On the Job with Ashley Kaminski
Ashley Kaminski is the Student Center Events and Operations Student Manager at Last Chapter Pub in the Robert A. Freese Student Center, Southern New Hampshire University.
Do you see any unique challenges related to managing a union pub as opposed to a pub elsewhere?
One challenge we face is the popularity of the unique venues located only 10 minutes from campus in downtown Manchester. Many students want to leave campus on the weekends, and showing that the pub has a lot to offer has been a main focus. In addition, the purpose of the pub is much different than what a normal pub scene is—we focus on providing students with a safe place to go, as well as building community on campus. Finally, our pricing structure is different than a normal pub would be in order to stay competitive.
What training do you and your staff receive specific to working in a pub or bar environment?
Our student staff is trained through the Total Education and Alcohol Management program run through the state. In addition to the monthly staff meeting, training occurs at the beginning of each semester with the entire student center staff, giving time for the pub to freshen up on policies and procedures. There are many processes in place to make sure student workers are educated on all procedures through job shadowing as well as having managers work shifts throughout the week. On nights when alcohol is being served, our managers always serve as a resource and as mentors for other students during their shifts.
What about your pub makes it stand out?
One key factor is affordability. We serve food and beverages that cost a maximum of $3. We typically only serve alcohol Thursday through Saturday nights, but are able to be flexible with our timing if requested by a group. Overall, the pub is a multifunctioning programming space that includes a stage and professional sound system. We provide many job opportunities for students since we’re entirely student-run. We find that students always come back for our free, fresh-baked cookies and popcorn, as well as for refreshing Shirley Temples.
What interesting programs or events has your pub offered?
A program we’ve had great success with is our Late Night Bites events. Originally, these programs were simply cookies and drinks in our student center lobby for students to fuel up during finals week, but over the past few years we have transformed it into a five-night experience where upward of 250 students will line up for free food from favorite local restaurants served in the pub. Through partnering with different clubs and organizations each night of finals week, we are able to attract our most diverse range of students. Our goal is to give students a way to relax and enjoy themselves, especially when meal plan money is running low.