Goldsmiths ditches the 'alcohol-centred cheesy disco culture'

October 5, 2007

Goldsmiths, University of London, announced this week that it was responding to the changing student demographic by moving its freshers' week away from alcohol-centred student events.

The Students Union has organised a new programme of alcohol-free daytime activities, and one of the union's bars has been transformed from a watering hole into a new gallery.

Hannah Bullivant, president of the Students' Union, said the move marked a transition away from the "alcohol-centred cheesy disco culture" associated with students' unions.

She said: "A lot more students don't drink for religious and cultural reasons. The bar was losing money, and students wondered why we didn't have a gallery on campus.

"We've also refocused our freshers' week and added new daytime activities."

New arrivals to the university are offered a coach tour of London and are given advice ranging from where the nearest Post Office is to how to use an Oyster public transport pass.

"The coach tours have been very well attended, in particular by international students," Ms Bullivant said.

"But they are also helpful to UK students. If you are not from London, it can be quite intimidating. If you are made to feel welcome and at home when you arrive at university, you are likely to make friends and have a better student experience."

The new exhibition space, named the Greenroom, will host events across the year, showing work by students and the public.

Rebecca Attwood

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