Alcuin bar B Henry’s is set to close at the end of this term following a University review.
The bar becomes the latest college social space to face closure, following the decision to cease trading in Langwith and Halifax’s bars last academic year.
The JCRC and College Provost have been notified of the decision, which they describe as “out of the blue”. In an Extraordinary Meeting on Thursday, Alcuin JCRC ruled with a complete majority to campaign against the closure.
Alcuin Provost Tony Ward was approached by Phil Kemble of Commercial Services this week and told that B Henry’s would be put under review. Ward was told that the review had raised sufficient concerns to force the closing of the bar, which had lost up to £10,000 a year for two consecutive years.
Erik O’Connor, Alcuin JCRC Chair is outraged at the Universities decision and the effect that it will have on Alcuin College spirit. O’Connor argues that the bar is a “central social venue”, that it is “not enough to have a JCR” and that the bar is not just a “commercial unit”. He considers the loss of £8,000 – £10,000 a year a “pittance in perspective”, and says that students will “have nothing to do”. According to O’Connor, the failure is because of “a lack of will-power to promote the bar”.
During the meeting, the JCRC heard that considering the daily earnings of the cafeteria area, B Henry’s actually makes a profit of £20,000 a year. The Alcuin campaign has the full support of YUSU, and Officers Tom Scott, Matt Burton and Charlie Leyland attended the JCR Meeting.
After the Halifax College bar, JJs, was closed over the summer, Alcuin JCRC members suggested that there may be a “ground plan” which threatens all of the University bars, including the popular central bars in Goodricke, Wentworth and Vanbrugh. All bars used to be open seven days a week, but a University plan to reduce the hours was successful after a failed YUSU campaign.