Cambridge: a well respected, pretentious location. The same is generally applicable to the university.
Or is it?
Judging by this picture, probably not.
The trouble of striving to attend such an academically positive university is that the reputation must, or should, be upheld by the students. Unfortunately for Cambridge, pre-exam stress may have got to its’ students a little more than first perceived.
Known as ‘caesarian Sunday’, rival drinking societies of Cambridge joined together in a mass brawl at a pre-agreed destination. The drinking societies, known respectively as the Caesarians and The Green Giants, met at a central park and engaged in a variety of antics, from fighting, drinking from condoms, nudity and brawling, to brandishing a pigs head on a stick. Several of the brawling participants were left bloody and bruised from the event, whilst being cheered on by supportive bystanders of the university. There has been a general uproar regarding the university’s reputation and misbehaviour, with many locals complaining.
Many families, some with small children, left the park ‘terrified’ after witnessing the activities of the stressed students out of fear of violence and victimisation. Onlooker Janet Banner, 34, said ““There was lots of rubbish flying across Jesus Green, guys urinating in front of us, bad language, and people carrying a pig’s head on a stick. The police were called at one point but didn’t do anything. I am sure if they weren’t students they wouldn’t get away with it.” Although police were called, no arrests were made as they didn’t feel any offences were committed. It is, allegedly, the decision of each individual officer and their matter of opinion to conduct penalties.
This is met, however, with student’s verifications of their antics. Andrew, a Cambridge University student, said: “I can fully understand why a small minority of students may seek to enjoy their day off in an organised and contained event, which occurs annually with prior police knowledge, before they begin the intensive run-up to exams.” One therefore has to wonder, if the less ‘traditional’ universities carried out the same activities, would there be the same uproar as a consequence? Would it be plastered all over the media? Or is this just a penalty of a supposedly well conducted, postured university having fun?
Some would have to say that the students are definitely being victimised as a result of negative stereotypes of young people, especially students. This was increased even more when the violent protests concerning university fees broke out. Since then, the media’s motive of the negative portrayal of students could be questioned. Any opportunity to plaster their ‘bad behaviour’ to the nation is not missed, but very much grabbed with both hands and pushed straight onto a front page newspaper.
Students are, essentially, young adolescents seeking further education. However, universites are also renowned for their ‘good times and memories’, and should without a doubt be enjoyed. Perhaps this is just a way of Cambridge enjoying itself but being penalised by the media? Although some of their antics were rather shocking, for example the pigs head, it is not like any murders were committed. Fights and nudity and drinking occur all over the world daily, and yet not all of this is reported on. If a journalist experienced a week in a student’s life, it is garenteed they would emerge with several stories, and more than likely the negative outweighing.
So, why? Well, more than likely because it is easier to report on the negatives. And this is not just generalised to students, either. Newspapers are full to the brim of negative occurrences in the world and nation, and exceedingly rarely are positive stories broadcast. Minority media outlets, such as Russell Howard\’s good news, are simply not broadcast the way that some negative stories are.
Returning to the student debate, their is no outright, clear righteous side. The students were letting their hair down before an excessively stressful examination period. Locals were offended and scared in their own surroundings. Who’s to say who’s wrong?