Ring of Fire. Never have I ever. Beer pong. It’s unlikely any of us have got to this stage in our lives without having encountered at least one of those, or a whole heap more. To many they are the hallmark of first year – a chance to embrace the social culture of university which, for a lot of us, involves alcohol. Rightly or wrongly, drinking games crop up in everyone’s horizon; whether as a cheap way to start off the evening or as an ice breaker during those infamously awkward first nights in hall.
The Saint does not wish to be seen as condoning excessive drinking, nor are we saying that alcohol is the best (or only) way to make friends. But, whether we like it or not, alcohol is a huge part of university social culture, and drinking games are an inevitable spin-off of that. We can try and hide it during open days and skip round the subject round the dinner table at Christmas, but it is a reality that we have to accept.
The decision by St Salvator’s Hall to ban drinking games in communal areas is, on the face of it, a sensible one. When you think about it a little more however it doesn’t quite add up. Banning drinking games will not result in people not drinking in common rooms. People will still get drunk and leave empty bottles around when the go out. Alcohol will continue to be consumed, just in a more ‘traditional’ sense.
There are several questions which need asked. How will it be enforced? What constitutes a drinking game versus normal drinking? And – most importantly – is this really necessary?
We understand the decision by the Wardennial Team. But we feel that we need to point out things which have maybe been overlooked or need further consideration. At the end of the day, it is up to the residents of Sallies to decide how they react. But for us, it seems an odd decision, and one which creates more problems than it solves.