|New Town Hooters Closing Down|
The New Town branch of the world famous Hooters restaurant chain (located at 803 Birch Nut Ave.) has announced that somewhere after the end of the summer, they will be closing their doors for good.
Most well known for their skimpy (by most of the world standards) uniform, and generally busty waitressing staff, Hooters often had trouble in many places they tried to move into. Local conservative or "family" groups would protest and try to keep them out of their neighborhoods, as if the restaurant chain was a strip club.
They thought New Town was the perfect place for their kind of business. They would be welcome with open arms and easily be able to fill out their staffing requirements with local girls. This was mostly true, as nobody protested their arrival or tried to block their choice of location, and they were able to easily hire a staff of young woman to fill out their ranks, but they quickly started to have other issues with the way things work in New Town.
Since Hooters is a large corporate chain, they have a number of firm rules about how their restaurants can be managed and run, without exception. The main ones being about the uniform of the waiting staff. It clearly states that although they have a few options for shirts (varying in color and how much cleavage they show), the rest is very clear. They must have on the iconic orange (and on rare occasion, black, for certain positions) shorts, which are designed to be small and tight.
The problems quickly started once some of the students who got part-time jobs realized they could not bring their uniforms back to campus without breaking the dress codes, and Hooters policies required that they handle their own care and maintenance of their uniforms. They could change into them once they got to work, but would still have to take them home with them and wash them themselves afterwards. This lead to several of them getting into trouble, either with the school for code violations or with Hooters for uniform care violations.
Most of the chain also has the waitresses wear skin colored nylons under the shorts to complete the look, but the girls found out these were actually optional as long as the waitress maintained a rigorous maintenance regime on her legs. So that, at least, allowed them to not have a layering violation on top of the shorts being against the dress code of Central U. They also tried to see if shortening the shirts to show more belly would help, but those few girls who tried that found it was actually against the rules to show any bare belly in the restaurant.
They also started to see problems arise when student working for them were suffering some kind of punishment from the school, requiring them to be in some other state of dress or uniform for the duration. These students could not put on their work uniforms without breaking the rules of the school, nor could they not wear the uniforms and continue to work without breaking the rules set forth by Hooters corporate. In most of these cases, the girls were simply told to go home and not come back to work until they were able to wear the uniform again. These cause problems for the students, who needed the money, and for the restaurant, who needed employees working those days.
Several of the girls tried to petition Hooters to allow them to wear similar skimpy orange skirts instead, but the strict rules that the chain had in place would not allow it. In the end, these problems lead to the chain losing nearly all their student employees, only being able to draw from the local population, which included far fewer young women to choose from (as even many of the local girls of the right age go to the college, at least part time).
They also started to see their numbers of patrons dropping after the initial excitement of the new popular chain opening a branch in town. Over the following several years they watched the numbers continue to dwindle until they were well below the national average for the chain, and recently started to drop to near the bottom. After several attempts to boost popularity, the chain has finally given up and announced they will be closing within the year.
The official reason given by the chain is that they were "Unable to comply with the special needs of Central University, which has greatly hindered our ability to maintain our usual standards."
Our unofficial reports show that they are just not able to compete with local businesses who have so much more to show and offer in the same areas that Hooters became famous for. With local favorites like Große Brüste Kneipe, Café Nu de Fille, and Stacks Pancake House showing off much more than the Hooters uniform allows, they are just unable to draw in the patrons like they do in other locations. Throw in their lack of support for the codes of Central U making it near impossible for any students to work there, and you have the real reasons they are closing down shop.
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|Special Summer Music Project|
The Central University of New Town music department is one of the most active and thriving sections of the school through most of the year, but mostly dies out during the summer months when most of the students head home or go on vacation. None of the campus bands, classes, or organizations usually have enough members on campus to continue through these slow months, so things mostly go quiet in the department.
At least that's how it usually went.
This year, Freshman Elizabeth Schmidt (Liz, to most) decided to do something about it and worked hard to arrange a way to keep the music alive through the summer. Rather than just let all the separate groups fall apart, she went to each of them and convinced their remaining members to join together into a new super-group that can perform over the summer. She dubbed this group the Summer Music Project, or SMP.
Liz wanted to see SMP become something special and planned to have several public performances over the summer, but wasn't sure people would be show up, since there really hasn't been a history of music over the summer coming from the school. She knew she had to have them do something special to capture the attention of the locals and remaining students alike.
Although she had a number of ideas of what they could do to get the attention of the locals, Liz said it was her Music Appreciation teacher, Mrs. Leigh, that inspired her the most. Christine Leigh made a deal with her class as the holidays approached in order to keep their attention on their work. Liz said that Mrs. Leigh's idea would work on a larger scale to get the crowds in to see SMP too.
When asked about it, Mrs. Leigh said "I am proud that I was able to inspire my students to thrive and think creatively through their problems to see that the arts don't die."
Liz said it was more than just inspiration that Mrs. Leigh gave her, "The strength and courage she showed doing that in front of her class proved to me that we would be able to do this too. She is a real role model."
So this summer, SMP will be starting their performance season this week with four days of shows performed on stage in a minimalist costume. The public will be allowed to come for a small price and students will be able to get in free. This opening week extravaganza is just going to be the start. They say they have a whole month's worth of shows prepared and this one is just to capture the attention of the public and let them know more is coming.
So if you are interested in seeing a creative and diverse musical show, that shows a lot more than just amazing musical talent, then you should come on down and check out SMP as they start their season.
SMP will be performing starting Next Wednesday in the Rebecca Thompson Art Center at 7 PM. On Saturday they will have two shows, one at 2 PM and another at 7 PM. They will be announcing their full summer schedule at the show.
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| Summer Sentinel Success Story|
The Sentinel was started as a school run newspaper back in 1958, with a staff of only eight students and two staff members. The paper was printed on cheap paper using an old mimeograph machine and had a print run of less than 200 papers a week. By the mid-60s, the department had grown to include dozens of students and an actual black-ink printing press. Today the department is still relatively large, but the paper has grown to also include a digital web-presence in addition to the printed paper (with a current print run of over 6,500 papers per week and over 20,000 unique impressions on the site per day).
Thanks to this digital revolution, the Sentinel is now read all over the world and people of all walks of life are keeping up with the events of Central University. Most would think that this easy to access, free, digital version of the Sentinel would cause a serious decline in the print edition, but it seems to have had the opposite effect on this small town paper. Instead of a decline, the paper's popularity has actually grown and flourished, and not just locally.
Before the digital version gained the popularity it has now, the paper was only selling locally and had a print run of less than 3,000 papers a week. Since the change in leadership and direction several years ago, the digital front was expanded and grown to be the front of the paper, instead of a small side project. This allowed the paper to gain international attention and grow to having almost 3,000 mail-order version of the print edition.
The majority of the remaining print papers are handed out on campus and sold around town, allowing all locals to keep up on current events and what shows are going on at the school. It is not unusual to see many students around town reading the paper as they relax between classes or during the weekends and holidays.
Even during the summer, the print run does not decline, as students and locals alike can be seen reading the paper around town, on campus, and everywhere they go. It's not unusual to see students and locals around the lake or even away at the bay reading the paper as they sit out in the sun. Even outside of New Town itself, you will likely see some people reading the Sentinel throughout the entire region.
Just because the majority of classes are not going on during the summer, doesn't mean the news and events stop and people want to read about them. The Sentinel is the best source for that news. When you want to know what's going on around campus and what shows are hot or upcoming, get a copy of the Sentinel and find out. It's the hottest thing coming out of Central U and is available every week, even during the summer.
We are covering everything you need to know about local events, including the annual school car wash and all the hottest performances by the school's art departments. So pick up a copy and keep up with the students and staff of Central U.
If you have a story that you think the Sentinel should know about, contact the staff and let them know. We are always looking for good new story ideas.
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|New Punishment Cages Installed|
After the extended trial period of the punishment cages over the last several years, the school has finally decided to upgrade the makeshift test ones and install several permanent ones around campus. This news came on the heels of the finalization of the new contracts signed with the teaching staff and some say was added as a rider in that deal. No matter how it came about, the new cages are being installed, with more to follow.
According to the official statement from Dean Wallingsford, although the ruling came through around the same time as the new contracts, it was not connected to them. The school board was meeting on several subjects at once, with the strike negotiations only being one of them. There were several decrees on the docket and the passage of the permanent cages was just one of them. She went on to discuss several of the others, but they were not related to this story.
The original testing cages were simple temporary builds of aluminum tubing and chain link, more in line with fences you see around shipyards than actual cages. The new cages will be built of either welded metal or wood and metal construction, depending on their location. The first of these were purchased last year for smaller events, and some were even used for special punishments and stress tested with multiple inhabitants at once.
Most of the indoor cages will be smaller and made of wooden frames with metal bars. Some of them will be larger and stronger, mostly in central display areas, but the majority of them will be these smaller single occupancy cages for shorter-term punishments. Some of them will even be built into the architecture or furniture of a given area.
The popularity of the multiple person cages, even if they were too small, only encouraged them to make several of the permanent installations large enough to comfortably house more than one inhabitant at a time. The plans show these going up at several key locations around campus, with the first being placed along the path through Forest Park just a few days ago.
As they all get installed over the course of the coming two years, the school will start moving more of their minor offenses and dress code violations to standard cage punishments, at least as one of the offered options. So get used to the idea of spending some time in one of these if you plan to try and get away some minor break of the codes.
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