Ask a fifth-year: The VR, Also Known As the Very Rad Viking Room

Dear Sarah,

I’m a student in the conservatory and I always hear upperclassmen talk about going to the VR after an especially taxing and frustrating rehearsal. What exactly is the VR? Where is it? Is it as magical as everyone says it is?

— Impatiently Waiting to Grow Up


Dear Impatiently,

You are correct, my friend. The VR is indeed a magical place. Located on the lowest floor of Memorial Hall, it provides everything a stressed-to-the-maximum Wisconsin college student might desire. Even with the 50-cent rise in prices this year, it’s still the cheapest bar in town. Additionally, given that the patrons are nearly all Lawrentians in some variety, it makes it much less likely that you will be awkwardly hit on by some creepy townie in a trucker cap who looks to be about the same age as your dad.

The VR isn’t reserved for just drinking, though. Life chats can be had, friendships can be made and lesson plans can be written. Final papers can also be written here, but I suggest you save yourself some time to edit them. Rum and Cokes make simple things like spelling and grammar much harder to stay on top of.

Thursday night TriVR has quickly become the goal of my week. It’s even earned its rightful place in my Google calendar. If I can make it to that point in the week without stress sobbing or wanting to punch my hand through a wall, I call the week a success. Six-player teams compete in six rounds of trivia—current events, music and movie quotes are always a staple while the other three rounds vary. And when the first prize is $20 off your tab, you know this is serious business.

Friday happy hour is always an exciting time, especially come Spring Term when it turns into Bring Your Baby to the Bar Hour. Professors need a break after a long week of school just as much as students do, and the VR becomes the place for coworkers and families to meet, chat and wind down. I’ll admit, it’s a little odd the first time you are stared down by a four-year-old while drinking an old fashioned, but what can I say? That’s Wisconsin for you.

Other themed nights include Tallboy Tuesday, for all you beer lovers out there; Senior Nights on Wednesday, which often feature guest bartenders and live music on Fridays. Here’s hoping Dean Pertl, Leila and their set of boom whackers make a re-appearance this year. We could all use more solfège in our lives.

Entry into the VR is a rite of passage for Lawrentians. Not every school has a bar on campus, let alone one as quaint and cozy as ours. How many other bars offer you the opportunity to buy your own custom engraved mug? Pro tip—add your mug number as a contact in your phone so you don’t send your bartender on a wild goose chase trying to hunt down a mug with your goofy nickname on it.




Send in your questions to and have them answered by Sarah, a double-degree student in her fifth year at Lawrence.