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D-Bar managers quit over policy dispute

Both student managers of the graduate school's Debasement Bar — also known as the D-Bar — resigned yesterday, in response to a University policy that will prohibit non-residents of the Graduate College from entering unless accompanied by a resident.

"I'm pretty much fed up," said Amlan Majumdar GS, who was one of the D-Bar managers — known as "bar czars" — who resigned. "They've been changing their stance as they play the game."

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Majumdar yesterday hung a sign on the door of the D-Bar that states: "The D-Bar's club license allows us to serve only G.C. and Annex residents and their guests. Thank you for your cooperation."

Majumdar said he believed the sign is inaccurate. "It should say not the D-Bar's club license, but the graduate school's policy."

Adrian Banner GS, chair of the Graduate College House Committee, agreed that the bar should have a more open policy. "I would like the D-Bar to be viewed as a place for all graduate students," he said. "It was and remains my hope that the graduate school will change its decision."

Marc Baldo, a bartender who served as bar czar for two years until November, said it will be difficult for the House Committee to find replacement bar czars.

"Getting someone new to take the job is going to be tough," he said. "Politically, it's a nightmare dealing with the University."

Baldo said the bar staff is considering a strike. "All of the bar staff are thinking of going on strike after Sunday," he said. "We're going to be meeting tomorrow."

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"Ultimately, we have no power," Baldo added. "[The graduate school] could shut it down if they wanted."

Under the terms of the D-Bar's club liquor license, every person served at the bar must be a club member, which was defined as those students who live at the Graduate College. Of the more than 2,000 graduate students, only about 500 actually live at the college.

Several weeks ago, the club decided to begin enforcing this resident-only definition, prohibiting graduate students who live outside of the Graduate College from entering the D-Bar without a resident.

However, the Graduate College residents passed a constitutional amendment Feb. 16 to extend club membership to all graduate students, Banner said.

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"[The amendment] allows non-resident graduate students to become voting members of the House," he said. "[The amendment makes] it legal for non-residents who do join and pay the membership fee of $10 a year . . . to come into the D-Bar without signing in as a guest."

Despite the amendment, graduate school officials re-affirmed their decision to prohibit entrance to graduate students who are not accompanied by a resident of the college at a House Committee meeting Monday, Banner said.

"What has angered the bar czars and bartenders is that a decision has been made by the Graduate School that regardless of what may or may not be legal, only G.C. residents and their guests may be admitted to the bar," Banner added.

In an e-mail, Graduate School residential life coordinator Ulrich Struve reaffirmed the University's position on the issue.

"The House Committee can certainly offer memberships to the House following the amendment. But such a membership will NOT get new members who do not live in the GC or the Graduate Annexes a sticker for the D-Bar; they will still have to sign in as guests," he said in the e-mail.

Neither Struve nor Associate Dean of the Graduate School F. Joy Montero could be reached for comment yesterday.

Majumdar said the restriction would lessen the appeal of the D-Bar, and hurt business. "Once our clientele goes down, the bar goes bankrupt or we raise our prices," he said.

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