“As eighth block comes to a close, I cannot help but think of The Ninth Block,” said sophomore Mary Kate Maloney, as she walked past Stewart Field, watching the sun set. Many may wonder, “Block 9? We only have eight blocks at CC” While that is true, prior to our time at CC, there was a bar located inside of La’au’s called The Ninth Block. The Ninth Block came to be as a result of four CC student’s entrepreneurial class project. However, the bar was shut down in October, 2012. The Ninth Block should be reinstated on campus, as it was created to provide a safe drinking setting for students and professors outside of the usual house party.
Colorado College published an article in 2012 called, “First Block Class Launches The Ninth Block.” It explains the four student’s process for creating the small bar at CC. President Jill Tiefenthaler is even quoted in favor of the bar: “I strongly believe in the importance of students having a place to meet and socialize that doesn’t require an invitation. This gives students an option who might like to have a drink with a friend or group.”
The bar was open Thursday to Sunday, and it allowed students of age to buy an alcoholic beverage of their choice, excluding shots. It was meant to harbor a safe drinking environment. Students who were not of age were still allowed inside in order to socialize with friends and enjoy some nachos. The bar promoted safe drinking, and students got to remain on campus while doing so.
Additionally, the bar was a setting for students and faculty to socialize and grab a drink after classes and further discuss questions or concerns regarding their classwork.
“It should be a place where a professor and student would be comfortable going after dinner at the professor’s house to talk about the issues of the day,”said one of the four students who initiated the bar. Not only does an on campus bar promote safe drinking, it facilitates strong student-professor relationships. Students and professors can became more comfortable interacting with one another as they eliminate the stress of a classroom setting while remaining on campus.
Interestingly enough, the bar was also student-run. It originated from the project of four students who created the entire business plan, met with local business owners, and they actually put their class project into action. If a new on-campus bar were to open, the same could occur. It would provide students with an opportunity to execute their business skills on campus while gaining real life experience.
I am unable to figure out why The Ninth Block was shut down. I think that it may have only existed as a trial run inside of La’au’s prior to giving it a permanent location, which seems to have never happened. However, the president, faculty, and students were all in support of the on-campus bar. Prior to Worner being the campus center, Benji’s existed as its own entity as a bar on campus. However, when Worner became our campus Center, Benji’s became a grill. If CC has had on campus bars in the past, why shouldn’t we have one now? Perhaps all we need is a few brave students to take on the challenge of creating it.