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Students react to D-Bar restrictions

The University's recent decision to limit access to the Debasement Bar to Graduate College residents and their guests has elicited a range of reactions — from apathy to rage.

Following the resignation Wednesday of both D-Bar student managers, many graduate students said yesterday that they are hoping the administration will respond to complaints about the new policy and ease the restrictions.

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They cited a variety of reasons for objecting to the limitations, ranging from fear of social isolation to the simple desire for an inexpensive, convenient place to relax.

Some graduate students said they were concerned that restricting access to the D-Bar would limit their social options. "I think the D-Bar is central to the social scene here. Everyone can get a good chat there," Peter Seeward GS said.

A few undergraduates agreed, noting that the stricter guidelines may prohibit many students who are old enough to drink from patronizing the D-Bar. "I think it's a bummer for anyone over 21. It's the cheapest place off campus to drink." Alice Beha '00 said.

Other undergraduates, however, said they were not interested in the issue or said they had not even heard of the now-controversial bar. "I don't care. Nobody goes there but the grad students anyway," Mike Anthony '02 said.

Many students said the sense of detachment from the rest of the University that graduate students now feel would be exacerbated by the new restrictions. "I think it builds on an atmosphere of isolation in the Graduate College," Greg Waring GS said.

"The point of the University is to encourage social interaction between undergraduates and graduates," Graham Watson '00 said. "With this new policy, they're marginalizing all the students on campus."

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Brad Bailey GS said he advocates a completely open policy for the D-Bar. "The D-Bar should be open to as many as possible, especially if you are a graduate student or over 21," he said.

Seeward agreed. "The administration treats us a bit like underage people," he said. "It prevents the University from being as exciting as it can be."

Despite the apparent unpopularity of the University's restrictions on the D-Bar, some graduate student leaders found a positive aspect of the dispute.

"I'm glad to see the graduate students voicing their opinions," said Manish Vachharajani GS, the new assistant chair of the Graduate College House Committee. "More graduate students should let the administration know how they feel in an articulate manner."

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