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Management change for Reynolds Bar

Jan 23 2003 22:33
The Mole
ICU Exec has changed the way the Charing Cross bar is run.
The medics apparently don't like this logo in the bar...

Live! has learnt that the controversial paper concerning the Reynolds Bar has been passed by ICU Exec. The paper contained plans for changes in management to the bar, essentially decentralising it from the ICU bars in Beit Quad. A previous version of this paper had been heavily attacked as a "money grab" by ICSMSU with the suggestion that bar profits could be routed to the Medics union - but this section was removed from the proposal to Exec.

The paper had faced severe criticism from a number of groups, as people wondered why there was the sudden urgency to do something after 11 weeks of problems at the Charing Cross site. A member of Trading Committee, which met earlier in the afternoon asked: "Why were these issues not brought up at trading committee meeting earlier in the year when it was less of a disaster?"

Idris Harding (ICSMU Secretary) commented in the meeting that: "A strong contingent of the medic faculty do not like the ICU badge being on the bar", contradicting Tom Evens' previous assertion that "This was not a case of Medics vs. ICU."

The paper can still be challenged at the next ICU council, however rumours of a deal between Sen Ganesh and the Medics to avoid his censure, may help the speedy progress of this paper to policy.

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Discussion about “Management change for Reynolds Bar”

The comments below are unmoderated submissions by Live! readers. The Editor accepts no liability for their content, nor for any offence caused by them. Any complaints should be directed to the Editor.
Jan 23 2003 23:21

I am actually quite pissed off about this behind my back decision.

As a member of the coucil I actually thought that this issue should be addressed and decided on @ the next meeting. Having joined the council just a month ago, I am already starting to get annoyed about it.

In my opinion this bar should be completely removed from ICU responsibility. If the medics don't like the fact that the bar is run by ICU and they even complain themselves about it beeing redundant, why should ICU spend thier money and time on this bar?

Let's just remove this bar from ICU and let the medics do whatever they want with it (as they wished)...

Jan 23 2003 23:28

I still fail to comprehend the logic behind this decision.

Suppose the vice-chairman of a company was going about his usual job - and was never meeting with the chairman.

Would the chairman simply sack the guy? Or would he try and communicate better with him?

I am sure that most people would agree that the best solution would be for the two to meet and sort out any issues?

Yet for some reason ICU Exec thinks its better to sack the vice-chairman???

Someone please explain?

Jan 23 2003 23:49

dear "theotherguy" dont you see? a planned boycot is working, isnt it....

So. This really should go to council. One way or annother.

Jan 24 2003 00:09

This isn't such a major thing guys. It's still an ICU bar, only the emphasis is now on local management: a team who really knows the needs of Medics will hopefully attract the Medic clientelle back from their boycott.

Management issues like this aren't really Council affairs; though the subject of what happens to profits would be, and will make for a fun meeting.

One more thing (before I start honing up my bar-tending skills): if there was a Sen-Medic pact, why was Sen one of the three votes cast against the paper?

5. idris   
Jan 24 2003 03:37

I just love the way people invent quotes from me; it's so flattering.

Jan 24 2003 08:46

Just to make things clear:

Sen did not cast a vote against the paper - he had Carina's proxy - and she voted against it.

Idris - As somebody who sitting two seats from you, I remember what you said (although the exact words you used are beyond my recollection). Please inform us all of what exact wording you used if you wish?

I doubt anybody is going to believe this, but I did not write this article - and again i would like to stress that I hope I have not dampened personal relations with the medic union... I sit on exec to present my opinion - and thats what I did, even though you may not agree with what I think.

Jan 24 2003 11:43

From what I understand, this story may be a little one sided, but to be fair, I've not heard all the facts.

All I'll reserve myself to saying is that I don't think people are 'boycotting' the bar - sure, they don't like some of the heavy-handedness - but that the nature of the medical course and other demands on time and money mean that people spend less time drinking.

I'm not sure new management will change that in the long term unless some novel ideas to get people in are adopted - for example, a lot of library users would like somewhere they can get coffee, and some kind of gimmick to get those bods who leave the library at nine would probably be productive. Also, familiar and friendly faces behing the bar (does that include you, Prince Albert?) will mean that it's a much friendly place.

The Reynolds Bar was never hugely used pre-merger except on Wednesday and Friday nights, where it made its profits.

Anyway, good luck to it.

Jan 24 2003 11:59

Andy, I may be familiar but I would strongly dispute the fact that I'm friendly x

9. ...   
Jan 24 2003 12:23

If medics spend so much time 'not drinking', why are we having a bar for them at all?

Hammersmith is not that far away from South Kensington and if medics, in general, don't drink that much (and there are only 2000 of them in total), what's the point of trying to cater especially to them?

10. alex   
Jan 24 2003 16:37

Hello again all,

Whilst there is no boycott, the paper was brought because a large number of people no longer find the Reynolds a nice place to drink, and are hence drinking elsewhere. We are hoping that the result of this paper will be to change this attidude.

As for theotherguy, I would rather have brought this paper to Council, but when we tried to, we weren't allowed: A member of Union staff urged us not to, and a procedural motion was brought in council telling us that it was an inappropriate forum in which to discuss it.

We don't think that this bar is redundant. If we did, we wouldn't have spent ?900000 on it. We just think it should be run differently, and we will endeavour to make it a success. I am convinced that it will be.

Jan 24 2003 16:41

And if it isn't a success then this will be the biggest F*** up in the history of ICSM (or should that now be ImperialSM)

Jan 24 2003 16:42

Sorry that should be ICSMSU perhaps.

13. Sumeet   
Jan 24 2003 17:05


You have both stated that medics are not boycotting the bar - However, One of the medics at exec yesterday said completely the opposite???

And Barry even picked up on it and made it quite clear?

Jan 25 2003 11:17

Dear Sumeet

I am neither a member of ICU Exec or the Imperial Medics Exec, so can't speak for what happened at the meeting; that is something you will have to follow up yourself. However, I have put myself on the record as saying I do not believe there is a boycott. That doesn't mean there isn't a boycott, but I've not heard of one, and being the gossip I am, I probably would have heard at somepoint. Certainly the 40+-strong Medics Choir drink there every Monday night.

Now I know that at best the Medic President is wary of me and my involvement with the Union - and I don't want to antagonise unnecessarily here - but more and more light is being shed on this story. For example, it would appear that there was very little discussion with members of Union Staff about the various problems at the Reynolds, and that there has been no attempt to resolve matters before taking the action approved by Exec last night. As such there is perhaps bad feeling between medics and Union staff of the sort not seen since 1995. Now this may just be hearsay, but it would seem to be a worrying precedent that policy is changed without a full discussion with those implementing the old one.

Secondly, rumours are now flying around that there is money for a second 'refurb' in the bar. Now, if one takes into account the Chinese Whispers-aspect of Reynolds Rumours and extrapolates backwards, I imagine this means that there will be either a reconfiguration or total change of seating, tables etc. Fine; if there's sufficient evidence that it's needed, that's good. Might be time for an Imperial Medics General Meeting though, maybe in the bar, to gauge public opinion.

I'll leave you though with an anecdote. Apparently, the 'victorious' negotiating team got back from the Exec in question, and went to the inaugural meeting of the Imperial Medics Wine Society. With champagne in hands, the team declared "we've got our bar back!" to which the reply of my friend was "why, where had it gone?"

15. Sumeet   
Jan 25 2003 13:21


We are in agreement in concluding that there was very little consultation with staff, and that this is more the medics fault. Having heard both sides of the story I judged that this was the case in the meeting (and beforehand during my research of the issue).

The fact that they made the comments you stated at the end of your discussion further enhances my suspicions that this is part of a long term plan.

However, after having a long talk with several of those on medics exec yesterday, their claims are completely opposite to those which you have made.

And I can't understand how anybody couldn't see what was going on apart from me and the other two people who voted against the paper.

16. Becky   
Jan 25 2003 14:53

What makes a bunch of medics think they can run a bar better than a group of people who've been doing it since the medics in question were in primary school?

Jan 25 2003 15:40

Becky, I'd appreciate your point if you were suggesting that Bar Stuff perform intra-cranial surgery, but we're actually talking about pissups and breweries.

It's still PART OF ICU. It's accountable to the SAME PEOPLE. It'll be run EXTREMELY SIMILARLY. It won't be understaffed and the bar manager(s) appointed won't be underqualified.

The difference is that the day-to-day running of the venue (staffing, security, entertainment) will be localised to a committee who know the needs of the clientelle. (And even when we were in Prep School we had been taught that it's not good to have sales ?12k below breakeven, and that that requires remedial action.)

18. Sumeet   
Jan 25 2003 17:21

Prince Albert,

I thought the whole argument you gave was that 'it needs to be run in a different way' and that ICU cannot do it in the way you want them to (which I still think is complete rubbish).

And the day-to-day running will not be localised to this new committee - the only difference will be that this committee will 'coordinate the day-to-day relationship between the Bar manager, events organisers and bar users'.

Now - why could you not set up a user group which would do the same thing?

19. Becky   
Jan 25 2003 18:27

I'm not suggesting that running a bar requires the amount of training that surgery requires. What I am saying is that you think it's as easy as drinking in one, or even working part time in one. Licensing conditions, stock takes, ordering, managing staff..(what happens when half the staff have exams in the same week?) just a few considerations off the top of my head, most of which you get better at with practise. The ICU bar managers running it now have the experience with both bars and the union, maybe if you tried talking to them properly, expaining your infamous "needs of medics" you could have reached a much happier agreement.

20. Sumeet   
Jan 25 2003 19:45

Becky - I had a chat with these people yesterday.

Apparently, we won't understand this cos we aren't medics, but having medics behind the bar makes so much difference - such that hoards of medics will now use the bar.

Remember we aren't medics so we won't understand it - and it can't be explained.

But that doesn't explain Tom's theory that 'medics have no hesitation in using the south ken bars' which do not have medics behind the bar?

Jan 25 2003 21:27

Actually for your information, there are medics working both behind the bar at Charing X and at South Ken. In fact there have been medics working behind the bar at south ken since I started three years ago. Those working at charing x are the same people plus a couple of people that used to work at the old reynolds bar.

12K loss, hmmmm however the bar made a stonking profit in its first few weeks but then trade died down fairly quickly. Is this because its a flash in the pan (as will probably happen with the new bar.) Perhaps, before anyone starts suggesting that the clientele didn't like the new way the bar was being run, you should look at student unions up and down the country. IT IS NO LONGER FASHIONABLE FOR STUDENTS TO DRINK AT THEIR UNIONS! The same has been happening in Bath, Bristol and other unis in london. Why go to the union to get wasted when there are so many better alternative student nights available, particularly in london eg bad bobs. Also they have the power to provide extra insentives such as sponsorship (look at last year's fiasco with the rugby team)

If you actually look at the figures from bar sales, the last term at both the reynolds and south ken, has been slowly increasing. But then that would actually mean the student represntatives turning up to trading committee once in a while so that all the meetings aren't inquorate and actions can been taken!

I agree with becky, and yes I see your point of liasing with the bar at south ken and closely following, smooth transitions etc. But you might have a different opinion of bar workings once you've stuck your hand round a few u bends to get the bogs working again and consistenly have to clean up your own mates' vomit.

Jan 26 2003 21:29

Interestingly there was a trading committee meeting 1/2 an hour before ICU exec. It was quorate and seemed to have a pretty reasonable complement of ordinary members present as well as sabbs and faculty reps.

It should be noted that this matter was not on the agenda for the meeting, and it was only raised as an AOB "oh, and by the way there's a paper coming to exec in 30 minutes".

Matters of any importance always bypass the TSR committees. Frankly, ICU should either back them or sack them - either abolish them or start taking notice of them. Sadly I can't see either option happening any time soon.

Jan 27 2003 00:19

What starbuck says about student unions being unfashionable venues is true, however if Friday night at SKen is anything to go by, ICU may have turned the corner in providing good quality, popular ents.

For those of you who don't know, Friday saw the launch of a new drum and bass club night in SKen and it was an overwhelming success. Throughout the night there was a queue stretching back down Prince Consort Road... with average queueing time of 30 mins... something not seen at ICU for a number of years. Indeed the event reached capacity (900) for the first time since the Saturday of Freshers Week.

Incidently, this event was run in collaboration, not competition, with a London nightclub (Heaven).

It certainly seems as if ents provision at ICU is really making a come back into the popular scene... I think that those at Charing Cross are going to miss out on a good thing!

Closed This discussion is closed.

Please contact the Live! Editor if you would like this discussion topic re-opened.


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