This week, for the first time in the college’s history, Pub Nite will be hosted not in Paces Café but in the Delta Upsilon Fraternity House.
Brone Lobichusky ’14, one of the senior class officers, explained that they had been looking for different spaces on campus that might be a better venue for Pub Nite than Paces.
“After organizing Pub Nite every Thursday throughout the first semester, we learned more about what students prefer to do at Pub Nite,” she said. “Some [people] enjoy playing table games and would prefer to have this option available the entire night. Others prefer to dance, and, unfortunately, in Paces we must take all the tables down at a certain point to make more room for dancing. Some people would rather have the opportunity to dance all night, while other people are more comfortable sitting and talking without having to scream over the dance music. We wanted to find a venue that could better accommodate all our Pub Nite guests.”
In addition to Lobichusky, this year’s senior class officers, elected by their senior classmates, include Michele Martinez Gugerli, Vija Lietuvninkas, Justin Toran-Burrell and Nicko Burnett. All of them discussed and considered other spaces, like Olde Club, but recognized potential issues that they felt DU did not have.
“We liked the split level aspect of [Olde Club] — dancing upstairs and table games downstairs–but decided the space was too small for a typical Pub Nite crowd,” Lobichusky said.
We began searching for a split-level space that was larger than Paces. The DU house seemed ideal for our desired set up. The house has a large upstairs dance floor and an equally large downstairs area where tables can remain set up for table games and those who do not want to dance.”
Student reaction to the change is decidedly mixed. Wen Huang ’14, for example, was initially skeptical about the move, but now believes the change of space will have a positive impact on Pub Nite generally.
“I think it’s a cool idea, especially because they’re serving pancakes afterwards at Paces. Hopefully people will be open-minded enough to go and check it out this week.”
Nikkia Miller ’16 echoed Huang’s sentiments, saying that she was very excited for a new Pub Nite experience noting that, “It’s going to be great for Pub Nite to be in a bigger venue this semester.”
Additionally, Kat Rodriguez ’17, who is not a regular Pub Nite-goer, said that she finds the idea of Pub Nite at DU even more appealing than normal.
“I think the fact that [Pub Nite] will be running games and dancing simultaneously all night will definitely draw in a bigger crowd since now people have the option of doing whichever they prefer.”
The move has raised questions as to whether or not the change of scenery precipitates a permanent move for Pub Nite, but at the moment no concrete decision is in the works.
“No change can be made without a sort of ‘trial run’ being performed first,” Lobichusky said. “We hope the larger, more dynamic space will enable an increase in attendance, and we are flexible in our decision of where to host future Pub Nites.”
But other students have expressed concern about putting a non-fraternity event in a fraternity house, given its affiliation with Delta Upsilon.
Dane Fichter ’14 even suggested that “the move of Pub Nite festivities to Delta Upsilon is a direct result of the dangerous and unethical collusion between senior class officers and Delta Upsilon members.” When asked if he thought the move would change the culture of Pub Nite, he responded that “it will be frattier than usual. Because it’s in a frat.”
Lobichusky explained that the organization of Pub Nite is at the discretion of each year’s senior class officers, which means that potential policy changes made this year could change again next year and the year after that.
With controversy regarding fraternity culture (stemming from last semester’s spring) still present in the minds of many, the senior class officers knew they had to address potential discontent about moving Pub Nite to DU. In a joint response delivered by the senior class officers to the Phoenix, the seniors addressed concern regarding moving Pub Nite into a fraternity house. A section of their response stated the following:
“We took all factors into strong consideration, and came to the conclusion that sharing the space through a non-DU affiliated event would be a step towards fostering an environment in which this space could be shared and enjoyed in a distinctly non-fraternity setting.”
The senior class officers are adamant that even though the event will be held in the Delta Upsilon House, it is in no way associated with the fraternity. All proceeds will still go towards the senior class fund.
Christine Kim’17 offered a balanced opinion, noting both positives and negatives about the move.
“I personally don’t feel uncomfortable with the change,” she said. “But I would understand why people who don’t go to the frats — either on principle or just because they don’t want to — might not go to Pub Nite this week. I think a lot of it just remains to be seen, depending on who turns up and how the atmosphere of the place seems on Thursday night.”
Both Lili Rodriguez, associate dean of diversity, inclusion, and community development, and Mike Elias, coordinator of student activities, were contacted regarding this issue, but both stated that the decision to move Pub Nite to DU was an entirely student-run initiative.