The Underground was first opened at its current location on April 26, 1974 as “The Cage.” It has a history of being operated and funded by students and providing lively entertainment and an atmosphere for fun and socializing. It has undergone many changes since it first opened. It began when live music was popular and moved into a phase of disc jockeys.
During the early 1980’s the name was changed to “Ichabod’s.” Initially, Ichabod’s obtained funds through the Student Activities Board. Due to the efforts of the former members of Ichabod’s staff and the Ichabod’s Administrative Committee (IAC), self-sufficiency was attained for several years, receiving no direct programming funds from SAB. In 1986, however, the College lost the liability coverage which allowed Ichabod’s to sell beer.
That, along with legislation raising the drinking age to 21 years (with a grandfather clause) and the national trend to promote alcohol-free events, made it necessary for the student pub to “go dry” for a year. When Ichabod’s stopped serving alcohol, the Board of Trustees, recognizing the value of Ichabod’s to the campus, gave renovation funds to help bring alcohol back into the space. Effective for the 1987-88 school year, Ichabod’s again began selling beer to anyone 19 years old by July 31, 1987.
In order to liven up the location further, the IAC began to implement a major plan for renovations funded by college capital funds in the spring of 1989. The changes included structural changes to the entrance, new tables and chairs, fresh paint, audio equipment cabinets, televisions, a VCR, a microwave, a new cash register, and a new name, The College Underground.
Having celebrated its 40th anniversary in April 2014, The Underground receives funding for programming and is an excellent venue for other departments and student organizations. Other campus organizations may reserve the facility to host parties, bands, talent shows, and more. The Underground staff prepares and hosts events on their own as well, enhancing the College of Wooster experience. Over the past few years, the popularity of The Underground has substantially increased, particularly with Dance Parties and Bingo nights. The Underground is in a constant state of change and grows more and more each year.