I’d like to know a bit more about Regent’s Rabbits – what sort of things do you do?
Beth: As a normal drinking society we go on crew dates (with all sorts of societies, blues teams, other college drinking societies and college sports teams). We go to Arzoo for crew dates. We used to go to At Thai but aren’t allowed back there…
Henna: We mainly do crewdate dinners at Arzoo, but we also have events where we spend a small budget we have from the JCR on drinks for the girls in a more informal setting (for those who don’t necessarily enjoy the traditional crewdate).
So you mainly do crewdate style dinners. Do you have any particular traditions for these events?
Henna: Yep, we do have our own set of drinking rules and traditions e.g. fines for those who wish to leave the table. They tend to be on the slightly outrageous side perhaps but are all good fun.
I understand that it is a very inclusive society, inviting to its events any who wish to go. Do you think this is an attitude more societies should take, especially those which term themselves ‘drinking societies’?
Beth: Our society is open to all girls at Regent’s and most girls come on at least one crew date to see if it’s their sort of thing. Some girls come on every crew date, some on just one. But I think it’s probably impractical for most colleges to be completely inclusive in their drinking societies because their colleges are big and they would have an impractical amount of people trying to crew date. Regent’s only have 30 people in a year so we can afford to invite all girls on crew dates.
Henna: I think the Rabbits are very specific to the culture of Regent’s generally, particularly its size. I’m not sure the model we have would work at larger colleges where perhaps the girls don’t know each other as well. We know each other really well and are generally open and comfortable each other. This makes boundaries very clear.
How do you think your society is perceived within college? Is it an important part of college life?
Beth: I think Rabbits is an important part of college life; the fun we have on crew dates inspired the boys of Regent’s to form their own drinking society, Re-Gents. As a college we love drinking and going out and the drinking societies create an organised outlet for this.
Does it enhance the reputation of the college, or make it a nicer place to be?
Beth: Within college I think our society is perceived very positively. We are a pretty well known drinking society throughout Oxford; I’ve met people who haven’t heard of Regent’s but have heard of Regent’s Rabbits. Most people in college love Regent’s and are proud to be a part of it; by making Regent’s well-known throughout the University we are doing a positive thing that the college support.
Is there anything you’d like to tell me which I haven’t asked?
Henna: In my opinion it’s a really good chance for us to assert our identity and have some fun as a group. There is the perception of crewdates as being all about pulling and girls being objectified but this is really not the case with our crewdates. We dress up because we enjoy it.