What is it that is most wrong with Oxford? To many, the image of Cameron and Johnson in Bullingdon tails springs to mind. It tells of a place where people can do and act how they please, simply because they can get away with it. Yet why is that group in particular given pariah status? At least they have the decency to sing a cheque for damages at the end.
Look into the future a few years, and it is not hard to imagine that everyone running for a position of power will be confronted with some “falling-out-of-a-club-lol-lmao-rofl-xoxo-;)-nice one!” photo floating around the public domain thanks to various social networking sights (cue: major hack detagging session). Whilst mildly embarrassing, I am sure that it will shrugged off – and successfully at that – with the excuse of youth. But although I can believe that age and a desire for a night in Park End are inversely proportional, other characteristics displayed by students in their drunken antics are ones that are far more unpleasant, and far harder to shake off with age.
One that is particularly noticeable is the immense drunken selfishness displayed by students. The coffers of the local NHS trust are far from unlimited, and yet there seems the assumption that because it is free and available one should make use of it; a friend of mine, after a sly alcohol/mephedrone binge, feeling heart palpitations, got an ambulance from St Giles because he couldn’t be bothered to explain to the paramedics how to get to his college. Some emergency, and he’s not even a UK taxpayer.
Also, without wanting to sound horrendously snobby, you have to think of our reputation as one of the world’s leading universities. Whilst not wanting to argue that having fun and eventually becoming a world leader in some field have to be mutually exclusive, often it really isn’t fun that is being had. Alcohol related violence and sexual assault seem to occur far too often for comfort amongst us, some of the most educated and, more importantly, privileged members of society.
The other day I was having a conversation with a friend that went as follows (and I promise my conversations aren’t always this inane), “Would you rather kill your parents or blow up Bridge on a Thursday night” “Blow up Bridge, obv.” “So you’d be happy to deprive the world of some of its most able?” “Hmmm…” Well, from my experience clubbing last night, I’d blow up Bridge (myself included) every single time.