The Otago University Students' Association has bought one of the last remaining bars near the Dunedin campus.
Speaking to student magazine Critic, OUSA events manager Jason Schroeder said the Association wanted to address the decline in student bars, while also insuring students had a safe place to drink.
"Whether it's security that can turn away unwanted guests and people who start to show aggressive unsafe behaviour, or people who know how to monitor intoxication to ensure that people are drinking responsibly,'' Schroeder told Critic.
A recent University of Otago study found students were drinking at pubs much less than in previous years, over a time period when beloved campus haunts the "Gardies" and the Bowling Green Tavern closed.
In 2005, 74 per cent of Otago students had drunk at a pub in the previous seven days, versus just 52 per cent in 2013.
Schroeder said Starters, in Frederick St, provided a safe environment for students, in contrast to flat parties which were the ''wild west of drinking''.
"It's so cheap now to buy a bottle of vodka or RTDs and punish them, and next thing you're passed out at 11 o'clock at night, which happens all the time at flat parties but doesn't happen at bars because you won't get served if you're that intoxicated and you've got people who're there to give you water and provide that support."