At the risk of sounding a killjoy, I totally support a suggestion by the UK’s accident and emergency doctors who want to end boozy Happy Hours for student freshers’ weeks which kicks off shortly.
The alcohol consumption levels are worse for students who want to join a university sports team and find themselves virtually forced to participate in humiliating initiation rituals. I also hope those Facebook pics of what these inebriated teams do on their uni sports trips abroad do not get discovered by future employers. I was a worried mum, and justifiably I think, when my eldest son headed for Spain on such a trip.
During a recent university open day, my younger son was given a guided tour of the area by one of its student. This included being told which pubs served beer at £1 a pint as they would be getting hammered their first week there. He made it sound like he was doing them a favour by sharing this information. And by way of offering reassurance, he added, “Don’t worry, two final year students will be there to make sure nobody is left lying face down on the pavement all night.” I suppose that does demonstrate some measure of concern, acknowledging the inevitability of what will happen.
I’m not against students going out drinking and having fun. But to deliberately drink to excess with the aim of getting as plastered as possible, and to do so night after night, is dangerous and stupid. I think universities, police, publicans and emergency doctors should get together and deal with this responsibly. Unfortunately for some freshers, it can prove fatal.