Students’ Union pushes for the Inn’s hours to be extended from 1 to 2AM
The Inn is a veritable institution here at StFX, where it is a communal watering hole beloved by many and home to a noisy hubbub practically every night, especially Wednesdays. Despite its popularity, the Inn has long been set apart from the other drinking establishments in town when it comes to closing time. The revelry at the Inn ends at 1 AM every night, instead of at 2 AM like Piper’s Pub or the Split Crow. However, this may be about to change.
Students’ Union president Troy Mrazek wants to see the Inn’s closing time changed to 2 AM. His desire to see the hours changed stems from safety concerns, and the Students’ Union has been pursuing this change for a while. As Mrazek explains via email, “We’ve been trying to change the closure hours of the Inn since 2010. The application for an extension is solely based on student safety. We’ve found a trend that students come to the Inn and from 12:30 AM to 1 AM they venture off campus to other establishments. Moving off campus at this hour of the night (when alcohol is often involved) puts our students at potential risk within the Town of Antigonish.”
The fact that the Students’ Union has been aware of this problem and its seemingly simple solution for five years might seem strange, but according to Mrazek the process of changing the Inn’s hours is quite complicated. He says, “The process for changing these hours is actually very difficult. We’re not actually applying to change our hours; rather, we’re applying to alter our liquor license—which ultimately rests with the University. Over the past few years we have gathered letters of support from both the Town of Antigonish and the RCMP. Following those letters, we drafted a proposal to submit to the Director of Ancillary Services with the University (they control all campus liquor licenses). Once the University receives that proposal, they will review and suggest potential edits. Following that discussion, they will bring the proposal to the Nova Scotia Alcohol and Gaming Authority for review and final adjudication.” Mrazek says that the Student Union plans on submitting their proposal to the university sometime in November, but he is not able to give an estimate of how long the process would take because he is unsure how long it will take the Alcohol and Gaming Authority to rule on the proposal.
The general reaction from students seems to be positive. Meaghan Wright, a fourth year business student, feels extending hours would be a logical decision, saying, “I think over the last four years at StFX it’s always been an issue for students. Everyone kind of complains at the end of the night. I think students would be more satisfied and the Inn would make more money off of it, so that would be good. I don’t see why, if the Pub closes at two, it kind of just makes everyone walk down to the Pub”
James Côté, another fourth year business student, feels that the Inn has a special vibe that appeals to different people than those who prefer Piper’s Pub, and with equal hours people would have more of a choice. As he explains, “The Inn has a different atmosphere then the Pub so having the same closing hours gives [students] almost two options for where to go for a given night, so I guess it would benefit them.”
Finally Rose Brown, a fourth year Human Kinetics student, echoed the general theme, saying, “If the Inn did close at two, most people would stay. They close at one now so [for] most people, one doesn’t feel that late so they go down to the Pub. But if they had the choice to stay [at the Inn] until two, they probably would.”