The Lighthouse Tavern â€“ Focus Group Report Psychographic: People and Organizations Desiring to Rent The Lighthouse Tavern
Cory Morrison Jenna Hill Jenna Levy Megan Kirkpatrick Michelle Serra
Submitted to: Dr. Barbara Miller March 13, 2008
Lighthouse Focus Group Findings Elon University Students
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES The Lighthouse Tavern was purchased by Elon University in December 2007. University Vice President and Dean of Student Life, Dr. Smith Jackson, became the person in charge of deciding the university usage of the facility. The Lighthouse, a bar students frequented throughout the week, had a specific atmosphere many students enjoyed. On many weekend nights, sororities rented the bar for the evening to host “crush parties.” Private homecoming and graduation events also gave organizations and individuals the opportunity to rent the bar witha strict guest list. Our group targeted this psychographic through our focus group research. We aimed to have representatives from several Greek organizations and non-Greek organizations on campus such as Student Union Board (SUB) and Elon’s radio station, WSOE. Each person that participated in the focus group was the social chair, president, or programming representative from his or her organization. Through Communications Research classes, Dr. Jackson asked students to assess how to best fulfill the needs of the University through the Lighthouse. The goal of the focus group was to obtain qualitative data about what the participants want, expect, and foresee happening with the Lighthouse. To do this, four areas of discussion on the Lighthouse were emphasized: general information, pricing, environment, and policies and rules.
METHODS AND PROCEDURES We conducted a focus group on March 3, 2008 with nine members from various organizations. These organizations included SUB, WSOE, one fraternity, one previous Lighthouse employee, and five sororities. We received feedback by using open-ended questions to observe the participants speaking on the topic rather than interviews with the focus group moderators. By doing this, a comfortable atmosphere among the group was created. Each participant freely added his or her input. When presented with an opportunity to expand on a question, the moderators asked appropriate follow-up questions for further discussion. These follow-up questions were helpful because they summed up the previous discussion and transitioned into another question. This encouraged in-depth responses, as the moderators probed difficult topics. The format for the focus group was as follows:
Students were asked what they liked about the old lighthouse. Next, they were then asked questions about what kinds of events they would want from a new bar and what venues they had been currently using. Students were then asked questions about what they would be willing to pay to rent out the new bar, along with other questions pertaining to costs such as cover charge.
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Thirdly, students were asked what they would like to see regarding the new bar’s environment and facilities. Lastly, students were asked about policies that they would like to see enacted at the new bar.
DETAILED FINDINGS GENERAL INFORMATION: Atmosphere and Acoustics “I know that in my sorority everyone favored Lighthouse to West End because it was more laid back and a lot more fun in general to be there.” “…We considered ourselves average Joe’s.” “West End is more of an elitist feel and I always felt more comfortable here.” We discovered that many students throughout Elon’s campus were requesting the Lighthouse re-open in its current condition. We were concerned that our focus group would express parallel sentiments. Our participants called for a similar atmosphere, but also offered insightful recommendations for improvements. Participants expressed that their organizations enjoyed the Lighthouse’s “laid-back” environment. Our focus group also said they would enjoy the return of live music to the bar. The open floor, varied music, and karaoke on Thursday nights were cited as factors for their attachment to the establishment. Karaoke was a common point of appeal, showing that students crave a venue for this “Elon tradition.” “It would be great to have a stage to have large bands—like a five piece band—so people can socialize…it doesn’t have to be all about that band, but it would be a cool place to come.” “I think it would be easier to use Lighthouse instead of the Zone because it is more of a music atmosphere.” We discovered SUB has funds set aside for live bands to perform on campus. They like bringing in bands needing exposure. The group liked the idea of having a certain night of the week for SUB or WSOE-sponsored music events. We also heard a desire for utilizing the space for bands to practice during non-business hours. “I would love to have a practice space,” said one participant who is a member of a local band. COST “To a point [a cover charge] adds value to the establishment. If you charge a cover then it adds credibility.” LIGHTHOUSE TAVERN – FOCUS GROUP REPORT
“I think if crush parties were less than several hundred dollars we would probably rent it.” “It would be nice to make it cheaper than the other places. It should be free to reserve it like other places on campus.” The issue of cost became a determining factor in the ability of various campus organizations to use the facility. Students were not opposed to a cover charge on open nights, wanting it to remain under $5, or a slightly higher fee for music events. The SUB and WSOE representatives said that giving live bands part of the proceeds is important. WSOE also stated that they do not have money in their budget to rent the location. The university would have to allow them to provide free programming. Greek representatives agreed that the rental cost should be less than West End, which is currently charging over $400 per night. Students also said they would be willing to pay a higher rental feel if inexpensive drink “specials” were offered. Examples mentioned include 50-cent drafts and $5 pitchers. “Maybe they could have a hotdog machine or pretzels or something.” “They could put in a pizza warmer...” The provision of food was a connected concern to rental costs. Many Greek organizations are required by their national offices to provide food at functions. Previously, they had to supply food when renting the Lighthouse. Due to this requirement, food options should be considered. The establishment should provide soft drinks “on tap” to offer non-alcoholic beverages during rentals and regular business hours. This discussion also included the possibility of ARAMARK staffing and operating the facility. Participants were not in favor of ARAMARK involvement at this level. “If it’s ARAMARK it would suck.” “And I definitely don’t want to see ARAMARK…we all know how that would work out.” This was based on the Elon-ARAMARK connection. Students expressed that they do not want to feel like they are in an Elon establishment. Therefore, they also do not want an ambiance resembling the Zone or Varsity. References to Elon, the Phoenix, oaks, or acornsshould not be used as part of the atmosphere. One participant said, “No Elon on the walls; not like Varsity. I don’t want to see a big picture of the Phoenix.” Another participant noted, “If they write ‘Elon’s Lighthouse,’ it’s just going to piss people off. It should be our Lighthouse.” ENVIRONMENT
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“I was talking to some seniors, maybe because they’re 21, but they suggested to have the hours earlier and make it more of a pub type feel, with couches in the back and with a dance area at night. That way, they can make more money because people will just come and sit in here and drink.” Participants were surprisingly open-minded about the environment of the establishment. The discussion about the atmosphere began with the idea of adding a porch to the facility. This initial topic spread to a more general question: What would one do if they could demolish the building and create something brand new? “It would be cool to have a stage for bands.” “I think if you were to have couches, it would have to be in a different room, because I know the Zone is a big problem because people are sitting down when the band is playing, and they’re like, ‘Why the hell aren’t you guys up here?’ It’s really hard to as a band to get people up and standing there; it just helps the energy.” “What about with the bar, if they wrapped it around like a horseshoe, then you’d have bigger bar space, two taps, one on each side, that way there’s more area to sit around, that way you can get at it easier. I mean that whole back room, there’s so much space back there.” These statements encourage incorporating ideas from the Lighthouse into a new bar that can accommodate many uses and various student organizations. When compared to West End Station, participants spoke about enjoying the seating area in the back, but not enjoying the “jam packed” atmosphere of a dance club. The pool table, darts, and an ambiance of a college bar were popular suggestions. “With the booths at West End, you can just chill in the back.” “Bring back the pool tables, dart board, and all that stuff.” “It needs to be like a college bar atmosphere.” “I like how it’s open here. At West End, if you’re trying to get from the pool tables to dance area it can be a hassle.” Participants also suggested the idea of Elon helping with decorations for organizationsponsored events. One suggested that Elon equip the bar with black lights if desired. The participants wanted the old Lighthouse’s atmosphere integrated into the new bar, regardless of its name. Students want a college bar with rental options for campus organizations and events. They want it to be laid back, open, and fun. Students also agreed that facility improvements like new restrooms were necessary. Additional features such as furniture, extra rooms, and a bigger bar were suggested to improve the ambiance and design of the facility. LIGHTHOUSE TAVERN – FOCUS GROUP REPORT
POLICIES Security and Identification: Managing a Bar “[I want] students [to work here], people who want to work here, not ARAMARK employees who are sent to work and then just pull of an eight-hour shift. You want to see familiar faces and people who like what they’re doing behind the bar and want to see you having a good time.” When the moderator asked about facility policies, participants were eager to discuss security, checking identifications, employees, and the bar’s schedule. For security, participants did not like the idea of Elon security guards, or even ARAMARK employees. Students supported the idea of showing a Phoenix Card, or other university ID and an additional form of identification for over-age entry. This would ensure only Elon students, faculty, staff, alumni, and their guests were admitted. Because the idea of band nights was prevalent, participants expressed the need for lighter identification requirements during performances. Participants also liked the idea of having more than one person checking IDs to prevent long lines. “I would use your phoenix card to prove you’re a student and then some type of ID.” “[You should need] a student ID, so if you bring a friend and you want to show they’re not some random Burlington person that they can just show their student ID.” “For bands, I know there are some crazy fans who like coming to all of the shows and stuff, so it would be nice if there was some leeway with that so people could come in.” One participant, a former Lighthouse employee and Elon student organization member, explained the need for employee policies ensuring student workers were not held liable for underage drinking or other illicit activities which may unknowingly take place inside. He explained that he has gotten in trouble for serving someone with an “over 21” bracelet who was actually under-age. If Elon students continue to run the bar, preferably in all staff positions, then establishment policies would need to protect their legal safety. It is unnecessary to have a licensed bartender on-staff, since beer would be the only type of alcohol served. Participants did feel that someone from Elon or ARAMARK should oversee the facility’s operations for liability purposes, though. One participant said, “They can’t just have students serving. There has to be an Elon manager, maybe not out on the floor, but in the back or something.” The participants believe that if students work together with university-employed staff, the bar could be successful. Liability is a concern, and the details of proper identification and security were mixed due to the varying requirements of campus organizations and the need for exceptions during special events. Scheduling LIGHTHOUSE TAVERN – FOCUS GROUP REPORT
“We want all the organizations to use it however they want to use it. It would be nice to have open mic nights and nights for bands and stuff like that.” Participants continually attempted to take their favorite aspects of the old Lighthouse and twist them to create a new place with the same atmosphere, including the weekly schedule. Previously, the most popular night was Karaoke Night. The participants agreed that this should continue. “I would say Wednesday could be bands, Thursday karaoke, Friday/Saturday for parties.” The schedule of the first week, participants explained, will either “make or break” the bar. Comments on scheduling allow us to conclude that karaoke is a necessity to the new bar’s survival. All of the students believed that it was important for Elon to work to make the bar a bar and not another hang out place and that the scheduling of the bar needed to reflect this theme. “I think if we all sat down [to plan the calendar] that would be fair.” “I think they should do it by semester and have not just the presidents because all these dates keep popping up for us and I [as social chair] have no clue.” When the advance reservation schedule was discussed, students agreed on a “one semester at a time” policy. By allowing all of the organizations to plan the calendar at the beginning of each semester, the participants felt they would receive fair use of the facility. MISCELLANEOUS “Would we, [organizations who use the bar], be at a greater liability? We’re already at a liability with renting out West End. You can’t drink underage at West End; we’re liable that night. But then how much worse would it be if Elon owned it? Would our girls be getting suspended?” One of the main concerns raised was liability of attending students as well as the renting organization. Participants were worried students would get in trouble with the university if they got in trouble within the facility. Previously, if you were caught drinking underage, the drink was taken from you and you may have been asked to leave. Students are now concerned about frequenting an establishment which has the ability to send them through the University judicial process. Another concern of the social organizations was the possibility of “double punishment.” These organizations have their own internal judicial processes for members who get into trouble at a social event. They are concerned their members will also have to go
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through the University judicial process if they are asked to leave from an event at the new establishment. Lastly, the participants worried about their individual organizations would be held liable for underage drinking in the facility. They were concerned that the organization would be punished if someone drinking underage while the facility was rented in the organization’s name. This possibility of higher liability was one of the participants’ biggest concerns.
SUMMARY AND IMPLCATIONS There were many important points made throughout the focus group. General opinions showed that Elon should try to maintain the bar atmosphere unique to the old Lighthouse. The students do not want to see the traditional Elon décor of accent walls, fabric furniture, and the Phoenix all over the bar. However, while the students do want to keep many of the Lighthouse aspects the same, they would like improvements regarding bathrooms and other amenities. In order to maintain the environment, participants felt students should constitute the employee base and supervised by an Elon general manager. They also want to ensure that students working the bar are protected from serving an underage student unknowingly and getting into trouble. The participants discouraged ARAMARK involvement. They felt as though ARAMARK prices and atmosphere would be detrimental to the fledgling establishment. Participants also want a reasonable rental price, preferably free, and are willing to collaborate on a semester-long schedule. However, they are worried about increased liability issues when renting out the bar for their organizations. All of the participants agreed that the first week of operation would be crucial to the success of the establishment for the rest of the year. Therefore, Elon should consider opening a bar that remains student-friendly with a relaxed atmosphere different from other establishments on campus. Students should be working with Elon management behind the scenes. Student workers should also be protected from getting into trouble for serving underage by taking all the necessary precautions that underage students do not gain entrance as over-age. Elon should consider following a schedule similar to the previous establishment, including a DJ night, live music, a karaoke night, etc. in order to maintain student interest. The alcohol policies enforced inside should be clearly outlined to the student body before they enter the bar. Students should not be confused about behavior expectations and understand the consequences of their actions. Organizations should also be made aware of new rental policies and procedures as well as potential liability issues the organization could face in the future.
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If Elon chooses ARAMARK as the primary source for alcohol and food, the administration should consider limiting the amount of influence ARAMARK has to ensure alcohol prices are comparable to near-by establishments. There should also be a varied selection of food, beverage and alcohol products available to students.
APPENDICES Moderator’s Guide Warm Up Introductions - Each person introduces his/herself and says what organization he/she is representing. Ground Rules – There are no wrong answers. If you have comments, please share them. Talk one at a time. Be respectful of each other thoughts and opinions. Procedures – All of your answers are completely confidential. We are taping your answers for our use only and you names will be changed in the transcript. We will be asking you questions, but feel free to talk openly and candidly. Goal for the night – Our goal for this session is to help the university understand what students want in the use and operations of the Lighthouse Tavern. Lead-In Do you have any questions for us about why you are here or the situation surrounding Elon’s purchase of Lighthouse? What did you like about the old Lighthouse? Discussion General What types of events do you want to host at Lighthouse? What other venues have you been using? What do you like and dislike about those venues? Cost What are you willing to pay to rent out the Lighthouse? What should be included in those costs? • Food? • Non-alcoholic drinks? On an average night what would you be willing to pay for food? On an average night what would you be willing to pay as far as a cover charge goes? What would you be willing to pay for alcoholic beverages? What times would you like times would you like the bar for? (Start time – end time) How far in advance do you want to have to make a reservation – what would be a fair time period? Environment When you walk into the new Lighthouse, what do you envision? LIGHTHOUSE TAVERN – FOCUS GROUP REPORT
If Elon had unlimited resources to update and improve Lighthouse, what would you like to see? How do you feel about a smoke free environment? What do you like or not like about West End’s environment? What sort of seating would you prefer at Lighthouse? What kind of music do you want to hear there? What is your interest level in having live music? What would you change structurally about the current Lighthouse? How do you feel about the following? (Feel free to add any more ideas that you come up with) • Themed nights • Over 21 nights • Changing the name Policies What do you think the new procedure should be for entering the bar? What nights would you be interested in using the bar? Who do you think should work at the new bar? How do you feel about faculty, staff, and alumni using the new bar? What kind of operating schedule would you like at Lighthouse? During the week? On the weekends?
Focus Group Transcript The names of the people who have participated in this focus group have been removed to protect their privacy. They have been renamed as Males 1-4 (M1, M2, M3, M4) and Females 1-5 (F1, F2, F3, F4, F5). The moderators were called Moderator 1 and Moderator 2. MODERATOR 1: What did you like about Lighthouse before? M1: I liked that it was a laid-back atmosphere, karaoke, maybe have bands a couple nights to perform, but also on off nights it was a very relaxed environment. M2: I like the sound system and the feeling of a bar venue like you see in Chapel Hill with local 506, Cat’s Cradle and in Raleigh. M3: One of the things we always said was we considered ourselves “average Joes.” F1: I know in my sorority everyone preferred Lighthouse to West End because it was more laid back and a lot more fun in general to be here. M4: West End is more of an elitist feel and I always felt more comfortable here. I know Lighthouse is a lot more open. F2: I do the idea of bands here, especially for crush parties. I do like West End a lot but I agree that it’s a lot more open. MODERATOR 1: What is it about Thursday Nights? F2: Sitting next to a person the next day in class, it’s like all of Elon comes together on Thursday nights, it’s just wild, it’s so fun.
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MODERATOR 1: Why do you think it works out like that? F3: I think it’s just something different with karaoke. F4: It was a tradition. F3: I like the layout there’s places to hang out where at West End. F5: From the crush party standpoint it was nice, it was just more fun and laid back. F4: For AOPi they like West End more because it’s more concentrated and more of a dancing atmosphere. But, there you have more dancing parties than the type you have at Lighthouse. I like Lighthouse a lot more because it is so laid back. MODERATOR 1: If you have any questions about the purchase of Lighthouse or anything at all. MODERATOR 2: There are four main categories, general questions, cost, environment and policies. MODERATOR 1: What types of events would your organizations want to have a Lighthouse? M1: With SUB, we have SUB Live on Saturday nights and right now, we do it in the Zone, which really sucks. It’s not a great venue for music; the sound is really bad. It would be great to have the stage to have large bands like a five-piece band so people can socialize it doesn’t have to be all about the band, but it would be a cool place to come. Kinda small or medium bands. M2: Yeah I’m with M4 on that, we have a good relationship with local bands, local meaning Chapel Hill and Durham, we brought a band in last Friday. It would be cool if we could charge a little bit maybe because we can’t pay bands with our budget. Definitely, I think it would be easier to use Lighthouse instead of the zone because it is more of a music atmosphere. And I think the sound quality would definitely improve them. M3: Have they thought about doing a crush party in the zone? ?: I hope not. M3: I think also if they use the name Lighthouse Tavern would be shitty. MODERATOR 1: No that’s one of the questions we talked about. M3: I have no idea what he said… something about being shitty and Elon doing something. If I came back for homecoming and this is where I spent my four years I wouldn’t come back. F1: I think it’s just another place to be. It’s been cramped this semester trying to get West End. MODERATOR 2: For mixers or crush parties or when would you, use it? F1: Weekends more so. M4: I think it’s a good place to have mixers. F2: For us it would be crush parties, and it depends on what it turns into. Like my sorority are “Lighthouse loyals” and it doesn’t go back, it’s not going to be the same. If it like changes, we would probably think differently. F3: I know sometimes there have been philanthropy events here. It comes down to how it is. F5: It’s too hard to try and just have one bar for every sorority. F4: I feel like it’s hard for our socials MODERATOR 1: What other venues are you using? M1: We use Alumni Gym for a lot of our events and the acoustics are horrible. That’s why it would be so nice to be able to use Lighthouse. For smaller events, we use the zone or McKinnon, which isn’t that bad, but there’s no alcohol. We’ve started looking into outside venues. But something that can provide multiple uses, alcohol some nights and maybe food but it would depend on what was charged, not too much. And I definitely don’t want to see ARAMARK- we all know how that would work out. It was horrible. Just a mixture of all the elements combined.
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M2: Yeah it would be nice to have it available. We had a pretty good crowd at our last show. And what we’ve had like 10 people show up to the zone shows, and the sound is so bad it’s just hard to rent them out. It would be good to have a mix of things here to draw people not just for the music. M1: We don’t want to take away Lighthouse for the people who come a bunch of times a week. M3: Well Chad put everything in for his own band. The equipment is really good. (There’s a minute you can’t hear anything…) M1: I know they’ve done a bunch of forums and gotten a bunch of feedback already and people say that they won’t come back. People that are going here won’t go to it and they just wanted to stop it from being a McDonald’s 40 years down the road or something like that. F1: We’re actually going off campus because we couldn’t get West End and we’re paying $700 for a bus to go somewhere. We’re going down to this place down Church Street. It’s just causing a lot more problems because people can’t walk. And it sucks because our first party has to be off campus and it has to be a date party it can’t be a crush party because people can’t walk. We have West End for dates down the road but it sucks because transportation is eating up all our money. M4: We ended up having our homecoming party at West End and things were a mess, they got flipflopped and we ended up owing them more than we had agreed on. So that got a little complicated and the only complaint people gave me was that it’s a lot stricter at West End in terms of underage drinking but that’s what the university cares about. F2: We just got a date for a crush party the thing that I noticed about West End like on a Wednesday night is that it gets crowded very easily and at Lighthouse it’s a lot more open. But as I said before if it would really depend on what Elon were to do with it. People just want it reopened, they want it the same, they don’t want anything to change. F3: Just going along with what she was saying with crush parties is West End does go so fast and during the week just gets so crowded it would just be nice to have somewhere else to go. And we’ve gone to the Raven before which I thought was kinda cool. There’s a bunch of different levels and so many sections you can be in a totally different section. There would be a lounge area and another area with couches so you could just relax and a food section. The dance floor was totally separate so it’s like not everything is all in one space. They have an upstairs where the bar’s at. MODERATOR 1: Would you like to see like two different feels or what? F3: During the week I’m not sure how that would work out but for crush parties I thought that was really cool to have a lounge area, a pool table, hangout area, a dance area, it was fun. F4: I liked it it’s got a different feel. It’s a lot bigger than it looks like. There’s just so many places inside. F5: We’re having all our crush parties at West End and if Lighthouse were open, again we’d be worried about Elon owning it and our girls getting in trouble. If underage does happen, how is it going to be handled? MODERATOR 1: So you think people would be less interested in having a crush party here? F5: Yeah. Sororities have different policies on what happens if someone gets caught drinking underage. F2: Would we be at a greater liability? We’re already at a liability with renting out West End. You can’t drink underage at West End, we’re liable that night. But then how much worse would it be if Elon owned it. Would our girls be getting suspended? M3: See that’s the one thing Chad always tried to do. There needs to be a rule that if you’re caught underage drinking Elon can’t charge you twice. Its kind of like a third party is running it and Elon just pays the bill. Which I heard a rumor about, is Steve the sound guy running it or something. He tried to buy it. M4: I heard a rumor that they were considering implementing the 0 1 3 policy for parties. MODERATOR 1: We asked about that and again with everything else they said we don’t know, we don’t know, we don’t know.
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F2: If they made it the 0 1 3 they might as well not turn it into a bar. M4: I heard that was a possibility. M1: Dr. Jackson talked to students and said there’s a lot of questions about if you had a wristband would they pay attention every time you buy a drink and he said no, they’re encouraging smart drinking. MODERATOR 1: If you’re visibly intoxicated at the door, they’re probably going to be stricter but I think they’re trying to be open. F3: It would suck if they spent all this money and then were really strict and no one came, that would be such a waste of money. F2: Have they ever seen a Lighthouse weekday? Do they know what happens here? If they changed it, I doubt anyone would be interested. MODERATOR 2: Students working the door, checking ids. M1: Would they serve out of kegs or would it be like Cantina and serve bottles and charge too much for them? That’s the thing about a college bar, we need specials. We’re college students, we’re cheap. We may be Elon students but we’re still cheap. We need Monday night specials, 50-cent drafts, $5 pitchers. F2: You’re going to have people bringing in flasks MODERATOR 2: I had a follow up question about bands for you all… M2: Yeah my band practices in the radio station in the offices. MODERATOR 2: If you were going to see live music what would you like to see? M2: I would love to have a practice space. I think it would be cool if maybe once a week or two nights a month to have an open mic night for bands to sign up and get exposure. M1: we want to bring in up and coming acts who are below the radar, $3-5,000 acts who aren’t a big show. Ones who are on MySpace who need exposure, those are the type of bands we want to bring in. To have Elon break away from the pop scene and you could bring in good bands from around here. MODERATOR 2: To have a separate target audience? M1: We usually bring in medium sized bands once a month and use McKinnon but if we had this space it would be used for that. F2: That was part of Lighthouse, the live music, and now there’s nowhere for them to go so they’re trying to play off campus parties, which is also fun, but the whole noise thing is a problem. So if they had a place that would be good. MODERATOR 1: What would you be willing to pay? How do you want that to work? M2: I know we couldn’t afford it. F4: It used to be a lot more relaxed. F5: We got kicked out of West End. MODERATOR 1: Did he charge you more? F5: No but he said we weren’t buying enough beer so he ended our party early. F4: We got charged $400 for rent for the mixer then $110 for food. MODERATOR 1: So how much would you be willing to pay? F2: It depends on how much beer’s gonna cost. If we’re gonna have to pay like $5 a beer. Right now I’m supposed to be talking to Josh about pitchers during crush parties, it’s a problem for us, I doubt they’ll allow us. We want like dollar drafts or pitchers or something. The specials, like $3 sparks. MODERATOR 2: Do you think a lot of people are still going to prefer West End? In respect to that, what would get you here in terms of cost, what would you expect?
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F3: I think if crush parties were less than several hundred dollars we would probably rent it. It would depend on the event. For like a crush party we’d rather pay less, like if West End was booked. M2: We can’t afford it as it is, and if you wanted to throw the music scene around here, to let bands practice during the daytime, they couldn’t afford to rent out this place either. M3: We tried and people didn’t use it. MODERATOR 1: What do you think about having food here? M3: If it’s ARAMARK it would suck. They’re trying to bring it up to code now and it’s gonna take forever. MODERATOR 1: They would have to completely add a kitchen. M3: There used to be one. There’s a lot of room back there, more than you think. You’d have to move the girl’s bathroom over to the other side, you literally have to move the stage over, it would take a lot of work. M1: Maybe they could have like a hotdog machine or pretzels or something. M4: They could put in like a pizza warmer or something. If they have to completely restructure everything then it wouldn’t be worth it. M2: They were saying at the SGA meeting something about food that would require a kitchen. To have a hotdog cooker or chips or something. F1: For us our national policy requires us to have unsalted food so we couldn’t do pretzels or chips because it makes you drink more. And we have to have non-alcoholic drinks so our concern would be to have sodas on tap so we could pay a flat fee. The girls used to just go to Costco and buy plates of sandwiches and sodas but now they’re not allowed to do that so it would have to be catered by someone if there wasn’t a kitchen because we have to have food. F2: We never used to have food at parties we didn’t know we were supposed to. Now Zach told us we have to have some so now we do. And you’re not allowed to use phoenix cash at West End which sucks and you can at SM3’s still so everyone goes to sM3’s afterwards. MODERATOR 1: if they did have food how would you feel about phoenix cash, etc? F5: Could you use your phoenix cash to buy beer? F3: You can use meal dollars to buy beer at Cantina. F2: I don’t see why you can’t at West End. If you can use them to buy food and alcohol at sM3’s’ and your parents meal dollars at cantina I don’t see why you can’t at Lighthouse too. M3: They had to stop because there has to be a certain amount of profits from food. MODERATOR 2: Would you expect food from the university? F2: I heard they were stopping you from using meal dollars at cantina so I didn’t get a meal plan again because I didn’t know where I was going to spend my meal dollars. MODERATOR 1: Just during a normal night during the week what do you think about cover charge. M1: To a point, it adds value to the establishment; oh, these people are paying to get in especially for a band. If you can charge a cover then it adds credibility. M2: As long as part of that goes to that band. M1: Well people at Elon wouldn’t pay a lot but it used to be like $3 if you’re over and $5 if you’re under and that worked pretty well. And if you could use phoenix cash to pay it. F5: Where would the profits be going MODERATOR 1: They're not looking to make money off of it, just for costs and running the establishment. They want to break even. MODERATOR 2: They want it mostly as a social networking place.
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MODERATOR 1: They’re never going to charge like $9 to get in. MODERATOR 1: What times would you want it to be open? M1: Happy hour to two am I guess. MODERATOR 1: Happy hour meaning what M1: Like three or whenever classes get out. Any time you could get alcohol. F2: It would be cool to be open in the afternoon like West End. M1: yeah I heard they were talking about adding a porch. M3: They own a bit that way, if you take out that side wall and extend to the sewer that’s about as far as Elon has to go. We could put it on the side. M1: I don’t think it should be open all during the day. M3: In NC there’s no such thing as happy hour, it’s illegal. If you have a special for a certain hour, that’s your special for the entire day of operation. M2: If it could be open for bands during the day just for practice that would be cool. M3: We tried, good luck. MODERATOR 1: What about like on the weekends. F3: On the weekends just normal times I guess for parties. And to still have philanthropy events here like they did sometimes. M3: Derby Days was the only one. F4: It would be nice to make it cheaper than other places. It should be free to reserve it like other places on campus. MODERATOR 2: You should have to reserve it? F4: Yeah. MODERATOR 1: So about reservations, how do you want that to work, do you want it the same way with West End, the problem is its full. Who should get it when, different nights of the week, etc. M1: I think it’s important to have somewhere else to have events. They all have one bar to have all their crush parties at and there’s a lot of sororities. It would help just to break it up. F3: And I think it would be cool how you were talking about Monday nights being just bands or something like that. And Thursdays for karaoke. MODERATOR 1: So like you know Mondays are for this and Wednesdays are for bands, Thursdays for karaoke and Friday/Saturday for parties etc. F2: I know right now the problem sororities are running into is that we’re only allowed to have crush parties on the weekends. They decided that people not showing up to class the next day was unacceptable and blamed it on the crush parties. So if we could have crush parties on the weeknights again that would be great but I don’t see that happening. It’s just such a huge issue now because West End is booked every weekend so if you’re at the bar you have to be out by 10, like if you’re there after the rugby game you have to leave for the crush party. M3: And we hate kicking y’all out because they all buy so much beer. MODERATOR 1: So what do you think is a solution? F4: I feel really bad that y’all have to spend so much money going off campus because all of a sudden it didn’t work out. Especially since we all of a sudden got an email saying Lighthouse was shut down and all we had was West End so I definitely think there was a scramble and I think people missed out. Ok we were lucky enough to get three dates that we had before but we had to rearrange to get those and you guys missed out. I just think that in terms of sororities there needs to be a regulation on how many
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everybody gets and when they are. Like if there were some kind of round table, if all the social chairs sat down and picked dates. MODERATOR: Well that’s what the presidents do every semester is sit down and plan out the Greek life calendar. They plan out when they want crush parties, when they want to use the bars. And that’s why we’re running into problems is when they planned it, they planned on having two bars. As long as people stick to it we should be fine. F4: I heard that people have been violating it without Lighthouse. F1: Even if you look at the Greek life calendar I think there’s three crush parties the same night next weekend even with Lighthouse that’s not going to happen if there’s only one place for us to go. MODERATOR 2: If there was a live band on Mondays would WSOE or SUB want the expectation of having to do that? M2: I think if we had that expectation it would be nice to have money to do that. We can only do so much without money. The Chapel Hill scene is great but we can only use that resource so many times. So if we’re expected to bring in a live band every week, we could do it but we’d need the money to do it. M1: I know we built in a Lighthouse fund into our budget to think ahead to having this space available. MODERATOR 1: Along with reservations, what’s a fair time frame? F4: I think if we all sat down that would be fair. F1: Is it for the whole year or what? F4: Yeah F1: I think they should do it by semester and have not just the presidents because all these dates keep popping up for us and I have no clue. F4: Even when we had a schedule people lost out because of everything. We had nights scheduled at West End that we lost when everyone scrambled around for dates. I think everyone should get three nights to do their parties that are disbursed around, keep it simple. MODERATOR 1: What about a porch? F2: I really don’t care but it would be hard to have guys coming in and out to smoke and girls coming in and out to smoke. MODERATOR 1: So what type of changes to the building do you want to see? MODERATOR 2: Like if this building was completely demolished. F2: Like a dancing stage. You couldn’t dance on the stage here like you can at West End. F4: It would be cool to have a stage for bands. F1: If there were two stages and have it leveled a little bit so there’s one part for dancing and one for the band. F2: Like the height of the one at West End, I think the height of that one could potentially be good. I think a couch would be cool, I think it could cause problems with girls passing out, well not only girls passing out but guys passing out too. F1: I just feel like it would get ruined a lot easier, it would be hard to keep it nice. F2: Yeah you would get beer spilled all over it, etc. F1: I like those tables over there, they’re nice. Cause West End has that area where you can sit down and hang out. Anything like that would be good. M2: I think if you were going to have couches it would have to be in a different room. Because I know the zone is a big problem because people are sitting down when the band playing and you’re like what the
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hell why aren’t you guys up here? It’s like really hard as a band to get people up and standing there, it just helps the energy. F2: We talked about this in chapter. One of the girls asked about a bar with couches and a nicer bar, make it a little classier. And the girls said no, no one wants to see it classier, just open it back up with the bar and the stage the way it was. MODERATOR 2: What about with the stage on the wall? F4: I was talking with some seniors, maybe because they’re 21, but they suggested to have the hours earlier and make it more of a pub type feel, with couches in the back and with a dance area at night. That way they can make more money because people will just come and sit in here and drink. F2: That’s like with the booths at West End, you can just chill in the booths in the back. M1: What about with the bar if they wrapped it around like a horseshoe, then you’d have bigger bar space, two taps, one on each side, that way there’s more area to sit around, that way you can get at it easier. I mean that whole back room, there’s so much space back there. MODERATOR 1: Do you guys like the idea of food? F2: They could put it in the back. M1: I guess if you were able to move then at nighttime, but you don’t want the dance floor to be cluttered with all these tables. F2: I think if there was seating in the back that would work. MODERATOR 1: And there used to be a pool table. M1: Bring back the pool tables, dartboard, all that stuff. F2: It needs to be like a college bar atmosphere. MODERATOR 1: So you like the floor? F2: Someone would ruin it anyway MODERATOR 1: so for the whole ambiance F2: If Elon would like help with crush parties, we only have certain budgets and we don’t ever decorate. So if Elon had stuff that we could use that wouldn’t come out of our budgets, like if they had black lights we could use if we had a graffiti party that would be cool. MODERATOR 1: To be versatile F2: If they could help us out with that stuff…that would be cool. M1: With the whole lighting system, if they could add in stuff for different settings so you can have a different atmosphere that would be cool. MODERATOR 1: What about actual on the walls and stuff? M1: No Elon on the walls, not like Varsity, I don’t want to see a big picture of the phoenix. MODERATOR 1: I think some people feel like if there’s any relationship to Elon M1: If they write Elon’s Lighthouse, that’s going to piss people off. It should be our Lighthouse. M4: No connection to Elon. MODERATOR 1: What do you not like about West End that Lighthouse could fulfill that? F4: I don’t like the atmosphere at times, it’s like being packed in. even with both rooms, they’re both packed. You just feel crammed in. F2: When it’s busy there’s a definite temperature difference between both rooms. You’ll walk into the pool table room and it drops 10 degrees.
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F3: I like how it’s open (here). At West End if you’re trying to get from the pool tables to the dance area it can be a hassle. M1: The bathrooms, the trough. I like it, you’re in and out. M3: Go take a look. F4: I was shocked going in there. M3: We had one night where every toilet in the girl’s bathroom overflowed and we had to kick the guys outside and let the girls use the trough. F4: I think it was cool how you could draw in there though. MODERATOR 1: How do you feel about that, new bathrooms? M3: It needs to be. The whole plumbing system needs to be redone. F3: The women’s bathroom needs to be bigger. F4: Maybe just bigger stalls or more of them. F2: Plus its harder to keep watch of girls because it’s so crowded at West End, that’s how they do get away with drinking. I know they use the bathrooms I’m not stupid. But that’s how you get away with drinking on the dance floor, you hide your beer there. It’s really hard to walk through there. MODERATOR 1: We’re going to move on to policies. What do you think about entering the bar? How should that work with IDs, phoenix cards, where should the entrance be? F1: For IDs, everyone says phoenix cards to use phoenix cash, but I think my year was the first one they started putting birthdays on it. M3: And if you know someone in the phoenix card office you can easily have another birthday put on it. F1: So that would be another problem. I don’t know about security, I know for us for crush parties we can’t have Elon students checking IDs and stuff. MODERATOR 1: Would you prefer it to be like how it was with security? F2: I definitely do not want Elon security guards in there for my crush parties. M1: I don’t want ARAMARK employees. F2: Would it only be open to Elon students? No Burlingtonites? MODERATOR 1: The thought right now is Elon students, faculty, staff, and their guests. They want alumni to come here and friends, if you’re friend is in town and you want to come here. F2: I would use your phoenix card to prove you’re a student and then some type of ID. F1: or some type of student ID. So if you bring a friend and you want to show they’re not some random Burlington person just have them show their student ID. M2: For bands I know there are some crazy fans who like coming to all the shows and stuff, so it would be nice if there was some leeway with that so people could come in. MODERATOR 2: Well even if bands from Chapel Hill came and people knew them. F2: It would be nice if there was more than one person checking IDs and stuff. F4: I’ve been to a bar where there were more bouncers and they were walking down the line and that made things a lot faster. MODERATOR 2: What about having to swipe your phoenix card M3: I know you can’t have a bigger entrance because right there, that’s a small room and people still get through. Especially when it’s cold people shove in and bubble in and go in the back. When ALE started being an issue in the fall the only people running the door was me and Chad because we’re a lot more strict and there’s liability. I’ve gotten in trouble being sober, I’m the only employee besides Chad to ever get in trouble because I served a girl with an over wristband and she was under and they caught her and I
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got in trouble. Someone said something about Elon students not checking ids but when you’re actually working being a bouncer technically you’re an employee of the bar not a student, so it’s different. MODERATOR: so you want to make sure that employees aren’t going to be held liable? M3: well you have to because it’s the state of North Carolina. Most of the time, every time something like that would come about Chad would try to head off the ALE guy so the employee wouldn’t get in trouble and every time but one that worked. He was working the door and I had no idea. I got taken out back and had to deal with ALE. MODERATOR 1: As far as working at the bar, how do you feel about people working here? M1: Students, people who want to work here, not ARAMARK employees that are sent to work here and then just pull off an 8 hour shift. You want to see familiar faces and people who like what they’re doing behind the bar and want to see you having a good time. MODERATOR 1: What about management? F1: Would they have a licensed bar tender on staff? M3: You don’t need one, it’s just beer. M1: I mean Elon’s gonna have to, they can’t just have students serving. There has to be an Elon manager, maybe not out on the floor, but in the back or something. MODERATOR 1: How do you feel about faculty and staff using the bar, since it is an Elon establishment? F2: There’s faculty and staff who go to West End. M3: You’d want alumni to come back here. F2: Would alumni come back here, probably not. Especially if it changes. MODERATOR 1: Now let’s go around and say what type of schedule you want during the week. M1: I would say Wednesday could be bands, Thursday karaoke, Friday/Saturday for parties. M2: We want all the organizations to use it however they want to use it. It would be nice to have open mic nights and nights for bands and stuff like that. M3: I liked it the way that it was. Monday was, well it can’t be drink till you drown anymore. Tuesday was drinking team, Wednesday was when Anonymous and Chubby Clark played, Thursday was karaoke and Friday and Saturday we rented it out for crush parties. MODERATOR 1: As far as drink till you drown, how could that be changed so it would be allowed? M3: We do it now over at West End. It absolutely encourages binge drinking, so the university would never allow it. You can’t really change it without it being binge drinking. F1: I agree with what they’ve said, have nights for the bands, karaoke and such. M4: I agree with them, but I think that the first week will either make or break the bar. It depends on what they do and who comes. F2: I agree. It really depends on what Elon does with it.
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