What more do you need to entice college students than free beer? Not much. But Pub Night, College Council (CC)’s latest initiative, is about more than just beer.
Armed with a few friends and our over-21 IDs last Thursday, we set out to see exactly what was happening in Dodd during Pub Night. Upon our entrance, a few cheerful Campus Safety and Security officers, who seemed just as pleased as we were to be there, handed us our bright-orange wristbands. A wristband at Pub Night is good for three beers – and the beers aren’t bad. As college students, we may have low standards for beer quality, but we’re pretty sure CC picked a good lager.
Scattered around Dodd were pods of our peers and friends – mostly fellow seniors, with a few juniors sprinkled about – playing a variety of games, most noticeably a dramatic round of Jenga and an extended game of Settlers of Catan. In the center of the room, a few people tossed sacks back and forth in a game of Cornhole.
We grabbed some food before it ran out. This time it was chicken wings, although they have served other pub-style food, such as pizza, in the past.
Almost immediately upon entering the fray, we were surrounded by conversation and merriment. Like Paresky on a weekday at noon, people were mingling across groups and throughout the room, meeting friends of friends.
For the sake of reporting, we left our own friends and sought out a few strangers. We ended up with a group of juniors who had just reunited after study abroad. With little introduction, we immediately started talking with them about our lives. Though we had not intended to linger, we got swept up in a conversation that ranged from right-wing populism to public radio.
After a quick pause to refill our beers, we joined a few of our classmates playing Taboo. Despite how simple this game can be, there was more explaining than playing, and we were quickly diverted by conversation. We watched as a former WOOLF [Williams Outdoor Orientation for Living as First-Years] leader reconnected with his WOOLFie, now a junior herself, and reminisced, with more nostalgia than bitterness, about how the leader had gotten the group lost in the woods. There was a lively debate about pre- and post-graduation plans amongst the seniors, and a few stories shared about the Red Herring – we mused on whether or not its disappearance was the impetus behind Pub Night – and its rumored reopening.
Whether or not Pub Night is a result of Williamstown becoming a zero-bar municipality, the cause is more or less irrelevant to the event’s success. People reported extremely high levels of satisfaction. Between free food, free beer and good company, there was little to complain about. One attendee told us that she believes that Pub Night is about personal development beyond the classroom and even extra-curricular activities. It’s a chance, every week, to just be. Play a board game, drink a beer (or three), chat with friends about non-work related things and breathe.
And the event’s somewhat early wrap-up meant that we easily slid into Snack Bar before closing time. What more could you want?