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Davidson College Announces On-Campus Pub And Coffeehouse

Courtesy of Tim Helfrich

This fall, draft beer and wine will be served on the campus of Davidson College.  Students and administrators say it will provide a safe drinking environment for students, faculty and staff.  

It's stating the obvious to say that there's a lot of underage drinking on college campuses. 

"There's certainly students who are under-age who choose to drink on every college campus that I know of, including here," says Davidson dean of students Tom Shandley.

He believes that a pub opening this fall will provide a safe environment for students of legal age to drink responsibly.

"This kind of culture of a pub-coffeehouse facility is very common in many parts of the world, particularly Europe, and they study abroad, they get used to that culture, get used to that atmosphere and they really want to recreate that here," Shandley says. 

He says the concept of a bar on campus is not unheard of. Shandley says they looked at other small liberal arts colleges for guidance like Elon and Middlebury.

The pub will be run by Summit Coffee, a local coffee shop in downtown Davidson, owned by Davidson College alumni. It will serve beer, wine and food. No liquor will be served at the college union location. (correction: The location was changed to a building called the Outpost). 

One of the owners of Summit Coffee, Tim Helfrich, says he wishes this was an option when he went to school, more than a decade ago.

"You know, you're either in a dorm room or apartment or you're at a fraternity house, so I think that was something that was appealing to both students and to college faculty and staff where you can drink responsibly and publicly," Helfrich says. 

Most students are looking forward to it, says Caroline Queen, an editor at the college paper, The Davidsonian.

"Those who do not care to participate in binge drinking and things like that will benefit the most from the pub because it will be a much more casual setting so it's a great addition in that sense," Queen says. 

The exact opening day for the bar has not been determined.