U of M without a drop to drink

Students and staff at the University of Manitoba are still without a place to wet their whistle on campus, following the closing of Wise Guys and the delay in renovations at Degrees.

However, this hopefully will not be for too much longer.

“Degrees is set to reopen soon [ . . . ] and the university has plans to open a bistro-like eatery in University Centre,” U of M spokesperson John Danakas told The Manitoban. However, Danakas could not confirm whether or not the business would serve alcohol.

Danakas explained that the university is currently assessing the best way to use the space left by the Wise Guys lounge.

“That could involve anything,” said Danakas.

The University of Manitoba Students’ Union (UMSU) is also trying to figure out what it can do.
“Plans are being developed to see what Degrees can do to fill the gap left by the closure of Wise Guys,” said UMSU president Heather Laube.

“Unfortunately, Degrees does not have the same liquor license as Wise Guys did, but we are working to see how Degrees can help resolve the problem in the short-term.”

Wise Guys’ closure has also created a demand for a venue to host fundraising socials and celebrations on campus.

Laube explained that UMSU is also in the process of drafting a proposal to the U of M administration to take over the former Wise Guys space, which will include some kind of an establishment that serves alcohol.

“Having a campus bar is a long-standing tradition of many universities and contributes towards a sense of campus community for students, staff and faculty at the U of M,” said Laube.

“We hope that students continue to make the best of their experience regardless of what establishments are open or closed,” Laube continued.

“We are working hard to minimize the problems caused by these disruptions.”

Bars in the surrounding area have stepped up to fill the void. The lack of alcohol on campus “has obviously helped [business],” said Jaime Martin, the office manager at Rock Bar, a nightclub situated close to the Fort Garry campus.

“We’ve taken over Rez Night and Country Night. We have buses going back and forth from the bar to campus,” said Martin.

However, for the time being, students will have to contend with having no place on campus to purchase alcohol and socialize after a long day of studying.

“It feels like the heart of the university has been torn out, and now all we can do is travel to the sketchy wonders of the Pembina strip [ … ]”, said Katelyn Grave, a student in the faculty of agriculture.