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Updated on Tuesday, August 4

#21164

OMG: An alumni here. I was in Waterloo and took a drive through campus. Fed hall looks empty now. What the hell? Used to be Thurs through Friday if you weren't in line by 8, you weren't getting in. That being said, it was run by the Federation of Students who did a terrible job. The 'manager' was a complete meathead, the guys who worked there were all his friends and they spent a lot of time bullying anyone they took a dislike to, and letting all their friends cut in line. And, according to one of the servers I was friends with (and still am 20 years later) the staff used the place as their personal LCBO. So, maybe mismanagement did them in. Anyhow, I'd like to know what happened and if the place is used at all now.

17 comments

  1. There was an accident, years ago, and its liquor license was revoked for 1 year. After that, the University put a temporary moratorium on all events at Fed Hall and demanded that Feds re-evaluate the way it was used.

    The result: Fed Hall would be a nightclub no more. Bud Walker, the University admin who oversaw this process, was adamant that ALL those events would immediately stop. There would be fewer events, alcohol only served on the top floor, and an exorbitant cost to Feds to run anything there. To try and recoup the massive losses, they opened the hall up to outside (non-university) events like weddings, with some success. So Fed Hall became, for the most part a venue for clubs, services, and student societies to hold large events.

    But that all went to pieces a few years back, when the University decided they weren't going to renew the lease on Fed Hall. They needed space for their new Student Success Office, and the space in SCH that was occupied at the time by Catering Services was perfect. So they took over Fed Hall and moved Catering/Food Services into it. After that, they renovated, and now they're looking into changing the name.

    As 'compensation,' (after a ridiculous amount of negotiating) Feds was given a 50-year lease for management control of the Student Life Centre (previously managed entirely by the University), including control over the tenants and the right to the revenues brought in by those tenants (with the exception of Food Services, who owns the space they occupy).

    Now the only place you can go for on-campus nightlife is Bomber on Wednesdays. And now you know!

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    1. Oh yeah, one more thing. The year the University stole Fed Hall back? It was just 3 years after students finally finished paying for it. How nice for the University - they got a free building!

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    2. By accident, you mean someone was beaten half to death and left paralyzed from the neck down?

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    3. yes... accident

      http://www.uwimprint.ca/article/1966-the-rise-and-fall-of-federation

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    4. Hmm, so nothing to do with the building of FEDs. Sucks that two scrubs getting drunk and fighting had such an impact on a good thing.

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    5. Shouldn't have been letting people form out of town with no affiliation to UW in a campus student bar I guess..

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    6. Thanks for the explanation.

      'Now the only place you can go for on-campus nightlife is Bomber on Wednesdays' So, just like the pre-Fed Hall days. Great..when I was there and you wanted to go to the Bomber on Wednesday's you had to skip dinner to avoid the line up. If it's the only option again, I imagine that's still the case.

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    7. 1f, it sure is! And there's nobody left who even remembers there used to be an alternate option....

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  2. OP, you must have been a student here a long time ago! Fed Hall hasn't been a nightclub for over a decade. It's sad, really....

    Good to know Feds has always sucked though. They just suck differently now - now they suck the fun out of everything by throwing paperwork at anything that moves, claiming "it's for insurance purposes."

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    1. I was at Waterloo from 85-89. Yes, I am ancient. Sigh. It is a pity that it went south. It really was pretty awesome during at era, despite the mismanagement.

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  3. Never even heard of feds hall until now lol.

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  4. What actually happened is the drinking age went to 19, and suddenly everyone in residence couldn't go out drinking. The rest of the story is pretty much a consequence of that.

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    1. The drinking age has been 19 since 1979.... WTF are you talking about?

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    2. scshunt, perhaps you mean "they got rid of Grade 13," not "the drinking age went to 19." 4a has it right, but in 2003 when they killed OAC the average age of first-years went from 19 to 18, ergo....

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    3. Err, yes, sorry. My bad, mixed those two things up :)

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  5. BTW, is campus security still useless? I remember that for women walking across campus could be a somewhat unnerving experience, a situation not helped by the fact campus security sat in their cars wait for a very occasional parking offender to stumble into their path rather than showing their presence by actually getting out and walking around.

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    1. 5, don't get Feds Security (the people who act as bouncers at Bomber and used to do the same at Fed Hall) with Campus Police (who are actual police officers with the ability to arrest, albeit with a proviso that they're not allowed to carry weapons).

      But yes, both are rather useless.

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