St Andrews notoriously hosts a variety of events that characterise, more or less, the student experience. Here to explain her philosophy behind events reviewing is our Events Editor, Violet!
The markers that quantify the St Andrews timetable measure more than just the week, our workload and library book due dates. Particular evenings in the student calendar measure student’s creativity, initiative and drive. To witness an event in St Andrews is to behold an act of collaboration, typically on a grand scale. It marks a coordination of multiple students handling various businesses in order to provide a finished product to be enjoyed at our leisure. Whether this involves the presentation of speakers, food, music, fashion, photography or art, everything we experience are hours and hours of effort on the student’s behalf. The Events section of the Tribe is a space which aims to applaud such endeavours.
The minor and major events which occur across St Andrews, almost on a daily basis, mark more than just time and money; they are extensions of the student’s interests. Our affinity to the practical arts is revealed in the cuts and textures of the clothes which adorn the models who stride in the plethora of fashion shows dotted across the term. Our camaraderie is unveiled yearly at the Varsity match at Murrayfield as a pride in the university swells in each audience member (although aggravatingly this united spirit can twist into a churlishness among certain, unnamed students…). Our progressiveness is platformed by organisations such as The Feminist Society and the St Andrews Africa Summit who orchestrate speakers and discussions to consistently expand our perspectives and concerns beyond the shores of this town.
Unfortunately there is a grim aspect to the events scene. The students who weren’t always situated in Scotland, whether they were flown or wheeled in from below the border or across the sea, suffer the fate of staggering university fees. Alongside this rent, bills, food, fines and goddamn printing costs stack up against us. So for those whose who count their pennies the dreaded question of whether an event is worth the money must factor into the equation. The Events section asks what the consumer is actually paying for and was it delivered, and equally, are the guests safe and comfortable? One could argue a ball is always likely to be expensive. Certainly at Oxford balls are undeniably pricey. I was lucky enough to have a ticket to an Oxford ball this coming June. Yes, it is more expensive than the Kate Kennedy Christmas Ball, however food, champagne and all the ball offers is completely free until 5am, or whenever your heels choose to give up on you. Of course balls at other universities are run differently, there is no question, but we can always wonder whether finances could be handled more inventively to ensure the experience is affordable and distinctive. These events should be democratic, finances should never stand in the way of the full student experience.
Admittedly I am very grateful for the events scene in this town. I am fortunate enough to have always lived in London and so inevitably I miss the buzz and energy a city provides, a sensation I’m sure a lot of students are nostalgic for. The events of St Andrews distract from the size of the town by placing you in rooms with crowds of likeminded peers. Events push me to new locations in St Andrews whether that’s the Undercroft, Martyrs Kirk or the Fraser Gallery. It is highly unlikely that at any point in our future will we be living and engaging in such close proximity with a group of people our own age who share similar stresses and deadlines — this is a unique environment. Events ensure we don’t forget our places in such a community, reminding us that university isn’t simply a degree, it’s four years of our life, filled with people, activity and memory. Let’s make the most of it.
Interested in events reviewing? Contact Violet for a reviewer slot and/or idea at firstname.lastname@example.org .