The new policy at the D-Bar — which will allow only residents of the Graduate College and their guests to attend the bar until membership stickers are distributed next month — was implemented Saturday night.
On April 16, the committee will distribute 200 membership stickers and, it will disperse 100 more May 16 to non-resident members.
Adrian Banner, head of the Graduate College House Committee, said he is satisfied with the decision, which was reached by the house committee and deans of the graduate school March 15. "It's not ideal. What we wanted and what we still want is immediate access to all members," he said. "But we are happy because it's a lot better than what we had. Practically, it allows us to run the bar in a much more viable way than before."
More than 50 graduate students had protested the policy at a public meeting held March 3. An alternative plan was never proposed, however, and the house committee decided to pursue the administration's proposal, Banner said. "The protest movement has happened and sort of petered out, because in my opinion what the deans gave us was a large part of what we wanted," he said.
Ulrich Struve, residence life coordinator, said he is also satisfied with the agreement. "I think it's a fair, workable, balanced compromise," he said.
Most people who want to join the D-Bar will be able to become members eventually, Banner said. "We'll be able to cater to 300 non-resident graduate students [after May 16]. We don't expect that that many more will really join," he said. Also, each member is allowed to bring nine guests, so non-members can still access the bar during the period before April 16.
The bar elected two new bar managers — called czars — last Monday, after the bar's previous czars resigned in February. Alexandre Mas GS, one of the new czars, said he accepts the decision, though he has some reservations. "The house committee just wanted to get things going again, and the deans don't easily move from these issues. They did what they could, and I can respect that," he said.
"The crux of this problem was that all of a sudden the administration decided there had to be a distinction made between graduate students who lived at the grad college and those who didn't live at the grad college," Mas said. "We didn't want to be in the position to turn grad students away," he said.
"The point is that the D-Bar isn't the root of the problem. The protests are more directed at the deans if anything. No one wanted to see the D-Bar closed," Mas added.
Mas said the main dilemma is the lack of trust between Graduate College members and the administration. "There has been real trouble in the past, and the key is to keep things going steadily now to regain the trust that I think has been broken," he said.
But the main purpose of the bar has been preserved, according to the new bar czar. "People are still having fun," he said. "Our goal is to have fun."