Ban booze from campus, say Home Office and NUS…even though student drinking is DROPPING

Patronising Alcohol Impact scheme orders unis to ban drinking in SU bars and stamp out pub crawls

Killjoy politicians and NUS busybodies are calling on universities to stop serving alcohol in SU bars and clamp down on pub crawls in a pointless new campaign.

The Alcohol Impact campaign encourages universities to impose draconian limits on student drinking – even though figures show binge drinking is in decline.

This is exactly what will happen if the Home Office have their way

In a list of compulsory rules, the state funded scheme orders unis to:

Ban alcohol from SU bars unless they sign up to a state-sponsored regulator
Target sports clubs and societies with anti-drinking messages
Refuse booze to anyone who is drunk

Other optional recommendations include “tackling” student pub crawls, organising a non-alcoholic party every six months, stopping initiations and holding patronising alcohol awareness events twice a year.

NUS President Toni Pearce enjoying a typical Saturday afternoon

The scheme, organised by the NUS and backed by the Home Offices is being piloted at seven universities this year – but they hope to roll it out to every university in the country in the future.

Hilariously, the NUS say their aim is to create a “café culture” at universities.

The seven universities are: Loughborough, Nottingham, Swansea, Brighton. Manchester Metropolitan, Liverpool John Moores and Royal Holloway.

Boozing in halls - soon to be a thing of the past?

Boozing in halls – soon to be a thing of the past?

The crackdown is all the more bizarre given youth drinking – especially among students – is clearly in decline, according to the NHS and the Office of National Statistics.

In 1998, 71% of 16- to 24-year-olds questioned said they’d had a drink that week. In 2012, that number had dropped to 50%.

In fact, on every single measure in the government figures used by Alcohol Impact, student drinking is shown to be in decline.

Smiles all round, courtesy of responsible drinking

Smiles all round, courtesy of responsible drinking

But last week deluded Home Office and NUS apparatchiks hailed the intrusive and patronising scheme.

Crime prevention minister Norman Baker – whose party trebled tuition fees after promising to scrap them – said: “Binge drinking at universities is nothing new, but that doesn’t mean it is a good idea.

“Some students find themselves encouraged to participate in alcohol fuelled activities which can damage health and in some cases spill over into disorder and anti-social behaviour.”

Drinking games are being targeted as a source of problems

Drinking games are being targeted as a source of problems

NUS Vice-President Colum McGuire, who despite his name is not in fact a character in Game of Thrones, said: “The project is an extremely positive one that has the welfare of students at its core, with a range of benefits from reducing crime and disorder, to improving student health and academic outcomes, and enhancing partnerships within local communities.”

Nowhere in the announcement was an acknowledgement that students are drinking less than every generation since the 1950s, or that people are capable of looking after their own lives without orders from busybodies with no real electoral mandates.

The scheme will award universities with “accreditation” if they commit to certain rules and actions.

Toni Pearce - who never went to uni - is obviously not a fan of Never Have I Ever

Toni Pearce – who never went to uni – is obviously not a fan of Never Have I Ever

Many of the rules are optional, but there are several “mandatory criteria”, including a forced choice between banning booze from SU bars or signing up to Best Bar None, a state-sponsored regulator.

Unis on the scheme will also be ordered to “actively refuse to serve intoxicated customers” and “proactively engage with target representatives of sports clubs and societies on responsible alcohol consumption.”

The plans would see a clampdown on popular and historic student pub crawls like Leeds’ Otley Run and Nottingham’s Campus 14.

You can download the full list of criteria here.

On Wednesday spin doctor turned campaigner Alistair Campbell bizarrely claimed Alcohol Impact didn’t go far enough and complained about the popular move to allow pubs to show World Cup games this summer.

Hours of fun

Hours of fun

He told the Independent: “It doesn’t appear to challenge the industry and what they do to target students on arrival at university and puts it all on the universities and the students.

“So much of this is about marketing and communications, which have created a culture in which excessive consumption is totally normalised.

“The Government cannot continue to avoid challenging the industry having caved in over minimum pricing, caved in the recent budget and caved in over the World Cup, yet again buying into the industry message that people cannot enjoy sport without alcohol.”