OUSA 'committed' to building a new student bar

OUSA president Logan Edgar
OUSA president Logan Edgar
The Otago University Students' Association is eyeing a potential site in North Dunedin for a new bar catering to students.

The university says it would be open to being involved in a new pub as a way of reducing alcohol-related harm.

OUSA president Logan Edgar said the organisation was "committed" to building a new bar in the student quarter and hoped to have one opened by early next year, possibly even in time for Orientation Week.

It had a site in mind and was looking to build a bar from scratch as opposed to buying one already operating, Mr Edgar said.

It was too early to say how large the bar would be, how it would be funded or to reveal the site they were considering.

"I'm not in a position to say too much at the moment, because of commercial sensitivities."

However, the bar would be "vastly different" from other bars in the city and would be "the place for students".

More details about the plan were likely to be known within the next two months. Apart from providing a service to students, it was hoped a bar would be profitable for OUSA.

Mr Edgar said the university was aware of the plans and was keen on the idea.

"We both want to do the same things for students and that's ...to keep their drinking towards this end of town [North Dunedin], because when it gets further into [the city] ... that's where all the bashings happen."

University of Otago vice-chancellor Prof Harlene Hayne said, when asked about the OUSA's plans, the university was open to being involved in a new pub as a way of reducing alcohol-related harm.

"The university is considering a range of options to stem the tide of dangerous drinking at Otago while, at the same time, maintaining the vibrant student culture that we all cherish.

"Within this framework, there may be merit in the university being involved with a pub on or near campus, where we could maximise the chances that students would be drinking in a safe environment, close to where they live," Prof Hayne said.

The university had no "specific plans", but was reviewing the published literature and experiences of other universities which had tried the option.

The university owns Refuel Bar, which is on campus.

- vaughan.elder@odt.co.nz

Add a Comment