Working harder, playing harder


first_imgAt any one time it is estimated that 0.7% of the world’s population are drunk. In a microcosm such as Oxford this figure, particularly on a Friday night, is likely to be much higher, thanks to the phenomenon of “the binge”. Also known as heavy episodic drinking, risky single occasional drinking, a piss up, a bender, and the lash train, it seems that painting the town red, or yellow with vomit, is endemic in both town and gown culture and has come to the attention of more than one college authority in recent months.Socializing at Oxford goes hand in hand with alcohol, epitomized by St Catz JCR which adjoins the longest bar in Oxford. The relationship between the party and its lubricant has long been a mutually advantageous one. Yet the tendency amongst the student body to over-indulge in Bacchanalian antics during the “formal, bar, bop” triad, has led to a crackdown on excessive drinking in colleges including LMH, Jesus and Magdalen within the last term and a total ban in extreme cases such as Teddy Hall. Every college has its own stories of drunken debauchery and debacle, but more often than not binging is far less glamorous than the subsequent r e p e r c u s s i o n s . Somerville’s Michaelmas “Horror Bop” landed one inebriated fresher in the John Radcliffe having taken a serious blow to the head.The St. Anne’s rowing curry carried an exorbitant price tag for second year boatie James. After “spending most of the meal in the restaurant toilets” the £350 camera with which he hoped to immortalise his friends drunken antics was stolen from his jacket.Self confessed binge drinker Tom, a second year hockey Blue, had a rather memorable initiation into the infamous team. Having seen off a bottle of sherry between the pitch and the pub, a distance of 500 yards, whilst dressed as a woman, Tom was made to top off various drinks with the now notorious “down a pint through the tampon” game. He recalls, “While walking over Magdalen Bridge my mate ripped my skirt off. I still had my boxers on, but another girl thought it hilarious to rip those off as well exposing me to the elements and a police warning for indecent exposure – stating that if they saw me like that later they would arrest me. Embarrassing to say the least”.With recent medical research proving that binge drinkers are more likely to suffer damage to the frontal lobes of  their brains, memory loss, and irreversible liver damage, drinking to excess in many cases is not just a youthful phase but a possible precursor of later, harmful drinking behaviour. Perhaps college Deans are justified in their actions.However, students don’t drink with the intention of jeopardizing their future health, nor do they seem to be deterred by the sobering statistics that bombard them. Principal of Somerville College, Dame Fiona Caldicott, former chair of the student health and welfare committee, advocates education and the enforcement of an institution’s rules in order to show people that they have stepped over the mark and are facing a problem. “If students are made aware that they have broken the rules, and that the cost of cleaning up their vomit for example will result in a fine for them, they come to see the consequences of their actions and the rules as of benefit to them.”How far can fines, increased bar prices and the banning of certain lethal cocktails cause a U-turn in the drinking habits of students in this university of extremes? Many see the drinking culture in Oxford as symptomatic of the acute pressures of work and a consequent need to, as Worcester JCR President Peter Jones put it, “purge everyday stresses”.John Robins, a former Bar Rep at St. Anne’s, agrees, “People do not drink in moderation because they cannot work in moderation”.However PPE student Pete sees it as a question of maturity “Drinking seems like a bit of a novelty for a lot of students at Oxford. Many haven’t had much experience of drinking White Lightning in the park in comparison with those at other unis”.Student insobriety and its management are not new to college authorities. Whilst it was referred to as a “cascade” not a “vom” in the eighteenth, students exhibited similar roguish behaviour. In 1768 Brasenose SCR rationed each Junior member to two dozen bottles of port and six of sherry per week. The memoirs of Lewis Holberg note the nightly patrols by proctors searching for students, an offence liable to bring hefty fines and other impositions.So next time you down it, neck it, see it away or reward yourself you’re not the first and you won’t be be last to do so. But a balance needs to be struck on the part of the colleges and individual students: if college bar prices are driven too high, the safety of the college bar will no longer be affordable, and if you drink yourself under the table the consequences lie at your own feet.Archive: 0th week 2004last_img read more

Eagles vs Cowboys – A South Jersey Tradition of Hating the Cowboys


first_imgEagles fans Andrew Schetter and his son, Aidan. On Sunday night, the 4-2 Eagles take on NFC East rival the hated 5-1 Dallas Cowboys. For most of South Jersey, the rooting interest is heavily favored towards the Philadelphia Eagles but for some unknown reason, South Jersey finds itself with a sizeable amount of Dallas Cowboys fans, as well. “Rooting for the Eagles has been something that my family has done for generations. It brings us all closer during the season….if you live in this area, it boggles my mind you would root for the Cowboys” said Andrew Schetter, a life-long Summer resident of Ocean City. “My son is a year old and he is already a big Carson Wentz fan.”This year’s rivalry is intensified by the surprising starts for each team and the unexpected fabulous performances by their respective rookie quarterbacks, Dak Prescott of the Cowboys and Carson Wentz of the Eagles. “Everyone thought the Cowboys were done when Tony Romo went down but Dak Prescott has played really well and I think we are in store for a great game on Sunday night” stated Ocean City Police Sargent, Brian Hopely “But let’s be honest, the Eagles will clearly win” While most households throughout the area will be rooting on the Eagles Sunday night, there are still those misguided few that will continue to root for the Cowboys “I like to root for the winners. The last time I checked, the Cowboys had 5 Super Bowl rings and I believe the Eagles have zero, right?” stated Ocean City Pee-Wee Football Head Coach and Egg Harbor Township resident Ken Berardis “Just check the standings, the Cowboys are one of the best in the league, as usual”The animosity between fans and the teams goes back years. Eagles fans recall the infamous “Bounty Bowl” from 1989 when then Eagles Coach, Buddy Ryan, placed a “bounty” on Dallas kicker Luis Zendajas in a game the Eagles won 27-0 and the more recent pounding of two Thanksgivings ago handed out by back-up Quarterback Mark Sanchez to the Dallas Cowboys. Winning is always great but beating the Cowboys always has special meaning for the Eagles fans. “The Eagles against the Cowboys rivalry has been awesome over the years” stated Pete Madden, Broker/Realtor for Berkshire Hathaway Fox Roach in Ocean City “It will be nice to for the Eagles get an easy win Sunday night to continue to boost everyone’s morale.”Regardless of the occasion, anytime there are large gatherings in South Jersey, it’s not unexpected to hear chants of “Dallas Sucks” and the resounding Eagles fight song “E-A-G-L-E-S….EAGLES” emanate at some point during the event. The love for the Eagles and the dislike of the Cowboys is common place here in South Jersey. “I am looking forward to a big win on Sunday night. I don’t care if Dez Bryant is back or not…..it’s clearly an Eagles win” stated Somers Point resident Dave Laut “Go Birds!!!”last_img read more

Giroud important to Arsenal, says Wenger


first_img0Shares0000Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud celebrates after scoring against Southampton during the English Premier League match at St Mary’s Stadium in southern England, on December 10, 2017LONDON, United Kingdom, Dec 11- Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger stressed that Olivier Giroud remains an important member of his squad after rescuing a point against Southampton on Sunday.The France international stepped off the bench to clinch a 1-1 draw for the Gunners with an 88th-minute header, after Charlie Austin had opened the scoring in the third minute at St Mary’s. It was Giroud’s fourth Premier League goal of the season in his 13th appearance as a substitute, and Wenger admits the striker will be rewarded with his first top-flight start soon enough.The 31-year-old was heavily linked with a move to Everton during the off-season and his future is likely to be the subject of speculation once more in January, but his manager is counting on him.“He is important – why should we lose an important player? It is up to us [and not Giroud],” Wenger said after the match.“He will start more games. I believe as well it’s always the same when you have many good players, some of them cannot play.“The question you get is always why does the guy who is good not play? Because if you take him on you have another guy who is good who will not play, it is as simple as that.”The French coach was seen complaining to the fourth official on a number of occasions at apparent time wasting from the Saints after the break.And he said afterwards: “I must say I am very frustrated as in the second half there was a lot of time-wasting.“Especially on the final ball on the counter-attack, it is very frustrating to give the advantage to the guy who had the foul because we were not only called back.“We were three against one but we played it quick and the referee called the ball back without any reason and that was a huge advantage for Southampton in the final minute.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more