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Thirsty Ear to Re-open, Hire Manager

By Marie Thibault

The Thirsty Ear Pub, which temporarily closed on June 1, is set to re-open sometime this fall as soon as a manager is hired, said Richard D. Berlin III, Director of Campus Dining.

The pub, located in Ashdown House, will be an “event-driven space,” said Gregory S. Pollock G, former Thirsty Ear Executive Committee Chair.

In addition to Live Music and Trivia Nights, the Thirsty will be open to reservations for MIT departmental or group social hours and special events such as birthdays and off-site catering services, Pollock said.

Pub anticipates a stable future

Pollock said that a short-term manager will be hired with the help of an outside agency, and if the new budget allows, the position will become long-term.

Though there will be changes in setup and supervision of the Thirsty Ear, Pollock said he did not anticipate “much change in atmosphere.”

The pub will remain self-sufficient with the staff and manager paid by profits. Pollock said he thought the Thirsty Ear will be “more stable in the long-term.”

Regarding the re-opening of the pub, Pollock said “I’m glad to see there is a structure that will keep it open for a long time to come.”

Lack of manager led to closure

The Thirsty Ear closed temporarily because no MIT administration office had been willing to take on responsibility for the pub. Prior to the closing, the Ear was run temporarily by the graduate student office, but that agreement expired on June 1.

Pollock said that the Thirsty Ear was lacking a “direct connection” to MIT, because “no one had enough head-count to allocate space for a manager,” referring to the number governing how many full-time workers a given office can employ.

Under a solution reached by the Ashdown House Executive Committee and the Office of Campus Dining, there will now be a position for a manager, Pollock said.

Both the executive committee and Campus Dining “stepped up” as the pub was being closed, Pollock said.

According to the Thirsty Web site, this decision was made toward the end of June with the agreement of Dean for Student Life Larry G. Benedict.

Graduate students and other customers had expressed their support for the pub by signing petitions and this demonstrated to the deans that the pub “was an important part of campus life,” Pollock said.

In addition, the Office of Campus Dining is “providing an administrative home for the Thirsty Ear,” Berlin said, resolving the head-count problem in hiring a manager.