Since 1972, the Rathskeller, commonly known as the Rat, has been a well-known campus hangout for University of Miami students, faculty and alumni. Its reopening in the student center on Aug. 20, 2013 brought a second story, bigger TV screens and a better view – and now the Rat has added another attraction with a weekly DJ every Friday.
Beginning this spring semester, the Rathskeller Advisory Board (RAB) and management decided to implement new weekly entertainment with a student DJ. Each Friday, Miami native Keenan Rodriguez begins his set and rocks the Rat with a mix of tropical house, EDM, hip-hop and pop music. Rodriguez, a sophomore majoring in business technology, has been a DJ for seven years. For the past three years, Rodriguez has DJed at Ultra Music Festival.
So far, Rodriguez is enjoying the experience at the Rat.
“I’m always excited and looking forward to the end of the week, as the Rat has become such a fun and electric atmosphere to be part of,” Rodriguez said. “It’s so entertaining to show everyone new remixes that I have come up with and play new songs that people may not have heard before.”
RAB, a student-led organization, has worked tirelessly to bring exciting new events to the Rat. Last semester, RAB was responsible for bringing a DJ to the Rat every month or so, but the positive feedback encouraged RAB to make the Friday DJ a weekly event, and it seems to be paying off. When asked how he felt about the DJ this past Friday, senior biomedical engineering major Brandon Zakeri had nothing but praise.
“He crushed it tonight,” Zakeri said. “He read the audience perfectly and played everything we wanted to hear. Having just finished my MCAT, he really made my day.”
Rodriguez enjoys being able to give back to the student body.
“I have seen some familiar faces every week, as some of the students have told me that the new place to be on Fridays after class is the Rat,” Rodriguez said.
Current RAB chair Felix Fernandez confirmed that the weekly DJ event was something he saw continuing in the future.