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Camosun College’s Dunlop House pub teaches real-life skills

October 27, 2015 by Jayden Grieve, contributing writer

Camosun College has a lot of unique quirks. Every program has something a bit special about it, but the Hospitality Management program might take the cake. Now in its 42nd year, the program takes a very hands-on approach to learning.

“We run a fine dining restaurant on Wednesday evenings in the fall, and then on Thursdays they open up the student pub, and that runs for three hours every week from now until the end of the semester,” says chair of Hospitality, Tourism, and Golf Management Carl Everitt.

In the program, students are really thrown into the thick of things and have to learn how to operate a pub and a restaurant, as well as how to attract customers.

The Dunlop House is located on Camosun’s Lansdowne campus (photo by Greg Pratt/Nexus).

The Dunlop House is located on Camosun’s Lansdowne campus (photo by Greg Pratt/Nexus).

First-year Hospitality Management student Chrystal Morrison is one of the students involved in the weekly Dunlop House pub nights, which are open to Camosun students. The pub nights are themed, and Morrison says that not only are they fun, but the prices are right.

“They are all really, really good prices because we are trying to accommodate students,” she says.

The pub has a variety of themes throughout the semester, ranging from Vegas to Oktoberfest. The different pub nights are put on by three groups of students within the program, but there is a strong emphasis on teamwork.

“We have three different teams, but everybody helps with everybody else’s pub because we need a lot more people,” says Morrison. “It’s nice to have the support. It’s kind of like a collective effort that is divided into three groups.”

This hands-on approach is one of the main things that helps prepare the students to go out into the working world.

“We are one of few colleges across Canada that really emphasize that applied learning piece,” says Everitt. “What we do is grassrootsŃroll your sleeves up, run a restaurant, run a student pub.”

Everitt says that the three pieces of the program (business courses, applied learning, and co-op internships) are very effective, and that the hands-on learning is a necessary part of it all.

“We have a very holistic approach to teaching management,” says Everitt, “and it’s very raw and it’s very live because they are dealing with real customers who give complaints and get upset with you if you don’t return their calls for reservations. They have to deal with stuff that’s really in the moment, and there is a lot of that stuff that you can’t put into a textbook or a case study.”

With files from Pascale Archibald, student editor


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