Classic Signals: Plans to move the Rat

By Jessica Ganga
Features Editor

Decker was once a possible location for the Rat. (Jessica Ganga / Features Editor)
Decker was once a possible location for the Rat. (Jessica Ganga / Features Editor)

After having an explosive final show at the Rathskeller last semester, College Union Board (CUB) was forced to relocate their weekly shows due to the current renovations to the Brower Student Center. The Decker Social Space is now the location for the new CUB Alt shows, letting students have the chance, even with the construction, to enjoy some music on a Friday night. It turns out that this wasn’t the first time the Rat moved or, in this case, in the works to move. In 1997, Steve Bates reported that the Rat was planning to be moved to the exact same space that the shows are in now. Luckily, we were able to enjoy 18 years of crazy, wild Rat shows.

Plans to relocate the Rathskeller from its home in the student center to the basement of Decker Hall are tentative and won’t be decided upon without student input.

However, Decker Hall’s version of the Rathskeller may not turn out to be what students have become accustomed to.

According to Kelly Gavin, alternate student dining services representative to the Student Government Association (SGA), live music may not be incorporated into the design.

“I don’t think the anticipation of loud bands being down there is a real possibility,” Gavin said last week. She went on to explain that if a dining facility were to be “put down there, noise shouldn’t be a problem.”

The plan is being instituted by the Wood Company, community development, auxiliary services and the office of the vice president for administration and finance, according to Gavin.

According to Dr. Jesse Rosenblum, acting associate vice president of College Relations, anything concerning the Rat at this time is a “concept.”

“There are no definite conclusions,” Rosenblum added.

Rosenblum believes the need for the relocation of the Rat comes from students’ comments that there is not enough night life close to the residence halls.

He believes the institution was responding to a need expressed by students.

Those involved in this issue have stressed that student input is extremely important.

“Something will probably be put downstairs in Decker, but has not been decided yet, but will be with the student input,” Gavin said.

Tracy Booth, a representative of the Student Affairs Committee (SAC) added that if students have comments or suggestions concerning the move that they can direct them to the SAC.

Booth reiterated this message on WTSR’s weekly SGA update last week.

The SAC mail box is located in the SGA office above the bookstore on the second floor of the student center.

There are many ideas circulating at the present time concerning the Rathskeller.

Proposed plans include not only relocating the Rat, but also putting “a coffeehouse where the Rat is now,” according to Tom Scerbo, a member of the SAC.

Rosenblum confirmed this plan. “One concept is to make the current Rat a coffeehouse and move the Rat to better space in Decker, he said.

Jane Buttermore, resident district manager for The Wood Company, said the idea of giving the existing Rat a facelift is also a possibility.

“I definitely don’t think that the move would be a good idea,” Claire Briggs, daytime manager of the Rat, said.

“This is the student center. This is where the students’ Rat should be,” said Briggs who has been with the Rat for 20 years.