A new on-campus bar opened at the Tresidder patio area on Saturday night, drawing a crowd and setting the stage for further collaboration between Stanford and its students to expand campus social life. The student bar will be open for the rest of the quarter, on Fridays and Saturdays from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m., for all people aged 21 and up.
The idea for the bar was conceived by Emily Arbuthnott ’19, head of The Social Project (TSP) student association, who feels there should be more student spaces for juniors and seniors. TSP will be working with the Stanford Concert Network (SCN) to develop student programming at the bar, according to SCN director Ali Anglin ’19.
“[We want] to encourage student music performance at the student bar to [increase] student engagement and create a social space,” Anglin said.
Saturday night was described by Arbuthnott as a “soft opening” of the bar. A more formal opening is planned for Week 3, featuring some of the live student music mentioned by Anglin.
The bar hired Stanford students as bartenders and trained them from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday. Some of these bartenders spoke with The Daily, saying that the bar will have a positive impact on student life.
Bartender Tina Li ’20 gave her perspective on why Stanford is implementing an on-campus bar amid the University’s contentious relationship with its alcohol policies.
“I actually work with OAPE [Office of Alcohol and Public Education] and Cardinal Nights,” she said. “And freshman and sophomores are mostly our target for the Cardinal Nights program, but there’s not too much for juniors and seniors, so this is definitely a safer alternative.”
Another bartender, Cainan Cole ’20, echoed Li’s sentiments.
“Safety plays into this situation,” Cole said. “If you’re going somewhere to drink alcohol, you really don’t want to have to drive back to campus.”
It is unclear what role the bar is intended to play in Stanford’s reimagining of the Tresidder area, which will include a new Town Center. Student Affairs has not responded to The Daily’s request for comment.
“[The bar] is all part of the many changes in store for us as our informal, but hard-working, social project team begins to roll out all sorts of new ways to hang out with friends on campus,” wrote Vice Provost for Student Affairs Susie Brubaker-Cole in a Saturday email announcing the bar to students.
Bartender Schuyler Tilney-Volk ’20 said she thinks the new bar “is also a good opportunity to promote a social space that is on campus but is not necessarily Greek or residentially-focused.”
“It allows you to stay on campus because … a lot of people don’t necessarily want to go off campus, drive [to a bar] and drive all the way back,” Tilney-Volk said.
Anglin said the bar is significant as “a student-centered space.”
“A lot of Tresidder is open to everyone,” she said, “but the fact that this space hires students and we’re going to have student performances … it’s really an area dedicated to the students specifically.”
After the bar’s soft opening on Saturday, customer Nishtha Bhatia ’19 said the experience “was really good … there were so many more people than expected.”
“It’s really nice to just walk outside your dorm and have somewhere to go,” said another customer, Alli Armstrong ’19.
Ultimately, Arbuthnott intends for the bar to foster a safer community involving alcohol for juniors and seniors while also improving the social experience through engaging student performances.
Contact Dilan Nana at dilan99 ‘at’ stanford.edu.