The Campus Chronicle
Vol. XVIII, Issue 26
for the Amherst campus of the University of Massachusetts
March 28, 2003

 Page One Grain & Chaff Obituaries Letters to the Chronicle Archives Feedback Weekly Bulletin

 Page One Grain & Chaff Obituaries Letters to the Chronicle Archives Feedback Weekly Bulletin




Alcoholic beverages return to Blue Wall

by Sarah R. Buchholz, Chronicle staff

S tudents won't be the only beneficiaries of an upcoming Lincoln Campus Center change. Any member of the 21-and-over set with a valid ID soon will have access to a locally brewed beer on tap, a number of bottled beers, several wines and a full liquor selection six nights a week.

     After roughly two decades of being "dry," the Blue Wall will return to serving alcohol at 5 p.m. Friday, April 4, according to Ashoke Ganguli, director of Auxiliary Services. The move is part of a programmatic effort to increase use of the Campus Center by students, in particular, Ganguli said. He emphasized that serving alcohol is falling under a broader rubric of "entertainment."

     The Blue Wall is scheduled to provide programming that includes live blues, rock, reggae, and funk bands, DJs, interactive giveaways, and sports on two 50-inch plasma screen televisions.

     "We're really hoping to make this another outlet for student performance," said Nathaniel Greenspan, sales and marketing manager in Auxiliary Services. "We're just starting to promote that now."

     Greenspan said Auxiliary Services will use the remainder of the semester to pilot programmatic plans, as well as the alcohol selection, to learn more about what students will enjoy, then make adjustments over the summer.

     "We'll see what works and what doesn't and tailor the program to fit that," he said. "We've worked real hard in trying to make this what the students want and to balance that with the needs of the University in terms of keeping it a safe, comfortable environment."
Greenspan said all bartenders will have attended a safe-alcohol-service program and that a team of non-student security personnel will be on hand during bar hours.

     "We'll adjust the security level to the needs," he said. "All security will go through the University Police security training class. We'll conduct random spot checks, try[ing] to be as unobtrusive as possible. On nights when we anticipate a large crowd, we'll have University Police on hand, as well. We also have an electronic ID verification system and iridescent wrist bands."

     Greenspan said alcohol sales and consumption will be within a roped-off area and the Blue Wall will use different glasses for alcoholic beverages so security can easily identify who has them.

     Opening night will feature two acts, the Ed Vadas Blues Band at 7 p.m. and the funk of Adios Pantalones at 10 p.m., as well as prizes and promotions, Greenspan said. The following Monday the entertainment will center on the NCAA men's basketball final, with promotional activities by the Boston Beer Co., makers of Samuel Adams and Sam Adams Light, two beers the Blue Wall will carry in bottles.

     Other bottled beers the bar will open with include, Rolling Rock, Corona, Heineken, Guinness, Bass, Miller Lite, Michelob Ultra, Budweiser, Bud Light, and a locally brewed seasonal selection from the Berkshire Brewing Co., as well as Mike's Hard Lemonade and the non-alcoholic O'Doul's. On tap will be Bud Light and a pale ale from Berkshire Brewing Co.

     The Blue Wall also will serve standard pub fare - old favorites, such as nachos, wings, pizza and cheese fries.

     "A lot of students are pretty excited about [the bar in the Blue Wall]," Brian Long, secretary of University policy for the Student Government Association, told the Faculty Senate at its March 13 meeting. "The Campus Center is extremely underused, and we'd like that to be used more. It needs to become a center -- the campus center. And that's what bringing a bar will hopefully help accomplish -- along with money. This campus needs some money."

     The programming schedule for this semester will include interactive promotions on Thursday nights, live music on Fridays, and a DJ on Saturdays. Thursday through Saturday the bar will be open 5 p.m.-1 a.m. Monday through Wednesday bar hours are scheduled for 5-10 p.m. Although the bar will be closed on Sunday this term, "additional Sunday and Monday hours will be added during the fall in anticipation of football season," Greenspan said.

     Musicians who wish to perform at the Blue Wall should e-mail, he said.

  UMass Logo This Web site is an Official Publication of the University of Massachusetts Amherst. It is maintained by the Web Development Group of the Division of Communications & Marketing. © 2003