As a relic of the UCD campus temporarily closes its doors, Caitriona Farrell reminisces about the already much-missed Forum Bar
The Forum Bar has closed its doors, and sadly, very few got to say their goodbyes due to the adverse weather conditions that gave UCD no choice but to close before the semester came to an end. Some students were oblivious to the fact that it closed, owing to the pandemonium on campus, with buildings opening and shutting their doors on the whim of the snow during the last few days of term.
Needless to say, other universities have survived keeping the sessions alive, the banter flowing and the general student social life energised with a single student bar such as the College Bar in NUIG and Trinity College’s Pavilion Bar, otherwise known as ‘The Pav’.
The Forum Bar is closing due to the ongoing construction at the new Student Centre. The new building will become the middle of the Student Centre, as it will extend to both the old Student Centre building and the Sports Centre. The proposals for the new Student Centre were ongoing for many years before the cranes and the scaffolding became apparent on campus, and its provisional opening date is September 2011.
To many, the Forum Bar was a hidden gem in UCD. For those who knew it well, the Forum Bar, located in that unassuming corner beside the Student Centre, provided more than a venue to have an alcoholic beverage.
Memories of the Forum Bar chiefly involve society events, class events or having a lunch between lectures with a few friends. The University Observer itself has hosted end of semester get-togethers in the Forum Bar and other events during the year and other societies have routinely done the same. The Forum Bar was a meeting place for the beginning of a class party, a venue which suited table quizzes and a place one learned how to play pool. It served as a foil for the often crowded student bar and proved the perfect place for less mainstream events such as open-mic nights and comedy gigs.
Second-year Human Nutrition student, Aoife Curran, remembers: “When I was in first year, all of us human nutrition students met with our lecturers in the Forum Bar. It was a lovely evening, as we got to chat to our lecturers and students from different years in a relaxed and comfortable environment.
“It was the preferred venue for societies to meet up,” she adds. “Particularly at the beginning of term, where new and old members got to know each other.”
UCD Students’ Union Women’s Officer, Regina Brady reminisces: “The last night I was in the Forum Bar was for the Welfare Crew Christmas party and we had a great night there because we were able to section off an area for ourselves. We had some lovely finger food and everyone was chatting away and had a great time.”
With Black Monday taking place yesterday and the prolonged Christmas exams only concluding today, the Forum Bar will be missed this week in particular. A lengthy line of students, stretching longer than your average dole queue, is expected and anticipated in the Student Bar for the remainder of the week.
Asked how the Student Bar and the Forum Bar compared, second-year Engineering student Brian Nolan notes: “It was a different animal really. It was quiet, the drinks were always good.” Second-year Animal Science student Ursula Mc Cormack adds that the Forum Bar was “a cheaper and more comfortable alternative to the Student Bar”.
Being well located beside the Student Centre and the Sports Centre was an ideal location for a bar, the Student Bar being located on the opposite side of campus could be inconvenient for Sports clubs after matches unless they are able for the last hurdle which is the extra ten-minute walk. Brady explains: “It was really handy to have the Forum Bar so close to the Student Centre. However, with the news of the amazing new Student Centre with all its facilities, it will benefit students in the long run.”
Coping with the Forum Bar’s customer base as well as its own customers, the Student Bar will be beginning on a bustling note this semester. The celebrations will have begun already for the fortunate ones without post-Christmas exams greeting them on their arrival back from the holidays.
Oh Forum Bar: we will miss you.