We went up for Huddersfield this weekend to do some house-hunting for next year. To be brutally honest we really didn’t have much luck but, thanks to Andy’s fiancée Sarah we now have somewhere to live—the house he was in last year. Good choice methinks.
As part of our stay we, of course, had to visit the new Students’ Union building and try out all its new sections: the bar (called The Venue), the café (The Lounge), and the shop (er… The Shop). Now I must admit the shop is the most impressive thing in the new building: it’s much bigger, much better stocked, has more tills, and is generally more aimed towards students (let’s say it sells booze at long last).
The café is also much better, in that it has a dedicated seating area, much bigger and better kitchen (hey, you have to think of the people who serve you the stuff!), but also has negative points: it’s up 2 flights of stairs (hmm, attractive to students?) and although a lift is available it’s titchy and has broken down twice already (in the 6 weeks the place was open). Possibly due to it being a passenger lift that’s used for all the deliveries as well? Think of a week’s worth of drinks coming up every Tuesday…
And finally, I get on to the bar. Now this is by far the most important part of the building for those students who think a Union means cheap booze (i.e. 95% of them) and, unfortunately, they really didn’t get it right. First of all, the prices match or are higher than some of the pubs closest to it, so it loses its advantage of price. Second, it may have a giant TV screen, but they managed to build a pillar almost right in front of it (and the stage of course). It also has some non-sensical partitions in the middle. Mind you I must admit the light affects scattered throughout the building (all synchronized — kind of) are cool.
But worst of all, it is my understanding that a Students’ Union, by definition, should be run by students and for students (as cheesy as it may sound). Now most of the students know that most of the Union executives are either puppets or simply have no power (which is my theory as to why students don’t vote — what difference does it make?), but now that seems to be changing. At least the bar seemed to be student friendly and not a business seeking to make a profit (it never did and in my opinion never should).
The other night we were setting out for a nice long night out, accompanied most probably by some heavy-ish drinking (what our government calls binge drinking, but that’s only 3 pints or so). We popped into Boots’ for some sarnies and took them in with us, expecting to finish ’em over a pint, but the off-duty bar manageress called on one of the nicer barmen to, in effect, kick us out for doing so. So we shuffled off to another pub where our party of 4 had our night out instead, and damn good it was. Now I’m not happy enough not spending one night out at the well-named Venue, so I propose a boycott. Hey, on the easy side, just buy a few bottles of wine or beer from the shop next door (it’s open till 10 on week days!) and have them in the bar.
Then again, I don’t suppose it’ll be too much hard work to make them suffer: they are about to start checking people’s student cards on entry to the bar, and the vast majority of people we saw are definitely no longer students. Ah well, shooting yourself in the foot is always fun (you get to play with a gun)!