Polcyn 5 — Unofficial: Challenging campus bars to do their best work

Unofficial St. Patrick’s day is a celebration that is widely recognized across many of our country’s college campuses. But, at the University of Illinois, it is seen as the top place to be to celebrate Unofficial.

Unofficial may be great to celebrate, but behind the scenes things can get crazy.

Police officers, restaurant workers and especially bar workers have to prepare way ahead of time in order to make sure everything runs smoothly, and that nobody gets hurt.

After speaking with managers from both the Red Lion and Kam’s, I have realized that there is not just one perfect approach that the bars can take.

For example, Lion hires extra security and carders just to assure that nobody under 21 gets in, as well as they also have their doormen and bartenders limit the guests to only one drink in their hand at a time (normally there is no limit). But, on the other hand, Kam’s sticks with its usual staff, but still seems to have success in keeping Unofficial safe for everybody.

I was also able to talk with a doorman that worked Unofficial at the Clybourne. He said that it was extremely busy, and it was noticeable that people were coming in for Unofficial.

Kam’s special edition Unofficial cup filed with the notorious Blue Guy

But, if you’d like to hear the details on how both bars — and a doorman at the Clybourne — manage on Unofficial, check out my full story right here! Hope you enjoy!


This has been my favorite assignment so far for this class.

Even though I found it to be the most challenging, I liked that it pushed me to learn better editing skills, and I think I improved my pace reading as well.

In my past projects I have tended to be too fast in my reading, but by taking Dr. Collins’ advice to use ellipses in my writing I definitely forced myself to take more natural pauses and speak more conversationally.

Also, I think I was able to get some really cool shots I think.

Unfortunately by the time I got out to shoot the crowds had died down a bit so I didn’t get any big videos of people trying to get in the bars, but the videos still came out nice in my opinion.

I also really liked the interviews for this project. They were all very fun to talk too and very cool people. I never really planned to use Finnander so much in the final project but the answers he gave were the most clear and in my opinion gave the best insight into what they actually do at the bar for Unofficial.

I hope that you enjoy this project as much as I did, and again, if you want to see the full story, check it out right here! Happy Unofficial!


1 thought on “Polcyn 5 — Unofficial: Challenging campus bars to do their best work

  1. McQueen, Samantha Marie

    Awesome work Tommy! I really enjoyed this video. It’s so funny how both of us had similar ideas so that was cool. I really liked the story idea. I really don’t know much about the behind the scenes of Unofficial and I didn’t even think about the preparations the bars have the do. Even though I am 21, I didn’t go to bars on Unofficial, I ended up going home. I had no idea that Lion limits people to one drink per hand during this weekend. I really think that is smart. After I interviewed the Special Events-Alcohol Enforcement, he said they have the bar entry age set at 21 because in the past 19 and 20 year olds were passed in the bar having to be transported. I also think you got some great interviews. Definitely good to hear the perspectives from two different bar managers. Over all, awesome job! Make sure you keep your camera steady whether using a tripod or free hand. I can’t wait to see what you have for assignment 6!


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