Imperial College Union Votes to Rename Bars: #phase3

The Union is currently in the midst of a plan known as Phase 3 to modernise the Union’s bar and nightclub areas in place of the existing dBs and da Vinci’s to make them, y’know, actually decent places to have a night out. I will concede that da Vinci’s is alright, but dB’s is sorely in need of a refurbishment.

Anyways, the Union recently ran a competition to rename these new bars as part of the Phase 3 development, and they’ve just released the final shortlist of names, along with the opportunity to vote which names will be adopted for the new nightclub and bar.

Shortlist for the nightclub:

  • Iris
  • Lab
  • Metric
  • Neighbourhood
  • Theory

Shortlist for the bar:

  • Consort
  • Crown & Shield
  • Library
  • Quad

Now, I will be the first to admit that I did not submit any possible names; mostly this is because I’m ludicrously terrible at naming things. If I ever have children they’re probably going to be named by pasting pages from a baby name book onto a wall, then chucking darts until one strikes a name I like the sound of.

However, somebody at the Union seriously screwed up when they picked this shortlist. Some of the names are just plain terrible and others have the rather more significant problem that the collide with names of places already on campus; the most egregious example here is “Library”, which will have the rather unfortunate effect of making the sentences “Let’s meet at the Library” or “Let’s eat at the Library” ambiguous. I cannot possibly fathom how the brief enjoyment of a moment of irony derived from drinking in a bar called the Library could possibly outweigh the continuing irritation this could well generate for years and years.

“Quad” is broken for the same reason, although to a lesser extent. “Crown & Shield”, presumably drawn from the crown logo of the RCSU and the shield of the CGCU, is basically a massive fuck-you to the miners and the medics, the latter of which needs no further alienation from the rest of IC; it also makes it sound like a pub, which the new bar will not be, the pub niche is filled very well by the Union Bar.

The only half-decent name there is “Consort”, presumably drawn from the Prince Consort Road on which the Union sits, which possesses the fairly unique quality amongst the rest of actually sounding like a bar as well as being vaguely appropriate.

The names for the nightclub are mostly just plain awful. “Lab” is another unfortunate collision. The only decent one there is “Metric”, as you can tell by it being the runaway leader in the polling up to this point.

Speaking of the polling, it is rather severely flawed by the lack of an option to vote RON (re-open nominations) , something which is usually a central part of Union democracy. One wonders if President Ashley Brown‘s experience fighting the battle for election against RON left him with a grudge.

I jest, I jest. He’s been very good in engaging with the dialogue about this on Twitter, and that’s pretty damn admirable.

Anyway, I would suggest scrapping this poll altogether and starting a new one from scratch before this one is allowed to run on too long. Most people I’ve spoken to about these names share my opinion that they’re terrible. All I can say is, I don’t want to see this become a presidential election issue when the presidential candidates publish their election manifestos for next year. I can’t imagine anything quite as ignominious for the current president as to have his successor immediately strike down the voted-for Phase 3 names chosen under his stewardship.

Anyway, as the poll probably isn’t going to be called off, go here and vote for the least bad options. Thank you.

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