New Lounge bar divides college opinion

THE NEW James College bar, The Lounge, opened this week with some students voicing concerns over the ownership the college will claim for the bar now that it is YUSU run.

Many are worried that it will lack the atmosphere of The Courtyard, which serves as Langwith’s bar and that The Lounge will not feel like the James College bar.

It will also be serving food, although its lack of kitchen will mean that food is going to be biked over from The Courtyard with the waiting time being put at the moment at 30 minutes.

In particular there have been concerns that the need to maintain the Roger Kirk Centre as a space for York Conferences and the involvement of Commercial Service has meant that the needs of the college have been overlooked.
Alice Housego, a second-year James College student, described how she isn’t planning on using the new bar.
“Personally I am going to be using the Courtyard. I think the Lounge looks soulless and a bit tacked on. I also think the name should reflect the college that it is in, as we no longer have McQ’s.”

“It’s sad that they [James College Students] don’t have their own place to meet each other”

Laura Watson – JAMES JCRC Ents Rep

Emma Bartlett, James JCRC Chair, has commented: “There has been a massive amount of progress in the last few days and I’m very confident it will be ready for freshers. The college has had a lot of input in the designs for the bar and its capacity.”
She also added: “We will still be using it as our own with our weekly pub quiz. It now means that other colleges may also want to use it more which is a great way to get people to the south side of campus.”
Laura Watson, one of the James JCRC Ents Reps, added: “My opinion is that it will work the same way as The Courtyard works for Langwith.”
Whilst Watson was highly enthusiastic about the project, she also commented that for members of James College, “it’s sad that they don’t have their own place to meet each other.”

Tim Ellis, YUSU President, has commented on the development, stating: “The bar is hopefully going to have the same relationship with James as the Courtyard does for Langwith students (i.e James College will see it and use it as if it is their own bar but will be used by everyone on campus). YUSU, Commercial Services and James have all been working closely together with the development of the plans.”
As it stands the bar is only using temporary partitions to separate the space of the bar itself from the Roger Kirk Centre, as it was not possible for it to be completed by the beginning of Freshers’ Week, when it has been booked for fresher events by James College and by YUSU for part of the Live and Loud event.

However, there are plans over the course of the Christmas break to build a bulkhead around the bar itself which will allow a partition to slide around the bar.
The Lounge will be used only for events during the first week of the Autumn term, after which it will be fully open from 9pm on the 17th October.

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