I’ll C U at Fab: A night out with the Christian Union
We experienced Fab through the eyes of the all-seeing Christian Union
Whether you know it or not, Fab has its own group of Good Samaritans watching over you every drunken step of the way.
Many of us have fallen foul at Fab at least once during our uni lifetime.
And for a number of you, the Christian Union has been there to rescue you from your state of drunken depravity with a welcoming smile, a bottle of water and a Bourbon biscuit.
But have you ever stopped to think what a Saturday night must be like for them? Why do they take the time to be so pleasant to slurring, vomit-covered students?
Armed with a burning desire to witness the carnage first hand, I joined the CU on a night at Fab.
Before heading out into the melee, I spoke to CU volunteers Tom Rochester and Chloe Buckley, to find out the more about what they do.
Tom said: “A lot of people probably think we do it for some sort of credit or to make us feel good about ourselves.
“But we genuinely do it to give something back to the university, look after our fellow students, and when we can, spread the word of Jesus.”
The night started with a briefing and prayers, where we were told the main goal was to make sure the people of Fab stayed safe.
Alongside duty of care, we were also encouraged to engage students in conversations that would open their eyes to Christianity.
Although I was sceptical about the idea of talking to gormless drunks about the Bible, we soon headed outside, ready with provisions and supplies for the night ahead.
Once outside I got chatting to some of the CU members and it wasn’t long before the horror stories I’d came to hear came flowing thick and fast.
Water bottle volunteer Josh Jackson recalled one of his less memorable nights at Fab, which involved walking a paralytic student home.
Being a generous soul, he’d let the drunken zombie in question borrow his coat, only for it to be returned – to his horror – with pockets and hood filled to the brim with vomit.
It was at this point that I started to question what I was getting myself in for.
But there was no time for me to have second thoughts as the Fab goers descended.
And at once we were swamped by boozed-up students, demanding water and comfort, and occasionally, somebody wanting a person to vent to about an pre-drinks drama.
My favourite story came when one second year started slurring about how much he despised The Tab, unaware that I was standing before him, awkwardly sporting the red and white beneath my coat.
And later a tragic group of BCU students demanded that the Christians help them gatecrash Fab by signing them in.
In typical BCU form, our refusal was met with a flurry of verbal abuse, generally along the lines of “UoB is shit anyway”.
Clearly so bad you tried to gain entrance.
Then I got my first taste of drama for the night, when a bladdered and somewhat overconfident lad seemed to think it was a good idea to challenge the bouncers.
Unsurprisingly, his macho antics failed spectacularly, and after being body-slammed to the ground, he was sent on his way and told not to come back.
We tried to offer him a rich tea biscuit to help get over the shame but it seems the damage had already been done. With his pride dented, he sloped off into the darkness.
Moving from violence to deep thinking, one student, stinking of cider, spent 40 minutes questioning life after death.
Although I cannot recall a word he said, I still have to commend him for being able to talk for so long while absolutely hammered.
Inevitably, the typical crying girls and rowdy lads made an appearance.
We even had students begging for biscuits over the barriers.
At the end of the night we found a confused first year wandering around having been left by his friends.
Like a rabbit caught in a headlights, the lost fresher was taken aback as we tried offering him water and biscuits.
I had to hold back the laughter as he thrust money towards us, perhaps he thought the Guild had opened a new mobile snack shop?
As the team gathered at the end of the night, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of admiration for them.
So many students couldn’t understand the selflessness of those standing on the other side of the Fab barriers, but from what I could see, they really didn’t do it out of any desire for self recognition.
Although I question how many people take on board the warming message the CU are putting out there, they definitely deserve credit for having to deal with the worst of us week-in, week-out.
So the next time you are confronted with a water bottle and a bourbon, don’t just snatch it and stumble away.
Show some manners, usher a thank you, and at the very least, be grateful they’re here to help you.