The University has threatened to withdraw support for Raisin Weekend because of the”disgraceful” behaviour by students in previous years.
In a letter to the entire student body Professor Lorna Milne, proctor of the University, said: “Last year, a significant minority of students created a nuisance in the streets, damaged town property, were disgustingly rude to others, and even became aggressive or violent. University staff and the townspeople of St Andrews who help support your experience here did not deserve this treatment. Nor did our student body deserve to have its reputation tarnished by a few irresponsible individuals. Almost all of this unacceptable behaviour occurred because the students in question had drunk far too much.”
She warned: “If the University witnesses or receives corroborated reports of anti-social behaviour once again this year, we will have no alternative but to review our longstanding support of Raisin traditions.”
She also stressed that academic parents need to be aware of their responsibilities during the weekend. She commented: “While everyone has responsibility for their own actions, I would like to make it clear that academic parents and students who have been in the University for longer are expected to guide the academic children: if the University identifies any ‘parental’ encouragement of inappropriate behaviour, disciplinary action will follow.”
The email ended with a stark warning: “If you do not follow this advice this year, not only will the University take disciplinary action against you wherever possible, but from 2014 we will have no option but to change the tone of Raisin Sunday forever.”
The University has been trying to tackle anti-social behaviour during Raisin Weekend for a number of years. Last year, the University took a “hard line” against students who were not acting appropriately. Staff members patrolled with police officers to administer “the first stages of in-house discipline procedures to students who disregard this requirement for respectful behaviour.”
This included cracking down on “even low-key disrespectful behaviour to members of the public” such as dropping litter or “leaving the town looking unsightly.”
Despite these staff patrols and “hard line” approach, Professor Milne described behaviour last year as “disgraceful.” She said: ” In recent years – and last year in particular – some students have stretched everyone’s patience too far on Raisin Sunday.”