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Niche graduate group takes one last shot

As summer approaches, seniors prepare for final bar crawls

By Mary Schrott, News Editor

At 2:30 p.m. Saturday, a bottle of champagne popped on a front lawn off campus and five Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies (REEES) majors toasted to their time together at Miami and to the day of crawling ahead.

A list of bars had been made and the group began to drink in their matching red tank tops that read "one last shot seniors 2016" in gold and featured a bottle of vodka with a hammer and sickle.

Senior bar crawls have been a tradition at Miami for many years as a way to make a final toast to friends, memories and the school and town that fostered it all. For the REEES bar crawl, unifying to celebrate graduation meant a lot in regards to the program itself.

"We are the largest group of seniors to ever graduate from the [REEES] program," said Emily Walton, who helped organize the bar crawl for her and the eight other REEES seniors. "We make up close to half of all the [REEES] majors at Miami."

REEES majors have never gone on an official bar crawl before, but graduating senior Denis Kontorovich said this specific class of majors have made a great effort to get to know one another and their professors.

"It's a good time to reflect on the last few years," said Kontorovich. The smaller group made for a relaxing day, according to Kontrovich, who described it as an overall success.

By 3:50 p.m. mimosas were finished and the group embarked on their crawl. They began at O'Pub where they met Lynn Stevens, program coordinator for the Havighurst Center, and her daughter.

"This particular group is really close," said Stevens. Along with one other professor, Stevens showed up for the beginning part of the crawl after being invited by the students.

"I bowed out pretty early though," said Stevens, though she was glad to be a part of the crawl and spend time with the familiar faces.

By 4:30 p.m. the group moved on to Steinkellers and ambitions changed.

"As soon as we left O'Pub, we threw the list out," Walton said. "I kinda wanted to go to [all the bars] but I've already been to every bar. I've seen it all, but I was still glad just to be together."

By 5:30 p.m. the group had finished their beer and moved on to 45.

By 6:30 p.m. they crawled over to Skippers-Walton's personal favorite stop of the day.

The group indulged in a beer tower and fried food. Walton said the relaxed atmosphere of Skippers made for the best conversations together.

"You see [bar crawls] all the time that just look crazy," Walton said. "We were such a small group, we aren't ratchet, we were with adults."

By 8:45 p.m. the group had ventured to Side Bar then Bruno's Pizza for dinner, but ended up back at Skippers.

Walton said energy levels were running low since the 2:30 p.m. kick-off and the crawl lurched to an end.

"It was a good way to celebrate," said Walton. "We were all responsible, no one was chugging, it was a good size group and we could all talk to each other."

Kontorovich has two more bar crawls this semester with different groups of friends.

"Oxford is special [in regards to bar crawls] because Uptown is simple," said Kontorovich. "It's easy to get just one drink at bar and there are enough to continue hopping."