Students flocking to their own bar

Otago University Students' Association president James Heath outside the newly refurbished...
Otago University Students' Association president James Heath outside the newly refurbished Starters Bar, in Dunedin. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
A heart in the student quarter has been restarted.

Starters Bar, one of the last standing student bars, was bought by the Otago University Students' Association (Ousa) late last year, and reopened for O-Week last month.

Since then, there has been a "phenomenal" response from students.

Ousa president James Heath said the bar was being filled to capacity from Wednesday nights through to Saturday nights.

"I think by virtue of Ousa taking over, we know what works for students, we know what students like, so it means we can provide a bar that suits students.

"It's proving really popular."

He said things such as air conditioning, large folding doors for indoor/outdoor flow, good food, themed nights, quiz nights and live bands had been added, alongside a lick of paint and a general clean-up of the premises.

"We're bringing in some cool aspects in areas that students find interesting."

He said the bar was not just popular with students.

Hordes of past students returned to the bar last Saturday, to reminisce following the Eagles concert at Forsyth Barr Stadium.

One of the biggest changes at the bar was the raised level of security and safety for patrons, he said.

"Part of the reason behind us [Ousa] buying Starters is guaranteeing students a safe place as well as a fun place.

"We're looking at initiatives like `Ask for Angela', where students can go up to the bar and ask for Angela if they are feeling unsafe or uncomfortable.

"It's like a safe word and bar staff can call them a taxi, call security or provide student support."


Great idea- wish them well.

Awesome Well done ladies and gents, look after the students, grow the bar to suit you guys, make sure it is run with integrity to ensure the authorities don't pick on you. Go far and much respect to you guys

Well done and I hope it works out. Now for my soapbox, I don't get this Ask for Angela thing. I understand and fully support the premise behind it but if everybody including the alleged perpetrator is aware of what it means to Ask for Angela then why not just simplify it and encourage people who feel threatened to ask for help, and for the premises to have the necessary plan and support. Ever heard of the KISS principle.

George This is KISS!!, if a person goes up to a DJ , Bar Staff, security and asks for help panic may set in if people around heard it as well, If they ask for Angela with out a fuss DJ , Bar Staff, security can go oh yeah come this way and take the person away from the area to a safe area, people can drop Angela in to a conversation such as I'm waiting for Angela, have you seen Angela, I need to find my friend Angela, Angela wanted this type of drink, Come on this is genius