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Parendtal Advisory: The Lung of the College

Updated: Jan 18, 2020

by Marlen Pezzetta

Everything you ever wanted to know about the student bar...

On the 26th of September 2019 the Hannah Arendt promotion discovered the basement of Gouden Hand's residence for the first time. In an electric atmosphere and a temperature probably never reached before in all of West Flanders, the College warmly welcomed the results of the student representative elections and unanimously chose "Parendtal Advisory" as the name of the place that would be their weekly home for the next ten months.

Peeking behind the curtain: how does it all work?

The fact that you can quench your thirst every Thursday evening with a 2€ pint is entirely thanks to the hard work of a team of 19 people determined to make your year memorable. You thought that you had a busy schedule, trying to manage classes, readings, parties, the gym as well as copious other extra-curricular activities? Well just know that the BarCo team meets between 6 and 7 times a week to prepare your evenings!

Sunday afternoon is dedicated to the storage and inventory of closets. Stock orders are placed on Monday and delivered on Wednesday. The allocation of service shifts is done according to the College's method: a provisional schedule published on Monday, and a final version on Wednesday. In the meantime, the team meets several more times, to discuss the previous evening, plan the next, buy the necessary resources and prepare the communication strategy.

Members of the truly dedicated team: Idris, Remi, Henrik, Zuzia

As you can see, behind the scenes BarCo is actually a well-established company: constant flow accounting, stock management, procurement, contact with suppliers and product tasting are part of the daily lives of students committed to the well-being of the community. The variety of beer available is thanks to the build up of a close relationship with a major Belgian beer distributor across several promotions, sympathetic to the student cause.

For the first semester, the bar will be open every Thursday evening from 9 till 1. It will close on November 14th, allowing both the team and the student community to focus on finals. The programme will change in the second half of the year, to keep pace with the national weeks. National drinks will be on offer, along with thematic evenings related to the country hosting that week. Finally, a little bit of insider information: a techno party has been penned in for January 16th, so watch this space!

INTERVIEW with the BarCo President, Pierre Jean Thil

So if we peek behind the curtain, who is in charge of the mysterious brotherhood that is the BarCo? A few days ago, La Voix du Collège was able to meet Pierre Jean Thil, President of this wonderful student society. A student who is the very embodiment of "l’Esprit du Collège".

Pierre Jean before joining the BarCo society

Hi PJ, can you introduce yourself for those who did not have a chance to get to know you yet?

My name is Pierre Jean, I am 25 years old and I come from Toulouse. I did a double degree in French and Spanish law and continued with a master's degree in European law between Toulouse and Barcelona. The Law-MATA program at the College is part of my PhD.

Why did you want to get involved in BarCo? Deep altruism or repressed passion?

One would say that I am an adventurous person… A few months ago, I was on a trip in Tanzania with friends and our car got stuck in the middle of nowhere for eight hours. Elephants started charging at us whilst we were getting surrounded by vultures and hyenas… I truly believe that my BarCo spirit was born at that very precise moment. (Laughs)

What’s your vision of the student bar?

The community life is an integral part of the College’s student life. Within the CoE, the Bar is an institution: a place known by everyone, where we meet on Thursday evenings to discuss the week and share friendly moments whilst enjoying quality beer.

I’ll now ask you a typical recruiter question: do you have any previous experience in the field?

I like being involved in projects management and have been doing so for the last three to four years. I've already taken care of the organisation of parties.

At the team level, how is it going?

There are 19 of us: some people are more involved in communication, others in inventory management, one in finance, another in alcohol supply, relations with the administration, security, etc. It is a very well organized and proactive team. The works requires a certain investment, but these are not unpleasant tasks.

Rumor has it the bar would also has another function, helping students to get to know each other more ‘personally’. Do you ever feel like Cupid sometimes?

The Parendtal Advisory is a student bar, run by students, for students. We are there to ensure that everyone's well-being is respected and that everyone meets, or does not meet, their soul mate. (Laughs)

Any final comments?

It is a great experience which is already extremely rewarding. I met great people at the BarCo: the team is composed by reactive people who respond effectively and efficiently to the various requests. They are truly dedicated to your well-being and are there to ensure that your Thursday nights remain (im)memorable!

Just before we sign off, even if the intense heat can make it difficult to breath in Parendtal Advisory, it is the undeniable lung of our student life and plays an important role in helping the heart of the College of Europe beat.

La Voix du Collège reminds you that alcohol abuse is dangerous to your health and should be drunk in moderation. We look forward to seeing you all on the dance floor next Thursday!


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