Plan set for pub’s future

Report calls for safety, staffing, accountability overhaul for Clark

A report on Clark Hall Pub recommends new staffing, accountability and safety policies for the now-closed pub.

The pub closed in June 2007 after the University and the AMS expressed concerns about accountability and accuracy of the pub’s finances, as well as the potential for liquor-licence violations that could jeopardize the University’s licence.

According to the report, written by EngSoc Vice-President (Operations) Rob Macnamara, the pub should be up and running again by September 2008.

Macnamara’s report incorporates recommendations of the Clark Development Task Force, which he led, and recommendations from accounting firm Collins Barrow, which conducted a review of Clark Hall Pub’s finances.

Macnamara has refused to make Collins Barrow’s findings public.

Lennox Roswell, an accountant with Collins Barrow who worked on the financial review, said he can’t release any information about the firm’s clients.

Permanent Staffing

The report recommends hiring two permanent staff members—a business affairs manager and a bookkeeper—to oversee the finances of Clark Hall Pub and the Tea Room.

The task force financing team has raised $3,344 so far through anonymous donations, sale of merchandise, events such as the Homecoming ritual and grants. Macnamara said EngSoc has applied to several grants from the university and student organizations and is waiting to find out how much money it will get. EngSoc President Charlie Scott said any money acquired by the task force for the purpose of reopening the pub may be used entirely at their discretion.

Accountability

Macnamara recommended standardizing all staff contracts and training.

Contracts are under Macnamara’s purview, but Clark staff has never signed contracts. According to the report’s timeline, hiring is set to begin in February. Macnamara also recommended the EngSoc finance director create a bookkeeping system to be implemented across all EngSoc services. His report said EngSoc’s financial director will create the template with Collins Barrow’s help.

Safety and Security

In the report, Macnamara recommends the SciCon service become a part of the AMS’s Student Constable service and that EngSoc hire a Chief SciCon who will bring society-specific knowledge and needs to the StuCon service.

Incorporation

EngSoc should consider incorporating, Macnamara recommended, because splitting from the AMS would mean EngSoc alone assumes liability for its services’ actions. Scott said the decision to incorporate would have an impact on the society’s relationship with the AMS, the University and alumni, and would therefore require consultation will those parties. Should the executive decide it wants to incorporate, a motion would have to be made to EngSoc council and put to a vote.

Initial Re-opening

The report outlines the task force’s plan to hold three “soft” openings to test new operational structures including training, hiring and accounting systems. The pub would first open for all ages, then add alcohol sales at a later “soft” opening. The first soft opening is scheduled for March and two subsequent openings are scheduled for April and May.

The report estimates the cost of the full re-development project will be about $60,000. This would be put toward costs such as fresh paint, marketing and new equipment.

Macnamara’s report also recommends EngSoc forgive the $33,000 debt the pub owes the student government and contribute $20,000 to the re-launch. Macnamara said he doesn’t know why the money was loaned because it happened a long time ago.

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If insurance, use of the University’s liquor licence and the money to stock the pub are in place, Scott said, the bar will open as planned. But he said the report isn’t binding in any way.

“This report—nothing could end up happening.”

Macnamara said EngSoc doesn’t have a plan in place if the University denies the pub use of the its liquor licence after these changes are made, but he doesn’t anticipate a problem.

“We’ve had a positive working relationship with [Residence and Hospitality Services Director Bruce Griffiths] this year, and as longs as we continue to work together, I see a positive future ahead.”

Griffiths, who will decide whether the pub will be permitted to use the University’s liquor licence, said he thinks the report is a useful step.

“I think that there was a real recognition that things have to change.”

The core component in a successful reopening, he said, is the creation of a permanent staff position.

“It is my belief that there needs to be a person along the lines of John McDiarmid at the AMS. There needs to be provisional management support if Clark Hall Pub is going to reopen its doors.”

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