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Guest blog: A defence of organised student bar crawls

By Thérèse Wynn-Davies

Therese Wynn-Davies

It’s that time of year again where the media latches onto the common theme of drunken students roaming the streets.

But is it really like that?

The ‘skimpy clothed’ and ‘boozy’ teens that are dominating the streets of the UK – Cardiff in particular this year- look to be disgracing the country but have any of these journalists taken a look at any city on an average Saturday night?

I am a student and I have attended one of these organised student nights.

My experiences are not of falling into an embrace with a stranger in a doorway or publically vomiting or urinating in a bin, but something of an enjoyable evening.

Firstly, you are all given a fancy dress idea – this is very helpful because it can be very irritating trying to organise a costume idea that everyone agrees with! It is also an opportunity to get to visit other clubs in the city that you have not yet visited or possibly heard of, especially as a fresher.

These organised student events are just that: organised. They are designed in a way so that the students get to experience as many of the cities nightclubs in one evening- something that many of us cannot afford to do normally! This could be seen as a positive thing for those who run those nightclubs and a simple way of promoting themselves and the city as students bring a lot of income. The event is also highly policed, supervised and monitored.

The media seem to only have one occasion that they can bring up every time a student event is reported. In 2009, 19-year-old student Philip Lain urinated on a war memorial. Since that incident, there have been many hundreds of student events where none have hit the headlines and the most recent one to feature in Cardiff resulted in ‘no arrests’.

It’s not difficult to imagine why these students enjoy drinking. It’s a part of our British culture – here do you think they learnt it from?  They have moved away from home for the first time, are struggling to learn how to work washing machines, figure out lecture timetables and terrified of enormous university fees. The last thing students need is the media on their back for getting ‘boozy’ with each other.

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