UCL’s Van Wilder
The London Tab talks to the biggest of the BNOCs at UCL, David ‘Brucie’ Morris
If you don’t know the name ‘Brucie,’ you’re not at UCL. Over the past four years, one man has had more impact on student life than any other, and has become such a fixture around campus it’s odd to think that he might leave us one day. Hopefully not just yet, though. To find out what he’s still doing here, and if he’s going to keep organising parties until he’s 45, The Tab caught up with the biggest BNOC in the game.
Hi Brucie. Are you actually still at UCL?
No, I’m not. I can’t do my masters, in international policy, just at the moment, but I hope to, so we’ll see.
With all the problems ULU have had with their admin, closing down, BUCS are quite unlikely to allow ULU back into BUC’s leagues, so I’ve started the new UCL men’s lacrosse club to allow guys to continue playing men’s lacrosse, so I’ll be doing that for a while. I’m not allowed to play, and I can’t become a member as I’ve graduated , but we’re having an EGM to elect the committee for the 13th of November. Then I will officially finish with them. But I’m still transferred, I’m at UCL still.
Are you basically our Van Wilder?
Yes. I hate using that term but yeah, I am.
Students have such a large workload and our union is so bad at organizing events. Our summer ball cost so much and we get awful, awful people that go to it. The union relies a lot on the clubs to plan their own things, but the clubs don’t really talk to each other that much so what I’ve tried to do over my time at UCL is integrate the clubs so that they do more joint events, they talk to each other more regularly.
That’s what I wanted to do when I ran for Sabb, to create a more integrated clubs and societies union thing because at the moment it’s like you join a club or society and they’re the ones who are supposed to provide the entertainment for the year and if you’re not, and you don’t have any friends in halls, or your halls are pretty bad, you have a pretty miserable time at UCL because there aren’t many other ways of getting out there. London’s a very difficult city to live in when you’re a student and you don’t have a good friend network.
Do you think your plans have worked?
I hope they have! Unfortunately we moved everyone to The Loop from the Roxy. I didn’t want to do it because Roxy’s such a good club and everyone loves it, we’re all going back there for reading week. The way they were running the queue system and the queue jumps and getting the sports teams in, it just wasn’t that good for the amount of people who wanted to go out on Wednesday nights.
Some of the promoters spoke to me and I spoke to all the other clubs I knew, because obviously it wouldn’t work if we didn’t move together. We got some good promotional packages, we got the buses running, we made it easier for students to go out on a Wednesday night. Even though it’s Oxford Circus, you can still go the union, get hammered. It’s trying to make sure that students have the best social time possible because everyone’s at a top class university, and it’s annoying if we don’t have a top class union without really organized, great, amazing socials, because we’ve got the venues.
That’s as Van Wilder as we’ll probably get. You said earlier about the nickname?
When I got to UCL on the first sports night we went to, the first one in October, the lacrosse committee had a pint chin-up competition, and I’m going up against another guy called Connor Cunningham who was a master’s student from Ireland, and one of the Lacrosse guys forgot my name, but he remembered the story that I’d been to Australia, so he called me Bruce, everyone else started to call me Bruce. From that night I was Bruce, I was the same age as most of the second year guys, so I used to hang around them quite a bit, so they used to introduce me to all of their friends as Bruce and they’d introduce me to their friends, so it grew and grew and to if I met anyone from UCL I wouldn’t. I just kept Bruce as a name. Even my mother calls me Bruce sometimes. I like Bruce, it’s good.
Bruce it is. So what’s so great about UCL?
When I was doing my UCAS, I went to all these universities but UCL just struck me as home. I was walking down Malet place, andit just felt normal, as if it was the place for me. I actually applied to three different courses at UCL, I knew it was the only place I wanted to go. Even if I’d got rejected, I would’ve taken another gap year. I wasn’t really interested in going anywhere else. When I got here it was exactly like I imagined, it was so much fun. Every time we go up in the BUCS rankings, or get 4th in world again, it reminds me I made the right choice, and it makes me happy for UCL.
Do you think you would have had the same impact on Uni life at another university?
I don’t think I would’ve found such a good niche as I did. It’s difficult to look back and say I would’ve done the same thing somewhere else. To compare such a glorious four years, it would be hard. I know people who’ve gone to other universities, and they don’t feel a part of the university. I haven’t stayed anywhere else for more than a couple of days. I’d say no. If I was at Loughborough for instance there’d be so many more of me.
Do you consider yourself a BNOC?
You called me, so you obviously think I am, I’ll let you decide for The Tab, I’m not going to say. It’s nice to have the influence over clubs and promoters and the staff, as I hope I represent a large majority of student opinion, especially within arts and societies and sport. It’s good to be able to represent other student views.
What are your tips for wannabe BNOCs?
Be generous and fair, you can’t have grudges against other people. Being charismatic helps. Be open and fun-loving. Portray yourself well. Try not to insult anyone. It comes from your personality, wanting to help other people, being involved in the union beyond your own special circle, for me it was Lacrosse. Just take an interest. I’ve been to every single musical theatre performance since I’ve been here.
What are your best memories?
My favourite memory is winning Sports Personality of The Year last year at the Sports Ball. I felt vindicated, that I’d tried to help.
Are you ever going to leave UCL?
Yes, I’ll always keep UCL in my heart and I’ll always look out for how well people are doing , but yes, over the next few weeks you will see less of me. It is sad, but I’m 24, I’m getting too old for this, the hangovers are getting worse. There’s a Roxy reunion at the start of September each year, so I’ll be involved in that, and the Mandy Walker Alumni Sports Day. When I saw the new committee this year for Lacrosse, it did feel weird not being involved, but I was happy to see other people keeping it going. I can retire.