In a major public post, the popular Facebook page Grudgebridge has declared war against drinking societies and has invited members of the university to share their stories and experiences.
In an extensive post, the admins of Grudgebridge assert that they are “dedicated to taking down drinking societies” which they label as a “blight on access” and blame for reinforcing the “old-boys club perception that the general public has on Cambridge”. Such comments follow the recent Trinity Hall Crescents scandal that recently resulted in the society’s disbandment.
The Crescents have now said “we would urge other drinking societies to have the same difficult conversations we have been having in the past few days” after deciding to disband. "It has given us an opportunity to reflect on whether the culture accompanying all-male drinking societies has any place in the life of a modern and inclusive university. We have concluded that it does not.”
“We know this stuff goes on but don't talk about it because it's a natural part of the established order. Well it's not and it doesn't have to be this way”.
The administrators of the page have invited their followers to submit personal experiences concerning drinking societies and any stories they might have about “patronising or antisocial behaviour” as well as “expressions by any member of classist/racist/transphobic/misogynistic/homophobic views”.
“We are one of the best universities in the world and should do our best to erase rather than entrench class divides”.
This mission to thwart what it sees as the “inherently chauvinistic” drinking society culture has attracted great attention from the page’s followers. Not only has the lengthy post received hundreds of reactions and comments on Facebook, but many have already taken up the page’s invitation to anonymously publicise their own stories of about these societies.
“With any luck”, the administrators write, “the Crescents will be the first in a chain of dominos which ends with the eradication of these little-boy clubs, all of which are on the wrong side of history.”
Grudgebridge’s championing of a crusade against drinking societies marks a drastic shift away from the normal nature of its posts. The Facebook page belongs to a wider collection of Cambridge-focussed platforms that allow individuals to post comments and opinions anonymously. Such anonymity, however, has also placed the page at the centre of much controversy over abusive and insensitive content, leading to it being taken down for a brief period at the end of last year. Undoubtedly, its recently professed goal of bringing down what it sees as the “ugly culture” of drinking societies will serve to further its role as an “open” channel for the discontents of the student body and a centre of public attention.