thewinelake
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I hear that social media has met some of the drunken excesses of "drinking clubs" and a media hungry for class war stories - with the result that trouble is looming for individuals captured being stupid (or worse) on camera or supposedly private chats being exposed on grudgebridge.

I wonder how much of this is new and how much is just the way in which modern communications can reveal an ugly truth in decades-old traditions?

Either way, it seems to present a somewhat unbalanced view of life in Cambridge (I think) and might put some people off applying. Or maybe not!
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crazychameleon
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The eccentricities of the drinking clubs has never been unknown, especially after the David Cameron Pig story.Irrespective of drinking clubs. I doubt Cambridge and Oxford will ever be able to shake off the public school image they possess even if they try, especially when considering the entry statistics (Oxford is only 55.7% state school).
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thewinelake
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Yup. I guess it's just that we live in more sensitive, censorious times...
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Doones
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(Original post by thewinelake)
Yup. I guess it's just that we live in more sensitive, censorious times...
And that's the thing. But equally participants need to be a bit "wise" to it too.

Long gone are the days of what goes on tour, stays on tour... what goes on tour ends up on snapchat or whatsapp or whatever and all too easily escapes into the more judgemental real word.

That said, getting steamed shouldn't also be cover for harassment.

But this isn't news. Drinking societies have always been getting themselves banned or severely clipped. And by no means just at Oxbridge.
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julietlima3
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it's become somewhat of a daily mail tradition to cover the annual "suicide sunday" event. it's the first sunday after the end of exams, and the highlight of the day is the cardboard boat race on the river cam. the daily mail of course portrays it as a day of absolute debauchery, and implies the awfully privileged students of cambridge should know better.
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Doones
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(Original post by julietlima3)
it's become somewhat of a daily mail tradition to cover the annual "suicide sunday" event. it's the first sunday after the end of exams, and the highlight of the day is the cardboard boat race on the river cam. the daily mail of course portrays it as a day of absolute debauchery, and implies the awfully privileged students of cambridge should know better.
They also do it for Caesarian Sunday too, including last weekend.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...a-Loompas.html

And every previous year.

The irony, of course, being that many DM journos are Oxbridge alumni.

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Fullofsurprises
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Alcoholism has been a feature of Cambridge student life since forever. It has more pubs per square mile than almost anywhere else in the UK.
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Doones
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(Original post by Fullofsurprises)
Alcoholism has been a feature of Cambridge student life since forever. It has more pubs per square mile than almost anywhere else in the UK.
:hand:
Bullingdon.
:oink:

Edit: although Oxf*rd does have twice as many Gregg's.


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raskolnikova
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I'm not surprised - Cambridge themselves have professed that they have a "deep" problem with sexual assault, which goes hand in hand with a misogynistic and exclusionary drinking culture. Glad I am aware of it now so I can keep my wits about me when I arrive for freshers, especially since I'm of the demographic that is most likely to fall victim to this.
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by raskolnikova)
I'm not surprised - Cambridge themselves have professed that they have a "deep" problem with sexual assault, which goes hand in hand with a misogynistic and exclusionary drinking culture. Glad I am aware of it now so I can keep my wits about me when I arrive for freshers, especially since I'm of the demographic that is most likely to fall victim to this.
I've been a student at 3 other Universities than Cam and I've worked at another 3. Cam has by far the weakest and most narrow drinking culture, by which I mean it's a hardcore few, and in a few situations and it is very easy to avoid altogether. Many other universities, in my experience (as a tea totaller) have a much more evenly spread drinking culture, where very many activities are based around bars and alcohol and you have to actively avoid drinking situations. At Cam you have to actively seek hard-drinking out and it's very easy to have a full social life without alcohol.
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raskolnikova
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(Original post by threeportdrift)
I've been a student at 3 other Universities than Cam and I've worked at another 3. Cam has by far the weakest and most narrow drinking culture, by which I mean it's a hardcore few, and in a few situations and it is very easy to avoid altogether. Many other universities, in my experience (as a tea totaller) have a much more evenly spread drinking culture, where very many activities are based around bars and alcohol and you have to actively avoid drinking situations. At Cam you have to actively seek hard-drinking out and it's very easy to have a full social life without alcohol.
I have no doubt what you're saying is true, but I don't think anybody is asserting the quantity of alcohol consumed is the problem. It is the institutionalised and exclusionary nature of "drinking societies" that are almost exclusive to Cambridge and the subsequent behaviour that comes from these groups.
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by raskolnikova)
I have no doubt what you're saying is true, but I don't think anybody is asserting the quantity of alcohol consumed is the problem. It is the institutionalised and exclusionary nature of "drinking societies" that are almost exclusive to Cambridge and the subsequent behaviour that comes from these groups.
Hmmm, so how is joining the Pitt Club any more exclusionary than joining the Afro-Caribbean Student society, or the Armenian Society or the Ceilidh Band or the Rugby Club? How are they more institutionalised? And what evidence is there that the behaviour of the Pitt Club is worse than the Rugby Club or the Union? Or is it just a mythical persona placed on the Pitt Club (which frankly is the only club talked about because College drinking societies ebb and flow from year to year depending on the cohort and are no different to any drinking group in any halls of residence anywhere, except they have a snazzier name) by external 'observers' who've seen nothing first hand? They really aren't an issue, except to Daily Mail readers and their ilk.
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TimmonaPortella
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(Original post by threeportdrift)
Cam has by far the weakest and most narrow drinking culture, by which I mean it's a hardcore few
I dunno about that. Were you there as an undergraduate?

I mean I'm sure students at, say, Manchester are, on average, partying harder and more of the time, but it's still an extremely mainstream social fixture for students to do predrinks and go clubbing twice a week, before you get on to the 'hardcore few' who are in drinking societies and on swaps all the time and stuff.
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raskolnikova
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(Original post by threeportdrift)
Hmmm, so how is joining the Pitt Club any more exclusionary than joining the Afro-Caribbean Student society, or the Armenian Society or the Ceilidh Band or the Rugby Club? How are they more institutionalised? And what evidence is there that the behaviour of the Pitt Club is worse than the Rugby Club or the Union? Or is it just a mythical persona placed on the Pitt Club (which frankly is the only club talked about because College drinking societies ebb and flow from year to year depending on the cohort and are no different to any drinking group in any halls of residence anywhere, except they have a snazzier name) by external 'observers' who've seen nothing first hand? They really aren't an issue, except to Daily Mail readers and their ilk.
Anyone can join ACS/Armenian society... it says on their website that is open for individuals who are interested in that culture. The difference is these are based on demographics that represent a tiny minority at Cambridge, and exist so people can interact with individuals with shared interests and values. Drinking societies perpetuate a public school stereotype and isolate certain demographics.
There is not a mythical persona on the Pitt Club. Read Grudgebridge, drinking societies have a long standing perception of being exclusionary, misogynistic and racist. It has gotten to the point where certain colleges are sending emails out regarding this behaviour, specifying drinking societies. Newnham JCR wants to disband them all. So yes, it is completely different to other societies because they are not the ones participating in this behaviour?
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Fullofsurprises
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(Original post by Doonesbury)
:hand:
Bullingdon.
:oink:

Edit: although Oxf*rd does have twice as many Gregg's.


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** wonders if there is a relationship between pies and genius **
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threeportdrift
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(Original post by raskolnikova)
Anyone can join ACS/Armenian society... it says on their website that is open for individuals who are interested in that culture.
And College Drinking Societies are open to anyone who is interested in that culture - whatever we feel about the quality of that culture.

(Original post by raskolnikova)
The difference is these are based on demographics that represent a tiny minority at Cambridge, and exist so people can interact with individuals with shared interests and values.
So are drinking societies

(Original post by raskolnikova)
Drinking societies perpetuate a public school stereotype and isolate certain demographics.
It's your myth though, or at least, not wishing to single you out personally, it's an externally applied stereotype. Public schools no more form drinking societies than any standard comprehensive might have groups of sixth formers that go out drinking - it really isn't a public school 'thing' the drinking society. And as they are a small group, interested in their own activities, just like any other student society, I don't see how they are any more isolating than say a music society or a sports club where you'd love to join but don't feel you are good enough. If having a 'public school' affiliation is automatically a 'crime' then presumably the lacrosse club, polo club, acapella singing groups, etc ought also to be sidelined.

Don't get me wrong, as a non-drinker, I find these drinking societies ludicrous on all sorts of levels, but I don't try to turn it into a pseudo-political issue and try and force meaningful links to any other issues. Statements like this "Cambridge themselves have professed that they have a "deep" problem with sexual assault, which goes hand in hand with a misogynistic and exclusionary drinking culture" elides together a bunch of issues that aren't connected (or true without much more context and detail).
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thewinelake
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I'm curious about this "Cambridge themselves have professed that they have a "deep" problem with sexual assault" - is their problem "deeper" than other universities and is this new? Don't suppose there's a reference available here? and is the "hand in hand" thing official Cambridge University position or just common sense?

My strong impression is that it is easy to avoid these societies. Yes, there are nasty offensive people in Cambridge (why would one even want to join their clubs?) but trying to outlaw them seems wrong to me, although I can accept that others wouldn't agree.

Maybe colleges have been issuing threats against such clubs for hundreds of years, but in the knowledge that kids will be kids, pricks will be pricks, but at least they should make public pronouncements that they don't approve.
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raskolnikova
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(Original post by thewinelake)
I'm curious about this "Cambridge themselves have professed that they have a "deep" problem with sexual assault" - is their problem "deeper" than other universities and is this new? Don't suppose there's a reference available here? and is the "hand in hand" thing official Cambridge University position or just common sense?

My strong impression is that it is easy to avoid these societies. Yes, there are nasty offensive people in Cambridge (why would one even want to join their clubs?) but trying to outlaw them seems wrong to me, although I can accept that others wouldn't agree.

Maybe colleges have been issuing threats against such clubs for hundreds of years, but in the knowledge that kids will be kids, pricks will be pricks, but at least they should make public pronouncements that they don't approve.
https://www.theguardian.com/educatio...onduct-problem
"It supports our belief that we have a significant problem involving sexual misconduct – what we now need to ensure is that those who have been affected receive the support and guidance they need.” A professor of private law said this.

And yes, there is an explicit link between this behaviour and drinking societies, evident by the fact that the primary focus on Newnham college's JCR advocating for the dissolution of drinking societies. Trinity Hall has also sent out a college wide email regarding the issue.

To supplement this, the CUSU also released a public statement saying "Drinking Societies have long been a negative presence in Cambridge and we do not believe that they have a place in our University. In CUSU, we have been disappointed but not always surprised to see the recent reports of racist, sexist, classist, ableist, transphobic, and homophobic behaviour by various Cambridge “Drinking Societies”." source: https://www.facebook.com/CUSUonline/...type=3&theater
How is this controversial, or up for debate? A bunch of drunk boys in a privileged environment thinking they're entitled to treat women with no respect? Wow, colour me surprised...
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thewinelake
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Thanks for that.
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Anti-Fem
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(Original post by raskolnikova)
https://www.theguardian.com/educatio...onduct-problem
"It supports our belief that we have a significant problem involving sexual misconduct – what we now need to ensure is that those who have been affected receive the support and guidance they need.” A professor of private law said this.

And yes, there is an explicit link between this behaviour and drinking societies, evident by the fact that the primary focus on Newnham college's JCR advocating for the dissolution of drinking societies. Trinity Hall has also sent out a college wide email regarding the issue.

To supplement this, the CUSU also released a public statement saying "Drinking Societies have long been a negative presence in Cambridge and we do not believe that they have a place in our University. In CUSU, we have been disappointed but not always surprised to see the recent reports of racist, sexist, classist, ableist, transphobic, and homophobic behaviour by various Cambridge “Drinking Societies”." source: https://www.facebook.com/CUSUonline/...type=3&theater
How is this controversial, or up for debate? A bunch of drunk boys in a privileged environment thinking they're entitled to treat women with no respect? Wow, colour me surprised...
Hmm... Guys getting drunk and doing dumb ****? What a suprise. Stop acting like women are the only victims of drunken stupidity, plenty of other guys get ****ed over too. Also most rape/sexual harassment cases involve the woman being drunk too, so really it's not "men being entitled" it's more of people being ******ed and not drinking properly. JFC the fact you act like you are in major danger despite not even going to the damn college... Honestly the victim playing here is ridiculous. And you know what? I as well as many other TSR users frankly couldn't give a **** if you felt safe or not, that's your own issue. People are entitled to BE safe not to FEEL safe.

Also love how you can easily just make a sweeping generalisation about men being entitled. Ironically men have more variation than women - in terms of size, intelligence, strength, etc. And don't try to say that it is sexist, because it's a bioloigical fact.
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