New look Freshers


Freshers’ Week could be no more. Before you keel over in shock, there still will be “freshers’ week” but maybe not as you’ve been expecting. The reason is (and we’re really pleased about this but perhaps need to see more evidence) it’s been reinvented. Generation Sensible may have arrived.

The latest Office for National Statistics data says that school leavers are now drinking and smoking less than ever before. And feedback from students at some universities such as Hull has led to the creation of its WelcomeFest where more than half of the events which include speed friending, quizzes and fairs are alcohol free and the word “freshers” is nowhere to be seen. Its nightclub is open only once a week and the alcohol-free ice-cream parlour serves waffles, sundaes, deluxe hot chocolates and fair-trade coffee and it’s even a single use plastic free zone.

Universities have to adapt more quickly than most institutions to changing trends and are striving to be more inclusive as possible. Now first year students don’t have to spend the first week drunk and playing catch up with seemingly more street-wise students. Universities and student unions seem to be working together to create a more inclusive experience for all genders and backgrounds. We hope this is extending to the initiation ceremonies for joining sports teams. Yes students will have fun and maybe lose their inhibitions but respect for each other is also so important.

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