Rathskeller Pub Night

Renny Acheson, Staff Reporter

On the evening of Saturday, Dec. 1, the Whitman Events Board transformed the coffeehouse of Reid into a “rathskeller,” a German term for a pub or restaurant in a basement. From 7 to 10 p.m., Whitman students had the opportunity to listen to four live bands, enjoy fun desserts, play arcade games and sip on a variety of non-alcoholic beverages.

Inspired by several colleges and universities that had bars in basements during the 20th century, the original Rathskeller event occurred under the leadership of former WEB Chair Olivia Barry two years ago. The current WEB Chair, senior Sarah Rothschild, explains the original motive for this type of event:

“Because of the new dining hall being built, a lot of students were pushing towards building Reid as a space as more of like a hangout spot because they were worried about students not spending as much time at Reid and it not being the hub on campus.”

The event buzzed with energy as attendees danced to the music of student bands Crossing Isaacs, JV Jazz, Moon Lander and Interfaith Chaplain Adam Kirtley’s bluegrass-folk group Rogue Lobster. Students also had the ability to interact with each other while playing interactive table games, including pool, foosball and ping pong.

“I’m hoping for the mixing of grades and people who don’t usually interact with each other,” Rothschild explains. “It’s generally hard to get a lot of upperclassmen to come to WEB events just because they’re advertised a lot more in first and second-year residence halls and it’s harder to get upperclassmen to come to things in general, so I’m hoping that this will draw a wide range of students.”

The event featured a fully-stocked mocktail bar, with drinks ranging from virgin sunsets to root beer to Martinelli’s sparkling apple juice. In addition, the community benefited from a chocolate fondue station with a wide variety of dipping options.

Situated on the brink of finals week, the event provided an opportunity for Whitman students to have fun in a transformed common space. Senior Lindsay Schwartz expresses her appreciation for the event’s aesthetics:

“I really like the lighting of the event. It sounds super weird, but Reid usually has these obnoxious fluorescent lights, and this is a super chill, dim vibe.”

As the stress of the end of the semester builds, Rathskeller reminded students that it’s necessary to make time for fun and relaxation with other Whitties. Even though the event was not holiday-themed, it still embodied the spirit of community get-togethers. First-year student Jonathan Weinberg affirms this:

“Holidays bring people together, and I think this is a really fun event for this time of year.”