Sophomore Bar Repaint Process

The Sophomore Bar is in the process of a complete repaint after several years.

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By Geoffrey Huang

The Sophomore Bar, a place on the sixth floor for Stuyvesant sophomores to socialize and relax, is being repainted for the first time since 2016. This repainting process, managed by the Sophomore Caucus, started on March 20 and is being carried out by sophomores Patrick Cao, Nia Lam, and Chloe Wong. The total cost of the project is around $250.

Sophomore Caucus Co-Presidents Andy Xian and Fin Ying have been passionate about this project for several months, as the Sophomore Bar holds a vast amount of significance for students. “The Sophomore Bar is one of the most common locations for sophomore students to hang out at, so we wanted to give it an upgrade,” Xian said. “We pushed for this project for a long time […] and I am beyond thrilled to finally see its execution.”

Past Sophomore Caucuses have made efforts to repaint the Sophomore Bar in recent years but have been unsuccessful. “A big reason why past caucuses may have been unsuccessful in repainting the bar is how much [logistical] work it actually is. Past caucuses have started, yet never finished,” Sophomore Caucus Graphics Director Jia Lin said in an e-mail interview.

The design for the bar was chosen by a contest in which many students submitted their sample designs for the Sophomore Bar. “We first sent out an e-mail to the grade for students to create designs, then held an all-caucus vote to narrow it down to two designs, and finally held a gradewide vote to pick the ultimate winner,” Xian said.

Cao, the art designer behind the new Sophomore Bar, found out about the opportunity from Ms. Ingram’s weekly e-mails and the morning announcements. “I wanted to enter a design out of the curiosity of if I could create a design in a short period of time that would be both symbolic, appealing to fellow students, and practical to paint,” Cao said.

The repaint is also part of an effort to clean up the bar, since its cleanliness has been neglected with frequent use. “There are also many stains in and around the Bar. Given the fact that many lockers reside in the Sophomore Bar and that many sophomores enjoy spending time around the bar, we wanted to provide the best possible experience,” Lin said. “We want to make the Sophomore Bar a clean and pretty place for sophomores.”

Repainting has been a popular idea amongst students and has generally gotten a positive response. “We felt that most people thought that the repainting was exciting as we would get a new fresh and vibrant look for the Bar,” Xian said.

Cao’s design, a boat with the word ‘Sophomores’ on it floating on the Hudson River, was considered by the Sophomore Caucus to be fitting for Stuyvesant’s hallway. “We were looking a long time ago at all the designs that got sent in and, I think from the start, this one was the one that stood out to me,” sophomore Alexander Panas said. “The best part is seeing how it looks now, seeing the results of all of these different people’s hard work come into this physical form.”

However, while students welcomed the change to the Bar, it did not come without complications, namely obtaining faculty approval. “The main obstacle was that we had a bit of trouble getting everything started at first because of complications with supplies and approval from administration,” Ying said. “We would love to give a huge shout-out to [them] for giving us guidance and supervision throughout the planning and actual repaint.”

The administration also put restrictions on the content the new designs could contain. “There was a design in particular that was very well done and I personally really enjoyed (and would have loved to put on the Bar), but it featured elements that were not ‘school-friendly’ (things like darker elements and slightly too aggressive words),” Lin said. “The administration did not allow the design, and we had to disqualify them.”

Cao also reported difficulty in trying to expedite the repainting process with Sophomore Caucus directors, thus deciding to take more of a leadership role in the painting process. “The caucus was able to pass the design by Mr. Moran relatively quickly after it was voted on. After that, it took three months for the process to be started,” Cao said. “I was able to receive permission from the school to start and acquired all needed materials, even submitting an in-person order for paint.”

Looking into the future, Cao anticipates some delays in painting due to increased testing and workload as the end of the semester approaches. However, he expects the process to be finished soon. “The front of the bar should be finished right after the end of the AP exams. The sides and back of the bar should be finished before the end of the school year,” Cao said.

Ultimately, the Sophomore Caucus hopes to give the popular hang-out area a fresh, new look and keep it clean for future sophomores. “We are ecstatic that the project is coming to completion and that students will be able to use the bar again,” Ying said. “With that said, we hope the student body [will] all work together to make sure the condition of the bar is maintained not only for us, but [also] for sophomores [in] years to come.”