because of the variety of musical acts it has featured.
“We have entertainment ranging from funk rock, DJ’s, student bands, faculty members and poets,” said Andrews. “We like to keep a variety of people performing.”
And as a weekly event, students have the opportunity to perform at any time, and feel comfortable performing at their own level of confidence.
“The Tuesday night Open Mic Night is more for the beginners, looking to just go hang with a group of people and jam out,” said Lamy. “Pub Night is for more of the advanced people who are completely comfortable in front of the crowd. But it has become very obvious throughout the years that there is a lot talent on this campus. More and more students keep coming every week, and we have a core group of regular students that come out to watch and to perform, which is what the main intent of this night was.
“The issue with the drinking is understandable. But we provide the campus with a safe comfortable place to drink,” explained Lamy. “It’s gone very well so far, and we haven’t had many problems with it. We feel that if you give the students trust to drink responsibly, they will do just that.”
“We also wanted to try to promote positive associations with a pub instead of the usual negative connotations brought a long with public drinking scenes,” said Adams. “It’s great to be able to converse with your professors outside of class, let alone being able to relax with them over a beer and see them as real people.”
But what about the Dog on Thursday nights? The tradition?
“We aren’t in direct competition with the Dog, we are completely different and we offer an alternative,” stated Andrews. “If people want to just go get drunk, have 50 cent drafts and listen to overplayed Top 40 songs, then by all means go to the bar. But if you like live music, socializing with other students, a source of safe drinking on campus and a larger variety of entertainment, then come visit Pub Night.