Sidney Frowns Upon Gowns In Town

Sidney Freshers are being shown a video warning them of the dangers of wearing gowns and tuxes to clubs.

Next year’s Sidney Sussex freshers are being shown a video advising them to “ditch the gown and the tux” before heading out to a club.

The video, devised with input from the police, university officials, doctors and bar owners, features Queens’ College JCR Freshers’ Rep Laura Jayne Ayres and fellow Queens’ student Liv Emden warning students not to dress in a way that draws unwanted attention to themselves on nights out.

Some students however have declared the video, which addresses numerous aspects of college drinking, to be unnecessary and overblown.

A shot of the video shown to Sidney Sussex students

Despite the fact that town/gown relations are generally good, the warning is not without substance. In February 2011, five Downing students were victim to an unprovoked attack by a stranger when out celebrating following Halfway Hall.

Although the video cost a whopping £3,000 to make, Sidney’s entrepreneurial domus bursar, Keith Willox, said he hoped that the cost to the college would be offset by other colleges paying fees of around £300 each to show the video to their students.

The video has come under attack from local politicians, with Catherine Smart, the council’s deputy leader playing down the risk of being attacked. Liberal Democrat councillor Colin Rosenstiel, who represents the Market ward on Cambridge City Council, questioned whether such “paternalistic” advice was necessary.

Incoming Sidney freshers have been sent a YouTube link to the video and will be shown it again as part of their induction in October.

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