Look After Your Friends

Sasha Gisborne recalls a recent event highlighting the dangers of student nightlife.


On the first day of February this year, an event occurred. While not perhaps the most appropriate topic for an opinion piece, it has lead to some rather strong opinions from me, and thus I feel it is appropriate to discuss. So here goes.

While with a group of people in one of our bedrooms in our hall, we heard a bit of a commotion outside, and then in the room adjacent. So, being nosy, a few members of the group decided to have a look at what was happening. They came back with the expected “drunk guy,” which seemed to leave the matter resolved.

I left at this point for a few minutes. When I came back, two men dressed in particularly dashing outfits, with matching ties, were leaving the room where the man was. They were being shouted at by the people I had been with. It was very quickly apparent what had happened; they had taken the drunk guy (who was also wearing a dashing outfit, and the tie) back to his room, and promptly left him on his bed with the door slightly ajar and the lights off – on his back.

It is worth noting, that by their own admission they knew he’d been vomiting. After stating this, they decided to leave, evidently feeling that being good Samaritans had placed far too much strain on the stressful lifestyle of wearing dinner jackets and having drinks. Although this was a student hall of residents with wardens, they refused to contact them and left, with one commenting on how they’d done enough as it was and wanted to go back out.

The poor guy who they left was lying on his back and had begun to choke on his vomit when my friends tried to put him in the recovery position. Had my friends not been there, then he could have been ended up in a very bad state indeed, a state much worse than merely being drunk, and all because his “friends” were clearly incompetent.

While it is difficult for the normal human to comprehend how they could possibly be so arrogant. I don’t want to be too emotive about the whole affair, but what sort of monster do you have to be to give up on putting someone in the recovery position and leave them on their back with sick stains down the side of their mouth? While I was gone, they told my friends to check up on him, apparently in 20 minutes or so.

Fortunately, the wardens came and looked after him (notably, it wasn’t the charming gentlemen who got them). However, as this is a university where some people drink to vomit inducing proportions, I will take a moment to explain the basic etiquette of what to do when someone is drunk. Don’t leave them alone, if they’re vomiting keep an eye on them, put them in the recovery position if they’re going to sleep, and make sure to tell someone who is capable of looking after them (so not people in a different room, who have no reason to be forced to get involved). Generally, don’t put yourself and your evening first when it is clear that someone needs to be looked after.

It is unbelievably hard to see why they chose to do this, but thankfully the majority of the people I’ve met in my few months here at St Andrews seem to want people to survive nights out and have very few qualms with helping people who need it.



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