The news of extended drinking hours could be met with many reactions. Although the one that seems most unlikely is that it is the University that is advocating all hour drinking. This change to the licensing hours in campus bars is unlikely to turn this year’s intake of freshers into hardened alcoholics – and anyway, if you’re desperate to drink at five in the morning, I’m pretty sure you can just store some vodka under your bed. For one, the late licensing would only ever be in use during special events in college, and would most likely only occur around three times a term in each college bar.
Obviously the location of a lot of the bars is probably not ideal. Derwent bar is right in among the rooms of the college, and it seems unlikely that the events which will benefit from the late night licensing will pass without annoying members of the college trying to get a bit of sleep before their nine fifteen the next day. And yes, you could claim that most of the people living in halls are freshers, and surely they’re probably just going to go to all the events that are being held by their own college. Except this really isn’t the case.
I knew plenty of third years who lived on campus, hoping that being that bit closer to the library would help with their studying – seemingly forgetting that being close to the library undoubtedly involved a trade off – being woken up every Wednesday at 3am post-Ziggys.
Not only that, but events held by one college don’t just disturb the residents of that college; in Langwith we had to note down the date of every Derwent event, knowing that we weren’t likely to get an awful lot of sleep on those days.
But of course, I lived in halls three years ago; back in the days when two o’clock was the latest anyone could ever contemplate drinking in a college bar. Late licensing has always had the possibility of aggravating people. It seems unlikely that an extra hour is going to cause new problems.
In fact, it seems unlikely that an extra hour is going to make all that much difference at all. It’s going to affect things so little; it’s almost not even news. In fact it seems to be appeasement, with the university hoping that if they give us this extra time drinking we might actually forget that there are so few bars for us to actually drink in.