Stop over-policing minority club nights
It’s not fair
Student night life forms a vital part of the university experience.
Whether it’s Crisis on a Wednesday or Ocean on a Friday you’re guaranteed to see students queuing in droves looking forward to a night of partying and heavy drinking.
If you’re an ethnic minority, or more specifically a black student, and have ventured into one of these student nights you’re likely to have wondered one thing…
Where are all the black people?
Sure some black students do go to the mainstream student events, but you can’t escape the fact that a lot don’t.
In Nottingham, BME students make up 19 per cent of the student population. Nine per cent are black/mixed and 10 per cent are Asian.
Are they simply not going out? Why aren’t there more?
The answer to this is simple. They’re organising the events themselves.
Over the years there’s been an increase in independently run student events which cater to niche audiences and provide genres of music that aren’t offered by the mainstream club nights.
Pdt, Ace and HYPE are just a few of the student-run companies which seek to cater to the niche market.
Fredro, co-owner of Pdt events, said: “Initially what made me start was the fact that in my first year, there were next to no quality student events in Nottingham that played the likes of Afrobeats, Bashment, RnB etc.
“There was a gap in the market that needed to be filled. We wanted to bring the raving experience that we were used to back home in London to Nottingham.”
Unfortunately organising such events hasn’t come without its difficulties. Despite the fact that the market for niche events grows rapidly each year, many have been subject to stereotypes.
Some venues force organisers to comply with overly strict security measures and in some cases the overbearing police presence has led to events being shut down early or, at worst, locked off altogether.
Fredro said: “I feel it all comes down to stereotypes. Certain genres of music are given a negative stigma and thus club owners/managers feel that they need to be extra cautious or even stay away from it.
“For me that’s nonsense and not right at all. I’ve been organizing events for nearly 5 years and only one event has been shut down early due to violence. So for me that negative stigma is unjustified.
“Despite this track record, venues can still be pretentious about working with us or we have to ensure extra security/police are on board.
“Nights such as Ocean Friday have hundreds of drunk students running wild across the city centre, yet police presence is low.
“An ‘urban’ event with the same numbers would attract more attention because it’s assumed there will be trouble.
“The idea that these ‘urban’ club nights are supposedly more dangerous than normal student nights simply isn’t true. While all events pose an element of risk and some minor incidents do indeed occur, that alone doesn’t warrant the unnecessary bias.”
When people go out on club nights they go to have fun, no-one wants to be kicked out early and hardly anyone leaves with the intention of causing trouble.
There’s nothing wrong with holding niche club events; university is all about inclusivity and events that help make people feel at home should be encouraged not prohibited.
Club owners/managers have a duty to be fair, if they’re going to apply a rule it should be the same for all.