A while ago I found myself reading a rather intriguing review of the Rag Week Sinners event in this very newspaper. Now, it is not for me to judge anyone’s review and different people will always form contrasting opinions of an event, however I wanted to take this opportunity to stick up for the much-maligned Sinners.
First, some background. The article in question was scathing about the “predatory prowling ground for boys” that is Sinners. There were also comments about the unspoken rule of everyone getting ‘blackout’ at Sinners, not to mention the “girls (who) do themselves no favour, feeding into this misogynistic conception”. All in all, the review suggested that Sinners was a drunken wasteland in which “arrogant St Andrews boys” effectively have their pick of which girl they want to take home before disposing of them the next morning.
This is bullshit. Complete and utter bullshit. Such a review misunderstands the concept of the night, and I’d like to think after more than two years of being a religious frequenter of a Wednesday night out I’m in a position to comment.
Sinners may not be the Disney Bop but that isn’t a bad thing. In our quaint little town Sinners is the closest thing we get to a night out in the same vein as a big city. Yes, it is messy but it is also no coincidence that it is consistently one of the busiest nights at the Union. People love the various Balls, Ceilidhs and Dinner Parties but every so often you just want to go out and have a dance, however dubious said dancing is. Despite having such a unique nightlife the very fact that many choose to ditch their new-found classiness speaks volume to the appeal of the night. Prince William may or may not have attended Sinners, but someone so used to a big night out in London is more than likely to see its appeal.
Then there’s the tendency to get ‘blackout’. I hold my hands up and say to the author that she is completely and utter correct. Swathes of people head to the Union in the hope of having a night they cannot remember. However, it is foolish, naïve and simply incorrect to suggest that people view Sinners as their blackout opportunity. We live in a town in which there exists a culture of getting ‘blackout’. Whether it is a Tuesday night in Ma Bells, a Thursday in the Lizard, Friday at the Bop or a dinner party with friends or with a drinking society, people love getting ‘blackout’. It has nothing to do with Sinners. Sinners is merely another opportunity among many that people take to drink their own weight in Pablos. Of course there are questions to be asked surrounding the drinking culture, however to attribute such a culture to a Wednesday night is quite frankly hypocritical.
Finally, we come to the coup de grace. Sinners, apparently, is more akin to a Riyadh brothel into which a Saudi Prince can stroll and select whichever piece of flesh takes his fancy. The innocent girls purely go to spend time with their friends whilst the devilish, sex-driven males head to the Union hunting for their prize for the night. This is complete and unadulterated sexism. It is true that many head to Sinners hoping to hook up however this is true of both boys and girls, although it is not true for every boy and girl. As for those who this does apply to, well who gives a damn? We are all adults who can make our own decisions.
Even if you hook up with several girls before ending up the next morning in a bed with someone who also has no idea how you got there, it is not our place to comment. Everyone has fun in their own way. If you have regrets then so be it, that’s not an excuse to chastise an event. It is simply encouragement to control yourself better. You may not enjoy the Sinners culture and that is entirely up to you. It is completely understandable why many believe it a reprehensible night. However, to portray it as some kind of drunken Victorian Salon in which girls are flattered to be spoken to by a guy is completely unfair. It may be very different in feel to many nights in the Bubble however it is a well known fact that students of the town love getting ‘blackout’.
It is also well known that students all over the country frequently go out to try and hook up. What is different about St Andrews? If you don’t enjoy it, don’t go. If you do, I’ll accept that Pablo you owe me for sticking up for your favourite event