USM Thursdays begin at Bleachers

By Scott Marcoux

Art and Entertainment Editor

A chance to socialize with other faculty and staff members, a good deal on chow, and the day’s sports highlights. Welcome to USM Thursdays at Bleachers.

Bleachers Sports Bar and Restaurant, almost a part of the Portland campus for years, now offers two-for-one appetizers for USM faculty and staff 5 to 7 p.m. every third Thursday of each month.

According to Nolan Thompson, coordinator of Community and Employee Outreach, plans for the social hour began more than a year ago.

“We were looking for ways to build morale,” he said. “In lots of respects, there’s nothing for (faculty and staff) to do after work.”

Thompson said the question of what to do after work comes up often when he gives campus tours to prospective new employees. Usually, he said, “shrugged shoulders” were the only answer.

After numerous discussions about the where and when with administrators, faculty and staff members, Bleachers was chosen.

“We talked with the owners, and decided on Thursdays,” said Thompson.

Gladys Trainor, co-owner of Bleachers, said she and her husband Chuck welcomed the idea, since USM employees already account for much of their business.

“We get a lot of faculty at lunchtime,” she said. “It’s tough to say how many, but we know some because of conversation we hear (about the University).”

So how did the first night go? Well .

“I counted about eight people,” said Thompson. “I’m trusting that more people will go. It’s a matter of time.”

Trainor blamed the weather.

“It’s tough when it’s nasty out,” she said. “But eight is a good start. Those people will tell other people.”

Whatever the turnout, Thompson emphasized in a posting to the USM Listserv that this is not a University-sponsored event, but rather an attempt to start a tradition. Oh yeah, and don’t call it Thirsty Thursday. The two-for-one special, after all, applies to food, not drink.

“The drinking is kind of understood, but we’re just leaving that alone,” said Thompson.

Otherwise, the parameters for the monthly social are still being decided.

“It is expected but not required that you have your USM Card for the 2-4-1 appetizers,” said Thompson in his posting to the USM Listserv.

Trainor agreed that the rules for the special were “adaptive.”

Still, if the idea takes root, Thursday nights out will no longer be associated with just students.

Arts and Entertainment Editor Scott Marcoux can be contacted at: [email protected]

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