The future of TAPS after the Student Choice Initiative

Underground will function ‘exact same way’ in 2019-20 school year

TAPS services currently run an approximated $200,000 deficit. 
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Despite an approximated $200,000 TAPS deficit, the Underground will operate as usual next year.

Queen’s pub services (TAPS) is comprised of the Underground—the campus nightclub—and Queen’s Pub, the on-campus bar.

Following the Ford government’s Student Choice Initiative, the AMS restructured how TAPS operates.

“It is important to note that TAPS is not structured in a way that is currently allowing it to excel as an establishment that serves alcohol,” Liam Tharp, vice-president (operations), wrote in a statement to The Journal. 

“TAPS is intended to fill the niche of a safe drinking establishment where students can be exposed to different drinking environments compared to some establishments downtown.”

TAPS currently has six full-time management positions and over 100 staff members. After the restructuring, TAPS will have three full-time managers and a team of eight supervisors, plus its staff. 

“None of the staff positions will be changing, however the AMS was actually able to nearly double the number of management positions that are available,” Tharp said.

He added that in previous years, the AMS was finding that filling six full-time positions was difficult as students were much more interested in positions with less commitment in hours. 

He noted, however, that the supervisor position which was trialled this year had “great success.”

“The supervisory role is intended to fill the place of students who would like to become more involved in the service, but not to a full-time commitment,” Tharp said. “There was large uptake for the position with many applicants, which is a preliminary demonstration of this position filling a desired niche.”

He also said the Underground will be focusing on more events and band performances in the upcoming year, like the Busty and the Bass performance happening this coming Saturday night. 

Tharp added, however, that TAPS’ increased deficit can be attributed “more to the updated alcohol policy as well as the general shift of lower attendance in bars.”

TAPS is governed under Queen’s alcohol policy, which currently stipulates against advertising any alcohol promotions, an ability Tharp called “essential to advertising for these establishments.”

The policy will be going up for public review “likely” during the summer of 2019, he added. 

Tharp said the AMS’ former retail operations officer had “many connections in the Hub who have all noted lower attendance and revenue in the past decade.”

“Students are not visiting pubs as much as they were and TAPS is currently re-imagining itself to once again be the pinnacle of student life on campus,” he said.

With the upcoming JDUC reconstruction set to begin in 2020, however, Tharp said TAPS will be “largely affected” in a “positive way.”

“The service will be closed for a short period of time, but it is also being given the chance to completely re-imagine itself as something that students could possibly find more appealing,” he said.

Tharp pointed to The Brooklyn’s elevated dance floor as a possible direction the service could take.

He said suggestions for the service’s future also include transitioning to “a more upscale nightclub vibe” and “even more outlandish things such as going completely vegan.”

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