Butler Bar: Fact or Myth

Every self-proclaimed community needs its rumors.
One that holds a special place at Butler University is “the bar.”
I have heard the “Butler Bar” discussed at least three times in my four years at Butler.
Of course, no authority on campus has said anything about the reality of a bar.
But this does not stop students from talking about it.
An on-campus bar is a great idea in many ways but ultimately is not something in which the university should invest.
The imagined bar could offer a place where students could gather after typical business hours.
It could be the dedicated hangout  for viewers of Butler athletic events when teams are on the road.
A bar could also allow the administration to help encourage more responsible drinking by offering a calmer atmosphere in the Butler Bubble.
Butler has been wrestling with more incidents of dangerous drinking in the past several years.
In 2012, the Collegian reported more than 24 alcohol-related arrests and slightly fewer than 170 alcohol-related referrals occurred on campus.
An on-campus bar would create a space where students could consume responsibly around bartenders and staff that have students’ safety in mind.
However, there’s no guarantee such a thing would cause safer behavior.
People will not stop having house parties.
It is not entirely clear that irresponsible drinking is the problem, anyway.
But other reasons need to  be carefully considered. Having an on-campus bar can give students a place to drink under the supervision of people with students’ best interest in mind.
Despite common logic, walking while intoxicated is actually very dangerous.
The New York Times as well as other media outlets have reported this.
So just having a bar nearby does not automatically make drinking  safer.
If students receive rides from home to the bars and back, in fact, they’re probably much safer than walking while drunk on campus.
The on-campus bar could give Butler character and create a late-night hangout location for students.
All of these things answer student body concerns raised in this publication.
But a bar will probably not make things safer at Butler in the big picture.
It is hard to argue that an on-campus bar would make things more dangerous for students.
Students already walk long distances for parties. That’s not likely to change.
And, as the Innovation Fund demonstrates, Butler can put that money to use in better and brighter ideas than lighting a bar.
If anything, the university could funnel some tiny fraction of the cost of a bar—which would be considerable if done right—into expanded transit routes to Broad Ripple and Indianapolis.
Of course, regardless of how far you go for entertainment, you should never drive drunk.
In the end, not having a campus bar means more students might burst the Butler Bubble and actually experience the hopping culture of Indianapolis.