On April 29, the last call at the Rat will be the real deal.
The new Student Activity Center has officially received funding, $20 million worth, and the Rathskeller as we know it is slated for demolition.
The decision has left many with mixed feelings. Some cringe at the idea of the Rat, the building that houses the most spirit and tradition on our campus, getting a multimillion dollar face lift. After all, there is something to be said for the old Sports Illustrated covers from our football glory days, the dark smoky atmosphere and those delightfully sticky table tops.
For Miami locals, their parents might even remember drinking at the Rat. Not only is it an icon for UM students and alumni, but it’s a building that most Miamians associate with UM.
But after seeing that virtual tour of the new Student Activity Center, it’s hard to argue with such a ridiculously awesome upgrade. It’s nice that the ballrooms that host so many important campus events and the lounges where so many students congregate will no longer be run down and retro. And, as the administration has so thoughtfully reminded us, the new building will help UM improve its rankings and compete with other elite schools.
Some have suggested that the new building should be moved to another location, and others have reminded the more melodramatic members of the student body that the Rat won’t be gone forever, it’s just moving over to Sbarro’s location. But at the end of the day, we can all agree that losing this grungy, hole-in-the-wall bastion of campus life is going to hurt.
As much as it might sting, we have to remember that the end of this tradition could mean the beginning of a new one. We may not recognize every corner of campus as alumni, but with our university’s reputation growing year by year we’re sure to have plenty to brag about.
The new Student Activity Center may take some getting used to, but at the end of the day the advantages certainly outweigh the disadvantages. The new building will be something from which every student on campus can benefit.
So put aside all that angst and spend the next three weeks drinking up at the Rat. This is our chance to make some truly historic beer-filled memories at the U.
And the next time you’re feeling a little blue about losing that funky old building, keep in mind that the first Thursday in the new Student Activity Center is sure to be an epic happy hour in the true tradition of the U, something some will remember, but many fondly won’t.
Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.