In hopes of providing students with further late night programming to combat Fairfield’s drinking culture, the University will open the South Side Café in 42 Bellarmine Road.

The café house will be called South Side Café, which will serve as an additional late night program for students.

The idea of starting a café house came in late May from Kamala Kiem, assistant dean of students and director of student programs and leadership development, along with Deidre Bennett who is in charge of digital design and printing.

The South Side Café is also being supported by various campus partners and officials, including Residence Life.

In his email to student leaders, Eric Lynch ‘14, the lead program strategist for South Side Café, said it will provide students with a fun, relaxing environment.

Lynch said: “The idea is for this space to be cozy, private, chill and fun.  We are thinking that it will have some funky antique furniture, beanbag chairs, comfortable throw pillows and thrifty lamps and area rugs.  We want to fill the space with student artwork and dim the lights to set an atmosphere,”

He also said a pattern was seen in the student withdrawal surveys, which indicated that the drinking culture contributed to students leaving the university. In addition to students who didn’t want to participate in the drinking culture, the survey also showed that the late night programming didn’t interest them.

“Students left because they couldn’t find late night programing that suited their interests,” said Lynch.

“There was a pattern of student responses that suggested the drinking culture was a major factor in withdrawing from the university,” he added. This contributed to the creation of South Side Café.

The idea of the café house is for students to take advantage of a de-stressing environment. Instead of participating in other late night programming or the drinking culture, students can come to the café house.

Freshman Ryan Brady said: “I think it’s a good idea. It provides another option instead of going out drinking.”

Colleen Wilson ‘11, the supervisor for Fairfield @ Night, said that many of the elements in the café will also revolve around music. The South Side Café, according to Lynch, will have additional activities that students can choose to take part in.

“I definitely hope that students will take advantage of being together in a very unique setting,” said Wilson. “We hope it provides an alternative to the drinking culture on campus and becomes the new fun thing to do.”

Even though Bellarmine is farther than most locations, Lynch felt that the space “provided us with the atmosphere we were looking for.” The South Side Café program will use a shuttle system to take students to and from Bellarmine Hall on Saturday nights.

The Café will be open almost weekly throughout the semester. The dates that it will run are Oct. 19, Nov. 2, 16, 23 and Dec. 7, from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.

“It provides students another alternative to weekend nightlife,” said Nicole Gallucci ’15. “It will be a good place to catch up with your friends and it’s more convenient than going off campus.”


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