The latest news from clubbing land has led to SHOCK and HORROR. Students have been creamed up and whipped in a fit of ‘shameless peer pressure’ and ‘abject lack of responsibility’. A DJ has been fired and Our Great Leader Kallum Taylor is no longer sure if Tokyo can be ‘trusted’.
Welcome to the latest display of YUSU welfare fetish. The whipped fury of belts and cream was yet another display of YUSU welfare wrapping us nice and tightly in cotton wool. One would have thought that people in their late teens and twenties might be trusted to say they’d rather not be whipped by a belt. But no, in Kallum’s world of safety nets and nannying, people who are old enough to be leading men on the world’s front lines need to be protected… from themselves.
When it matters though, Kallum and George Offer are too busy. The sad thing about YUSU’s OTT reaction to club games is that when support is actually needed the system tells vulnerable kids to go and grow a pair.
And what’s more, genuine drives by students to improve this are being diverted through committees. Otherwise known as bureaucratic circle-jerks of pseudo-lefties, kind faces look concerned and promise that welfare reform is going according to the latest five-year plan.
George Offer recently told a campaigning student that he was glad she had it covered. And yes, he is referring to the job he is paid to do full time.
But it’s not just YUSU that is barking up the wrong tree. Campus media reported club antics like they’re a threat to the very fabric of society. The way these front page stories were reported only serves to back up YUSU’s mollycoddling. Who actually wouldn’t go to a Tokyo night because they were worried about the ‘Wheel of Doom’? I think YUSU needs to give us, and our ability to say ‘not this time’, a little more respect.
What’s the result? Well even as Willow’s entry prices hit parity with YUSU nights, people still flock to its sticky floors, death-threat stairwell and drink prices that a YUSU night couldn’t touch with a barge pole.
It’s a welfare free zone and that’s its beauty. It revels in its ambulance figures. When Tommy Fong was asked if people fell down the stairs his answer was “Haha all the time!”.
But this is anathema to YUSU’s welfare-first-fun-last policies. Like a puppet Kallum must put on his Stern Face and give the club in question a slap on the wrist. But as other clubs show nannying doesn’t make us any safer. YUSU have got to realise that as students, clubbing is our playground. For a few sweaty hours we can escape the stale monotony of library rules and tutors’ deadlines. It’s bizarre that Taylor should want to curb this.
When YUSU pick next year’s clubs, the panel will be made up of the president, welfare officer and some backroom staff. Students, like in last year’s Salvo deal, don’t get a look in. And what’s more, for all Kallum’s words one has to wonder where Thursday nights would move to anyway.
But this is secondary to the simple solution. YUSU just needs to ‘wind its neck in’, as one commenter put it. Taylor and Offer should stop fussing over creamy nipples and focus on the serious stuff. Depression, self-harm, anorexia and domestic abuse are the real demons they should be fighting.
Welfare isn’t in a state of emergency, as some would have you believe, but some are clearly still slipping through the net.
Cheaper drinks and better games are what students want, but as it stands they are denied. A welfare system that takes concerns seriously is what students need, but as it stands that is also denied. Kallum and co. have misjudged the mood on welfare – let’s hope they’ll now take the students trying to make a difference seriously and stop fussing over our club nights.