Downing It

Downing Students have been warned of the dangers of excessive drinking after a fresher almost DIED earlier this term.

Downing College have warned students about the dangers of binge drinking tonight, after a student came close to DYING earlier this term.

In an email sent to all members of the College, the Master AND Senior Tutor said there had been an “increase in excessive drinking” amongst students, and said students were now drinking “both before dinner and afterwards.”

The email went on to warn that a student, thought to be a fresher, almost died earlier this term after choking on her own vomit. An ambulance also reportedly had to be called to attend to a drunk student at Downing earlier this term in a separate incident.

Master Barry Everitt and Senior Tutor Graham Virgo warned that binge drinking could risk not only students’ health but also their future prospects.

They wrote: “excessive drinking puts you as individuals at risk of violent assault in the city, and also at risk of infringing the law; for some of you, such as intending lawyers and doctors, this may prevent you from pursuing your intended career.”

Second year Downing student Hamesh Khatkar told The Tab: “I think there’s been a few issues in our year and with the freshers. It’s a bit exaggerated though to be honest.

“Although there is definitely a culture of binge drinking, the situation seems to have been exaggerated by the college. This is understandable given the reputation they want to upkeep.”

The Master and Senior Tutor said the college would offer help and counselling to any members of the college struggling with alcohol problems.

Downing Bar Manager Becky Powell said the bar tried to keep a lid on drinking, saying: “We encourage responsible drinking and do not condone drinking to excess we just want people to have a good time within responsible limits.”

But some students have hit out against the email. Downing third year Sophie Thorpe said: “We’re adults, we’re entitled to do what we like.”

The email is the latest attempt by Cambridge colleges to tackle binge drinking.

Last year the Orchids, the Downing College Girl’s Drinking Society, were fined for bad behaviour, with wine at college functions being reduced as a result.

St John’s College also introduced a ‘babysitting’ scheme for drunk students last term. Student volunteers are paid up to £100 to look after students too drunk to look after themselves.

John’s third year Ysemay Hackett-Evans, who looked after a fresher as part of the scheme, said: “I think it’s really good, the person I looked after was found on their own in the middle of Cambridge so she wouldn’t have been looked after by friends.”

She added: “They need to get to the roots of it, but that’s quite a big problem to tackle. I think it’ll take years to tackle binge drinking. It’s better to do something rather than nothing.”

Dowing College could not be reached for comment.

  • Felix

    At Downing, we know how to enjoy life. I once got stuck in the gate as it closed far too fast

    • Terrance

      The same thing once happened to me at Clare College after a night of clubbing and dancing with friends.

      • ballare

        lets dance

    • tit of tit hall

      you got stuck in a gate? rock on.

  • Adam

    Lovely to see Sophie Virginia Thorpe piping up

  • Entitled

    But some students have hit out against the email. Downing third year Sophie Thorpe said: “We’re adults, we’re entitled to do what we like.”

    Oh you.

  • Trust in Barry

    He knows.

    • Felix

      Try falling backwards and letting your friends catch you, it's a great trust-building exercise.

  • Mr. Grubbles

    I too tried to contact Dowing College and was met with a cold and frightening silence.

    • Mr. Goebbels

      I too am cold and frightening

      • Mr Goering

        i'm nice. call me.

  • Oliver Reed

    well done Downing students. Drinking yourselves into oblivion shows the world just how intelligent you are. Not to mention that you're a bunch of proper hard bastards :)

  • popolo


  • Truelad

    Have you NOT been to John's bar. That is like a pre-lash for the lads…

    • John's

      Well done.

  • Psychologist

    Barry Everitt is a massive lad.

  • Meh

    Ehhh. Essentially, students are students. Where's the news? And who gives a fuck? Saying someone almost died is likely an exaggeration.

  • Twat

    Love the title

  • Captain Obvious

    Shouldn't have called it Downing College.

  • qwerty

    "almost died earlier in term after choking on her own vomit"

    Can't you just breath through your nose then?

    • ytrewq

      Windpipe blocked. Dumbass.

  • lawyerbat

    haha virgo u legend, have to bring the criminal law into it :p

  • Felix

    When I went with my friends to Peterhouse college JCR we had a pleasant, social evening and met several people. It was a real inter-collegiate social experience that I hope to repeat.

    • Petrean.

      It's "Peterhouse JCR". Peterhouse College does not exist.

      • Felix

        I also am an existentialist. I learnt that word from a book in the Peterhouse College JCR's Perne Library.

    • Super Hans

      I think you mean intra-collegiate. Just saying.

      • not so super hans

        I don't think he does. Intra- would mean within one college, inter- would mean across college boundaries, which is more likely considering he said he met people in peterhouse (that is assuming they weren't from Downing too). Next time you want to be a pedantic twat, check that you're right, otherwise you're just a sad twat.

      • Superior Hans

        This is BULLSHIT!

        • Hans Solo

          I don't know what any of this means, but I wanted to write anyway

  • harry

    Good. All for the John's scheme and others like it. Much more please, unless you want Cambridge to enhance its already far from glowing reputation as a posho messabout university. I look forward to seeing all of you in the Mail soon and despairing.

  • Ever barryitt

    I do not wish for Downing College to be the centre of defamatory accusations. Those who cast aspersions will have a penalty of (-1) degree class applied.

    Downing College
    Registered Charity

  • Girty from Girton

    O God! Stop this binge, stop it now!

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