Students at St Andrews University have been given a stern warning to enjoy the traditional Raisin Weekend celebrations responsibly or face serious consequences.
The typically alcohol-fuelled rite of passage for new students takes place this weekend, with freshers expected to mark the occasion with older students – their ‘academic parents’ – on Sunday before students are let loose on Lower College lawn on Monday for an enormous foam fight.
However, following reports of anti-social behaviour last year, the entire student body has been sent an email by Professor Paul Hibbert, vice-principal education (Proctor), ahead of this year’s partying, leaving them in no doubt about how they should conduct themselves.
“Last year we had a good Raisin Sunday on the whole: however, a few of our students did place themselves and others in serious danger due to the effects of alcohol,” he noted.
“We also saw a number of incidents involving noise nuisance and degrading conduct around the town.
“This year, please remember that no matter where you are, you are a representative of the University and we expect responsible behaviour from all our students at all times.
“We regard public misconduct, annoyance to neighbours, hazing and abuse of alcohol as completely unacceptable.”
Prof Hibbert added that the university expects the number of police officers on duty over Raisin Weekend to be “significant”, and stressed any anti-social behaviour will be met by a “very firm response” which is fully supported by the university and the Students’ Association.
Where appropriate, he went on, disciplinary processes will follow any police reports received.
“Raisin belongs to you and your academic family, but as you know, its consequences affect a much wider constituency,” he continued.
“We are privileged to share this town with people who deserve respect and consideration every day of the year, including Raisin Sunday.
“I know that the great majority of you share that view and that you also look out for one another in a supportive and sensible way.
“I want your Raisin legacy to be that you had a great time, not that you suffered a dangerous accident or collected a criminal record.”
Raisin Weekend will being on Sunday with freshers being entertained throughout the day by their academic mothers and fathers, and in return the new students offer presents – once a pound of raisins, but these days a bottle of wine – and on Raisin Monday are given receipts for their gifts.
The ‘children’ will dress in often embarrassing, flamboyant costumes on Monday, are given strange objects with a traditional Latin inscription, and will participate in the huge foam fight on Lower College lawn.