Patronage at the DBAR — also known as the Debasement Bar, located in the basement of the Graduate College — has seen a “declining trend” over the last 10 years, and the grad-student managers of the bar are out to change that.
“People are less inclined to go out now — [the DBar] used to be the way for graduate students to interact with each other,” said Vicki Lee, a fourth-year Ph.D. student in the chemical and biological engineering department and the DBar’s events coordinator. “You didn’t have Facebook or Instagram, and dating apps weren’t really a thing. If you wanted to meet other graduate students, the DBar was where you could do that.”
At-home entertainment options such as Netflix and social media may lead some students to stay in on weekends, Lee said. Her plan is to offer a wider variety of events, including live music nights, wine and beer tastings, trivia contests, and karaoke to try to appeal to a larger audience.
DBar managers are also hoping that a change in membership, approved by grad students in March, will encourage more students to frequent the bar. Under the new policy, which still needs to be approved by the University, all students living in graduate housing would be granted automatic membership at the DBar — not just those who live in the Graduate College and the annexes.