YUSU has confirmed that D-Bar, Derwent College’s in-house bar, will stay closed when term begins due to concerns over health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.
While the college bar will remain closed, Derwent catering will remain open, with times being extended to 9:30pm.
D-Bar’s page on YUSU’s website has been taken down, while other union bars have remained live. Currently, the pages concerning Courtyard, The Vanbrugh Arms, The Glasshouse, The Lounge, and the Kitchen @ Alcuin remain on YUSU’s website.
Students across campus have been shocked by the news. Max Hinchley, a 3rd year Derwent student, told York Vision: “I can’t believe they’ve done this”.
In a statement to Vision, YUSU President Patrick O’Donnell said: “Our initial health and safety assessments have indicated that due to social distancing guidance, D-Bar does not meet the requirements of a safe venue during peak mealtimes.
With proposals for College catering times being extended to 9:30pm to ensure social distancing, and then factoring in a deep clean of the area, we are left with only a very short period before closing time during the week”.
Ben Potter, a final year student from Goodricke College, questioned this reasoning, asking “why can’t they open it with appropriate measures like every other bar across the country? Makes you wonder why we pay full fees”.
Former D-Bar student-staff members are being invited to re-apply to work in different venues across campus, including YUSU’s new set of venues known as “The Forest”. O’Donnell told York Vision that “all those previously working at D-Bar will be given a new allocation”.
Derwent College AFC’s Social Sec, Henry Burns-Pegler, told York Vision: “I think it will make it tough on freshers especially as I know, me and many others practically lived there first term in terms of socials, catering and just generally meeting up in the bar.
“I don’t know much about The Forest. What’s the incentive to go there as opposed to second and third year houses or a park near campus?”