UK Government Minister Teams with Union to Stop Students Drinking

UK Government Minister Teams with Union to Stop Students Drinking

The National Union of Students and the government are working together to clamp down on binge drinking on University campuses. Their first target, Royal Holloway has agreed to stop advertising alcohol, create a “café culture” and refuse to serve drunk students.

The college, which is one of the largest in the University of London, will spend 12 months working towards an accreditation from the National Union of Students. The Evening Standard reports that this will lead to an end to alcohol related initiation ceremonies, boozy games and a crackdown on binge drinking.

Helen Groenendaal, Senior Student Wellbeing Officer at Royal Holloway, said: “Royal Holloway is delighted to be a part of the NUS Alcohol Impact scheme. While an active social life is an important part of the student experience at Royal Holloway, we remain committed to ensuring a safe and healthy environment on campus by promoting responsible drinking.”

Liberal Democrat Minister for Crime Prevention Norman Baker said: “Binge drinking at universities is nothing new, but that doesn’t mean it is a good idea.

“Some students find themselves encouraged to participate in alcohol fuelled activities which can damage health and in some cases spill over into disorder and anti-social behaviour.

“The NUS Alcohol Impact project, backed by the Home Office, will help participating universities to encourage responsible drinking leading to safer and more productive places to study and live.

“Accreditation should become a badge of honour for universities, and another factor which helps promote their world class teaching and research to prospective domestic and international students.”

Colum McGuire, NUS Vice-President for Welfare, said: “The project is an extremely positive one that has the welfare of students at its core, with a range of benefits from reducing crime and disorder, to improving student health and academic outcomes, and enhancing partnerships within local communities.

“We will also aim to encourage responsible retailing and the provision of a broader range of activities as well as effective support services on campus, and by doing so make universities more welcoming for those who do not drink.”

The move is likely to be attacked as a killjoy attitude from a college that was once famously the most Conservative student body in the country. In the past it abolished its Women’s Officer and Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Officer on the grounds that it was wrong to give one group more representation than another. The college also held a seat on the board of Conservative Future for a number of years after the body was created.

Today Royal Holloway is believed to be in the grip of the far-left, bringing in a total of four “liberation officers” including one with responsibility over “marginalised genders”. 

The campus features a number of bars, most of which are supplied by NUS Services Limited (NUSSL), the National Union of Students’ alcohol buying collective.

The NUS is financially reliant on NUSSL but in recent years, as the left have adopted an increasingly anti-alcohol stance, its role has been downplayed by the leadership of the organisation. 

Royal Holloway’s leadership will have to be careful, Higher Education colleges and Universities that get a reputation for being boring can struggle to attract students. This in turn makes it harder for them to generate the revenue needed to run far-left campaigns.

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