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Referendum will decide future of UNBC’s Thirsty Moose pub

The fate of the beloved campus bar lies in a UNBC student vote next month.

The establishment has been bleeding money for six straight years – last year alone it lost $40,000 – all of it on the Northern Undergraduate Student Society’s (NUGSS) dime.

Now, the society is asking students if they’d support a $6.50 hike in their annual NUGSS student fees that it would allocate to the pub.

All of this effort is not for a lack of Moose love. President Arctica Cunningham says students want the bar to stick around, but it’s hard running a business when the demographic is cash-starved.

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“We do believe that there is a way for the Moose to be profitable, it’s just a challenging environment and we’ve been struggling with that for a long time. We’re just running out of time to continue investigating those options.”

NUGSS announced it would search for a company to lease the space during October’s Annual General Meeting. This suitor would take over at the end of the school year. If a business could not be found, NUGSS would have to close the pub. However, throughout the year and during Wednesday’s Extraordinary General Meeting, Cunningham says students have shown support for both the pub and for NUGSS running of it.

Should students vote in favour of the fee hike, NUGSS says it’s still not willing to continue losing money for much longer. Cunningham says that support would just buy NUGSS time while it creates a stronger business plan and finds a way to make it profitable. The possibility of one day leasing the space or closing the pub is very real.

If students vote against the hike, NUGSS will continue searching for a business to lease the space.

The referendum is set for March 20th and 21st.

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