Postcrypt Update: The End of Free Popcorn

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Though Postcrypt opens its first show of the semester this weekend, the coffeehouse continues to struggle to stay up and running in the face an endless stream of administrative hurdles.

After meeting with Columbia administrators on Tuesday, Postcrypt members inform us that they will not be serving alcohol this or next weekend, since they failed to meet the Liquor Authority’s shorter and stricter application deadline. While dry, the coffeehouse will not be required to staff an alcohol proctor, though it will still be required to staff a security guard, following a decision made by the Chaplain to have a security guard at all evening events in St. Paul’s Chapel – an additional cost which would drain both Postcrypt and Security Fund resources. Once Postcrypt does start serving alcohol again, they will need to have two proctors – one to give wristbands and monitor the bar and another to watch the rest of the tiny area.

Postcrypt’s finances are already suffering because they will have to order beer every week, rather than two or three times a semester. At the moment, they are allowed to order 75 beers per night, and must dispose of the rest at the end of the weekend. They are currently looking into the possibilities of storing the leftovers in Lerner, and adding Postcrypt into the alcohol policy amendment which allows Lerner Pub and First Fridays to store their alcohol between events.  Postcyrpt members are also considering creating a locked space inside their bar in which they could store leftovers.

Their bar operations have already taken some devastating blows. A fire inspector surveyed the area in December and found that the electrical outlets were overloaded and that the bar space was not equipped for the coffee or popcorn maker. With only a refrigerator left, they may have to use thermoses to bring in coffee and stop serving free popcorn altogether. Postcrypt is also re-rigging its lighting, and is currently using six electrical candles donated by the Chaplain’s Office.

Postcrypt has rallied alumni support, has gathered letters protesting the decision to staff the security guard and extra proctor, and hopes to organize fundraisers. But as the financial woes keep piling up, many fear that the end of Postcrypt may be near.

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  1. Haha  

    The Administration will be so screwed when it comes to donation time. Who the f'ck is going to 'give back' when we can't wait to escape this place? Columbia Admin has f'cked up badly.

  2. AARRGGG  

    postcrypt is a gem! why why why do they insist on attacking it?

  3. k

    any bwog post that gets positive comments is worth the administration taking another look at. postcrypt is the only good thing about columbia. take it away and the school will suck 100% instead of just 99%.

  4. foolish  

    it is unbelievable to me that columbia continues to underestimate just how MISERABLE these administrative hurdles and little annoyances are for student leaders. i dealt with this when i was a student...just let it be a fun coffeehouse. security??? whyyyyyy stupid stupid stupid

  5. foolish  

    btw, young alums do read bwog...and yes, in my non-scientific poll of peers, schools with non-hated administrations and smaller quantities of red tape (e.g. brown, princeton) have more faithful donors.

  6. Aron  

    Hey, submit your project to gateway. Maybe they can help... maybe

  7. person  

    Ah, the beloved security guard. Columbia usually mandates you hire only Public Safety officers. The general pattern is this:

    1) You pay a ridiculous amount.

    2) Under no circumstances will the guard actually show up.

    So it really has nothing to do with security, they're just trying to bleed Postcrypt dry. Why they would want to get rid of it is a mystery, but that's the only goal they have.

  8. Columbia! I know you like to think that everything is candyland/Puritanical, but chill out! I thought private colleges/corporations were above the law in this day and age. It's all about brand image in order for people to give you money regardless of lesser practicality(i.e. Apple), so I think Columbia is going to start seeing the effects of this, whether they think it affects a small amount of the population or not.

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