The Gateway, located on SAIT campus, was closed in March 2020 due to the pandemic restrictions, and it opened its doors for customers again on Sept. 20, 2021.
According to Kiera Savoie, The Gateway’s senior manager, the place hasn’t gotten as many customers as pre-pandemic since they opened.
“SAIT hasn’t been the greatest with communication, so there’s been a lot of confusion on whether we’re allowed to open, who’s allowed to be on campus, and if they’re allowed to come to see us,” said Savoie.
“I think until everyone gets the vaccine passport sorted out and the classes get moved back on campus, we’re probably going to be pretty quiet.”
The spot, managed by SAITSA (SAIT Student Association), has been open on the campus for many years with different names, but The Gateway has been running as it is for 21 years.
On SAITSA calendar, The Gateway is to launch its first concert after re-opening on Oct. 15; however, according to Savoie, they might need to change the date due to the current Alberta Health restrictions.
“We want to make sure that when we have our first event, we can have it successfully and don’t run into barriers,” said Savoie.
The Gateway events team intends on getting a concert in at least before Christmas.
SAIT has announced that starting on Sept. 20, all employees and students must show proof of vaccination or COVID-19 test results to enter the campus. Also, SAIT launched a free rapid testing clinic on campus until Oct. 26.
Amanda Kato, a recent SAIT graduated student, used to meet her friends at The Gateway and participates in their events, as the dirty bingo.
“I think people were more active. They used to interact more before the pandemic. Then, during the pandemic, The Gateway did online activities and games. I don’t know how many people participated. My friends and I never participated,” said Kato.
SAIT hasn’t been the greatest with communication, so there’s been a lot of confusion on whether we’re allowed to open, who’s allowed to be on campus, and if they’re allowed to come to see us. – Savoie
Previously to the pandemic, The Gateway was a spot for students to socialize, especially when the semesters first started. According to Savoie, they hope to be able to provide that student experience over the following months.
“There’s a lot of people that probably missed out on some relationships that could have been lifelong, but it’s really hard to build those over a screen. It’s not the same,” said Savoie.
Even though Kato has already graduated from SAIT, she intends on going back to The Gateway with her friends, as it brings many good memories.
“It’s very nostalgic, and it’s a nice environment. Also, we figured that it’s slightly cheaper than regulars pubs,” said Kato.