This fall Rollins is getting a renovation to the Cornell Campus Center. The lower level was previously Dave’s Down Under, which was a hangout spot for students. The space was complete with a stage for live performances and tables for students to congregate.
Due to be complete during the fall semester, Dave’s will be given a makeover and a new pub, serving beer and wine and giving students the option to get together on campus in a more intimate social setting. The space will be renamed “Dave’s Boathouse.”
This idea has been on the table for several years and has finally made forward motion following an agreement with the SGA and the College Alcohol and Tobacco Task Force.
Pat Schoknecht, Vice President of IT and Chief Information Officer & Business Services, reveals more details about the newest addition to campus.
“Dave’s has been designed to be a place where students want to come together to socialize. We have designed booth seating and large community tables; we have created a zoned sound system; we have developed a fabulous menu that is going to bring a new dining concept to campus. It was the ideas of the students that are being incorporated into Dave’s. Just as the library is the place where students want to come together academically, we expect Dave’s to be the place students want to come together socially,” she said. She added, “My favorite part of Dave’s is that the theme is ‘Rollins Nautical,’ and that theme came from the students. When you walk in, you are going to know you are at Rollins. Dave’s Boathouse is going to celebrate Rollins and its place on the lake.”
A pub on campus has existed before, the creation of former student, current CEO of Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, and member of Rollins board of trustees, Michael P. O’Donnell ‘78.
Professor O’ Sullivan, Kenneth Curry Professor of English, shares, “It was in the basement of the bookstore. It was enormously popular. It broke down barriers between faculty, staff, and students. The college closed it when the Federal Government forced states to change the drinking ages. Since then, even though there have been people who have raised the issue, most of the administration was too risk-averse to allow something like that.”
O’Sullivan continued, explaining how the new pub could change Rollins for the better, creating a social ambiance that is much needed for the prospering of academic minds.
He said, “Pubs offer a wonderful opportunity for people to gather and break bread, share experiences and socialize, and they certainly do not require anyone to drink. You can go and have a beer, glass of wine, coke, cup of coffee. It gives people a chance to share experiences, develop relationships, and connect with each other. When the first pub appeared in the world—one of God’s really good days—I think She was smiling when that happened.”
Students like Michaela O’Driscoll ‘16, a Biology major, believe Dave’s will be an asset to the Rollins campus.
She said, “I’m looking forward to having a new place on campus to meet people and develop community at Rollins. I think it will be a great way for students to interact with each other and create friendships outside of the classroom. I’m definitely planning on visiting when it opens this fall.”
Dallas Brock ‘17, a Biochemistry major, is anticipating Dave’s to be his regular hangout spot, saying, “I just hope I can’t buy beer/wine with my R-card money or I will be starving at the end of the semester.”
The new president likes the idea of a pub, as well.
“I think it’s a great idea. Part of being a college student is moving from adolescence to adulthood, and part of being an adult in today’s world is being comfortable and responsible in the presence of alcohol. So it’s not about the alcohol. It’s about having a natural environment for enjoying food and drink together,” said President Grant Cornwell. He added, “I’m really looking forward to it, I can’t wait till it opens.”