On January 23, the Pit Pub celebrated its 50th birthday and the AMS hosted a celebration for the pub within the pub itself that afternoon.
The exclusive event had speeches from interim VP Students Andrew Parr, AMS President Mariam Hamid, a filmed video from President Santa Ono and noted ‘father of The Pit’ Professor Emeritus Dr. David Suzuki. The speakers touched on their personal experiences with the pub.
While it may seem odd that Suzuki was in attendance, he is attributed to building the foundations that started the student bar. In a UBC Reports article from 1968, Suzuki advocated for a pub on campus in order to break down boundaries between students and faculty.
In his speech at last week’s event, he reiterated the importance of giving students the chance to meet with professors in a relaxed environment.
“How the hell do you take this experience in a gigantic university and give kids an opportunity to really get to know a professor … I still feel a pub offers this opportunity.”
“It was an opportunity to come and talk to the students in a very different situation from the classroom,” Suzuki added about his personal experience of going to the Pit as a professor.
The event also saw the unveiling of a new mural, featuring quotes from Suzuki’s UBC Reports opinion piece.
“I am delighted to be acknowledged as having tried to kick it off … It’s something I did and it’s good for the students,” he said during the event.
While the atmosphere of the afternoon’s event was incredibly nostalgic, the birthday party was only attended by a small crowd of AMS staff and UBC administrators.
In contrast, that night’s Pit Night was very well attended. By 10 p.m. the wait to get in was nearly an hour long. The line up wrapping through the lower atrium of the Nest was very boisterous — though people did seem frustrated by how long they had to wait. Most seemed unaware that it was the Pit’s 50th birthday, though when told were delighted to be celebrating an event that they did not know was occurring.
“[The Pit] is obviously a big staple in UBC, everyone comes here to let loose,” one student in line said. “It truly represents UBC.”
When asked where the Pit would be in 50 years, a different student said, “I see it still upholding the UBC tradition and keeping everyone going.”
As students waited to distract themselves from studying and dance the night away, there was not a professor in sight. Suzuki’s original intention of the Pit may not yet be fully realized, but students seemed to be genuinely enthusiastic about the night’s prospects on the Pit’s birthday soiree — even if they didn’t know that’s what they were celebrating.