Let go of stress, not respect

Elsa Maishman 11 June 2015

The queue for Cindies on Tuesday night was long. There were a lot of people, excited to celebrate the end of exams, surging forwards, closer to the club. Suddenly there was a cracking noise. The weight of excited students had smashed the glass window of Cindies' neighbour, EAT. It was an accident, there could be no suggestion of malicious intent. And yet what was the reaction? Upset? Remorse? Did we all wake up, calm down and back up a bit? No, the queue continued just as before with nothing more than a few guilty grimaces. It got even rougher as we approached the entrance – with stressed bouncers shouting that 'somebody's going to get seriously hurt.' It was scary. I remember gripping onto my friends – each of my hands clasped around one of theirs, desperate not to get lost in the crowd. In the crush to gain entry to Cindies everyone seemed to forget about personal space.

Inside the club, drunk people were doing pretty typical drunk-people things: being sick on floors that it was someone else's responsibility to clean, knocking over glass bottles that someone else would have to pick up, that other people would injure themselves by accidentally stepping on.

Why is it that 'enjoying ourselves' so often comes hand in hand with being a nuisance? I understand that rowdiness and noise are sometimes part of the fun, and that accidents happen – like broken shop-windows, spilled drinks and smashed bottles. What worries me is the reaction to those accidents – the failure to clear up litter after Caesarian Sunday, the lack of remorse at destroying a shop window, the ease with which students leave alcohol-induced vomit lying around for bedders to deal with.

I'm all for letting go. After such a hellish exam term, I think we all deserve to abdicate a bit of responsibility – to forget about work and pursuing a career and maybe even doing washing on time and eating vegetables. But there are some things that we cannot let go of during May Week – and respect for one another is one of them.