Tab Tries: Campus 14

Louisa Clack attempts a Campus 14, only remembers 11…

It’s big. It’s challenging. It’s got its own Wiki page, sort of. It’s completely banned by the SU.

Nottingham’s famous Campus 14 has been passed down through generations of alumni, each more scandalous than the next.

The rules are simple if ridiculous; one must meet with a typically randomly assorted group of people, wear fancy dress and drink either a double shot or pint in each of the 14 bars over the Halls of Residence across University Park campus.

Oh, and you need to have finished all of this by 11pm. In my case, for a friend’s birthday, the power of the Campus 14 was underestimated and we predicted to “finish at Oceana.”

Yeah, ok.

But is this just an overexcited freshers’ event? Once you’re in second year the prospect does seem a little dated and, let’s face, a whole lot of effort.

Trekking back to campus to spend an evening militarily bar crawling in Midland cold drizzle is hardly appealing. Factor in that I was dressed as Little Miss Chatterbox, I couldn’t shake the feeling ‘I’m too old for this.’

Yet cynicism aside, I set off with my fellow Mr Men to meet in Mooch, the
official starting point.

Awkwardly sober and in fancy dress, the whole situation just feels a bit embarrassing. However, the commitment from our participants was unfaltering. Certain Campus 14 stereotypes began to appear even from the first few bars…

The Colonel

This character is majorly preoccupied with the ‘timings’ of a Campus 14 and anxious to get to each bar on time. They will threateningly breathe down your neck as you tentatively sip your Kopperberg and practically shove you out of the doors the minute everyone is served. They are usually the most sober people of the night.

The Lightweight

Bless them. It’s a heavy night. There’s no dancing to burn off the alcohol. There’s no time to sit on the toilet and compose yourself. They are pissed by Cavendish.

The Fancydresser

I don’t think these people even like Campus 14’s that much, they just love a good opportunity to paint some cardboard and entrap themselves within it. Ten points to our game Mr Grumpy.

The Lost Souls

It came to about bar nine when our number had noticeably diminished. Where were Little Miss Twins? Had Mr Bump lived up to his name? Happily, the Lost Souls remain unacknowledged or if flagged up are waved off with the reassurance of; “It’s only on Campus, they won’t get mugged.”

That random guy

There’s always just an anomaly that no one is really sure who it is. I’m sure he haunts hall bars waiting for a Campus 14 group to arrive then just tags along for fun. Either way, we welcomed ours warmly into the circle.

So everyone must have an opinion about Campus 14’s? I asked our participants…

COLONEL: ‘It’s better than just going out and drinking because you feel you have achieved something. In a drunken sense. I HAVE NO TIME FOR YOUR QUESTIONS.

LIGHTWEIGHT: “Too ’spensive.”

FANCYDRESSER: “It might be better if the union got involved a bit more, let their hair down. It’s massive effort having or organise something yourself, I just want it to be a bit more chilled out!”

THE LOST SOULS: “Where are we even going anymore…?”

I didn’t talk to the random guy. The fear got to me.

So, of course as a true professional did I stay sober for the entire

Nope, as a fully committed reporter, I fully immersed myself in this great tradition. I didn’t make it to Oceana, along with 90% of our troupe.

The success of a Campus 14 means sacrificing most of your memories of it. I don’t think any of us truly remember what the inside of Cripps bar looks like. There is evidence we were there…

But by a certain point, the halls definitely became a blur. I’m sure we made it to all 14 bars, but I only remember 11 of them.

So what is my verdict? Forget the ban on the Campus 14. I would still recommend doing one, no matter what year you’re in.

Is it better than an Ocean night? It’s definitely more entertaining and less predictable. Is it an acceptable way to predrink? Definitely not.