‘Dub the Pub’ contest choice eliminated amind controversy

Marcel Mayo & Andrew Henderson

The next round of the “Dub the Pub” competition is now taking place, but the 12 names originally available for voting have now been reduced to 11. 

The Student Government Association released a new survey of 12 names for students to choose from: The Tipsy Top, Big Reds Brewery, Spirit Masters, Hilltop on the Rocks, Reds Reserve, The Old Pub Shoppe (TOPS), Red Towel Tavern, 1906 Pub & Grub, Tops on Tap, Topper Tavern, Topped Off and Hill-Tappers.

However, amidst controversy, Spirit Masters has been removed from the naming options. 

SGA President Jay Todd Richey said the original 12 names sent out were compiled from 90 responses and 50 different names the first survey round received. 

From these 50 names, the SGA Executive Cabinet narrowed the options down to include those that had received the most suggestions, those that were the most appropriate and those the cabinet liked most. 

After the 12 names were compiled, Richey said SGA sent out an email to all students on Nov. 4 for the second survey, and the name selected from this survey would become the official name of the pub in Garrett Conference Center.

“However, there has been some controversy and questions over using Spirit Masters — having Spirit Masters as one of the options,” Richey said. 

He said this controversy came about for two main reasons: It was perceived as demeaning to the Spirit Masters, the university’s student ambassador group, and demeaning to WKU’s rich history.

“Neither one of those entities should be denigrated and be tied to something like a bar,” he said.

Richey said that after taking the situation into consideration, the Executive Cabinet decided to remove Spirit Masters out of respect for the university and the Spirit Masters organization.

Sawyer Coffey, the SGA director of public relations, said SGA was contacted by some members of the WKU administration and told the name portrayed the Spirit Masters organization in a negative light. 

“It’s just out of respect for the organization,” Coffey said. 

Richey said there was the potential for litigation to arise if that name were in conflict with the university’s model.

“As student body president, I will take the responsibility for this because there were some suggestions we received that were not appropriate, and this should have been considered one of the names that was not appropriate as well,” Richey said.