- EphBlog - http://ephblog.com -

The Once and Future Log

In what seems like a twice-per-decade occurrence, students are involved in an effort to revitalize The Log, which, apparently, has lay virtually dormant since 2007.  Sometimes these efforts will go strong for a year, but inevitably interest / enthusiasm seems to wane as the generation motivated enough to establish a new tradition (which oftentimes is quite popular) graduates.  More details, and a petition drive, can be located at the Willipedia page on point.

If President Falk wants to make an instant impact on campus, some creative thinking about how to better utilize one of the very best, if not the best, social spaces on campus would be a great place to start: in particular, some sort of mechanism to keep momentum and funding in place from year to year would be ideal … perhaps using The Log more during the early weeks of First Year, to establish its value early on in students’ tenure at Williams.  No student space has remotely the same character or history, not to mention a perfect location on Spring Street.

Fortunately, it seems like there is a lot of student enthusiasm and commitment behind this latest effort.  Maybe Ephbloggers with fond Log memories could share their thoughts on the best past uses of the The Log?  A history of what has worked, and what hasn’t, over the years at the Log might help guide current students in their efforts.  The biggest problem will, of course, always be the drinking age, which is what destroyed the Log as a central part of campus social life, to begin with.  Any viable plan for the Log HAS to feature a wide array of options that will be equally attractive whether or not alcohol is involved.

I believe that weekly Pub Trivia, mentioned in the WSO thread, is a great idea that would attract a lot of students to the Log.  In the fall, football and pizza / wings Sundays would likely be popular; so would, I imagine, a March Madness set-up.  Anyone else have thoughts for ideas that would attract those under and over 21 alike?

Comments Disabled (Open | Close)

Comments Disabled To "The Once and Future Log"

#1 Comment By Ronit On February 8, 2010 @ 7:05 pm

The Log was also virtually dormant from 2003-2007.

It is a lovely old space. This past homecoming, while many younger alumni stood in line for the Herring, one of the people who runs the Log came over and shouted: “Don’t be stupid! Come to the Log! We have beer!” And that was like a moment of revelation for most people. Oh… right. The Log exists, it’s open, and it has beer. Quite a few people ended up there who had not even considered going to the Log for drinks at any point in their college careers.

#2 Comment By Jr. Mom On February 8, 2010 @ 8:52 pm

I peered in the windows of The Log on my little Williamstown treasure hunt. It looked absolutely charming, just the kind of bar you want to be in on a cold, snowy night.

#3 Comment By JPM On February 8, 2010 @ 10:52 pm

In the early ’80’s, the Log was one of the social center(s) of campus.

A lower drinking age in the early ’80s certainly contributed to the Log’s appeal.

However, the Log also had a number of other “cool” aspects, including:

* A large screen TV to watch sporting events. Back in the early ’80s, we didn’t have HDTV, so the large TV was somewhat of a novelty on campus.

* We had a number of very talented singer / musicians on campus who regularly performed at the Log. It was a lot of fun to take a break and hang out with friends while listening to a classmate(s) perform.

* The pizza at the Log was much better compared to what was sold at the old Colonial Pizza on spring Street.

#4 Comment By kthomas On February 8, 2010 @ 11:03 pm

* The pizza at the Log was much better compared to what was sold at the old Colonial Pizza on spring Street.

Hey! You trying to start a flame war? :)

#5 Comment By jeffz On February 9, 2010 @ 8:20 am

I think the key, by the way, to getting the administration on board (and the students leading the effort seem to get this) is to establish The Log as providing something different from the typical row-house party keg and loud music-centered social scene. Pub Trivia, mellow live music (like jazz nights), televised sporting events / debates / major TV events, game nights, anything creative that will actually draw a substantial number of people who are a bit sick of / uninterested in the more standard campus scene is something that the college needs … what better than to marry that need to a fantastic and barely-used venue that feels both part of and off-campus at the same time?

I find it especially nuts that the Log hasn’t been used while the Purple Pub has been (and continues to be) off line. Is the Red Herring really the only place around where students commonly grab a drink, other than a dorm or the Paresky Pub?

Speaking of the Purple Pub, does anyone around campus have thoughts on its new space? Are they still searching for a proprietor?

#6 Comment By rory On February 9, 2010 @ 9:02 am

another thing college students might enjoy: wine tastings led by someone who knows a thing or two about wine (gotta be somene on staff/ faculty). Also, is there anywhere in williamstown to get a well made manhattan or an old fashioned? What about classing up the log with a quality cocktail service once a week–could go well with the live jazz idea?

#7 Comment By jeffz On February 9, 2010 @ 9:31 am

Rory, excellent thoughts, I agree. One of the top perpetual complaints of Williams students (I’m guessing not much has been changed) is about the repetitiveness of social life / lack of alternatives to keg parties and the like. Well, here is a great opportunity for students to take ownership and be creative. Not many schools (let alone schools of Williams’ size) have two fantastic atmosphere-rich venues devoted to social life such as The Log and Goodrich, both of which have the space and availability to accommodate a wide variety of good-sized creative events. It is up to the students (with help, perhaps, from the OCL) to take advantage of those tremendous physical resources, rather than lament the lack of social life diversity …

#8 Comment By Vicarious ’83 On February 9, 2010 @ 10:00 am

Jeff, I think you’ll appreciate this. Freshman year, I got to watch the 1980 US – USSR olympic hockey game at the Log on the big screen. I think that the entire Eph hockey team must have been there. So here’s our team watching guys exactly their age, playing their game, on that stage. I suspect some of our team must have known or played with/against some to the US team, which I believe had a number of New Englanders.

After the Al Michaels “Do you believe in miracles?” line the place literally erupted. Hugs, high-fives, tears, beer were everywhere. Then suddenly, our hockey team led us in a chorus of “God Bless our Hockey Team.” It was a great moment for the Log.

#9 Comment By jeffz On February 9, 2010 @ 11:13 am

Vicarious, awesome!

#10 Comment By esoskin ’99 On February 9, 2010 @ 4:57 pm

At least once or twice a decade; how to revitalize the Log was definitely an issue examined in ’99. I’m pretty sure Carrie Ryan ’00 was involved and that pizza, wing, & football Sundays were on the agenda at that time, too.

Key Log memory from my era — a viewing party for the final episode of Seinfeld, in 1998. Well attended, but we all left disappointed. I sure hope we blamed Seinfeld and not the Log!

#11 Comment By JeffZ On February 11, 2010 @ 6:43 am

More on these efforts in The Record:


Obviously the students face an uphill battle in pushing for anything new (even something with fairly modest costs) in a time of austerity, but I believe that if they really push this as a creative alternative to campus drinking / keg-culture, it will capture the administration’s interest …

#12 Comment By JeffZ On February 14, 2010 @ 5:12 pm

#13 Comment By aparent On February 14, 2010 @ 11:57 pm

Article in a local news outlet states that the student proposal will be considered and replied to shortly:


(but makes no mention of the ~240 students who have signed the online petition to resurrect the venue:

http://wso.williams.edu/wiki/index.php/In_Support_of_the_Log )

#14 Comment By aparent On February 15, 2010 @ 12:12 am

Local news outlet reports that the administration will consider the proposal and respond to students shortly:


(but makes no mention of the student petition signed by ~240:

http://wso.williams.edu/wiki/index.php/In_Support_of_the_Log )