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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Chum’s needs a change

Published: April 27, 2007
Section: Opinions

Walking into Cholmondeley's as a senior, I felt uneasy, as Brandeis only student run caf of sitcom fame no longer felt like such a friendly place. As a Freshman I was excited by the prospect of having a laid back caf on campus, in a castle no less, where I could do work, see a concert or hang out with friends over a cup of coffee.

Chum's is still packed with students today, however, the atmosphere is not what it once used to be. The current staff of Chum's, managed by Bill Gannon '07, has taken a turn for the worse, acting obnoxiously towards their patrons and performers as if they arent getting paid to serve us coffee. On more than one occasion, the staffs behind the counter have decided to talk loudly, ignore customers requests and greatly disrespect anyone performing stage. Whether its an a cappella, comedy or a musical performance the staff as Chum's has forgotten that while they are student run, they are not above the system. As a performer myself, I am aware of my bias, but after speaking with a number of disgruntled students, I found out that I am not alone. In addition to their rude attitude towards performers, a portion of the Chum's staff have decided to hire new employees based on their coolness rather than their resume. As the last student-run, work-study job on Brandeis campus, and probably the best, we shouldnt and cant allow for Chum's to become a scenester dump. And while some of the staff are innocent on all charges, I think the majority of campus will agree that something needs to change, and soon.

In fact, transferring control of Brandeis last bastion of student run activities over to the administration would be a mistake, making special events such as the Punk, Rock and Roll clubs concerts and the weekly Friends like These sketch show would be significantly harder to organize. I dont want people to boycott Chum's, or their food, because that would solidify its demise, however I do ask any Chum's staff who decides to read this to start being a nicer person towards their customers. If you are being paid to work, then please, work, because paying someone to drink behind a counter with friends while their peers express themselves on stage doesnt seem right to me. So the next time youre on stage and someone is talking loudly behind the counter with a condescending look in their eye, tell them to make you a shake and get off their high horse because you have a right to be there. Tell them that youre a student, just like them, regardless of how cool they think you are.