A reply to the Edinburgh Tab

It’s time to recognise the Edinburgh tab’s St Andrews article for what it really is – lacking in research.


Immature, idiotic and sincerely sensationalist.

Ok. Deep breaths. Rather than sink to the level of a certain Joshua Zitser and slam Edinburgh and its University, (both of which, like St Andrews, are world renowned), I instead thought I would address some of the glaring issues at the heart of this so-called ‘journalism’. Mainly that of a complete lack of research. In the same way I promise to make no mention of St Andrews’ epic win at the Varsity rugby match the other weekend…

What was the score again, I forgot?

What was the score again, I forgot?

I will first of all agree that St Andrews is known worldwide for its royal connections, and its popularity in America. Though, given the state of the American higher education system, any American family who wants to send their child to a world-class university will have to fork out top dollar. And they don’t only go to St Andrews. In fact Edinburgh itself has over 2000 students from the USA – just check your own website. St Andrews’ international student population is only 30% of the total student body – roughly 2,250 students. As for the gilet business, I think you might find it’s probably closer to Barbour, who, in turn, are also stereotypically supported by anyone who lives in the countryside and drives a range rover. But points for effort.

I do feel very flattered that you liken this place to Hogwarts, it really is magical isn’t it? So much so that its actually the theme of our Christmas ball this year. Ironically though, it is thought that George Heriot’s School in Edinburgh was the inspiration for Rowling’s Hogwarts. Our traditions though, while a little unusual, are not just for ‘bloody weirdos’. Unless you think everyone here is a bloody weirdo? Well then that’s just a little bigoted really. Oh, and there’s only one plaque we don’t step on, and it’s not a plaque, its cobbling. So get it right.

One of our best traditions

One of our calmer traditions

As far as Wills and Kate go, most people here actually hate that link. There’s only so many times you can be asked ‘have you met your prince/princess yet?’ before you want to internally scream and bang your head against the kitchen table. For the record, I’ve not met my prince yet and I’m not looking for one either, sorry to disappoint. I’m also sorry to inform you that the two most popular courses at St Andrews are neither History nor History of Art. They would in fact be IR and Economics. If you were so desperate to make some stereotypical comment about Americans, this would’ve been your opportunity. Better luck next time.

Yik Yak will have no doubt alerted you to the fact that revision season is indeed the time of ‘procrasturbation’. Family trees aren’t really that stimulating though, and as for artists, Stubbs would’ve fit the stereotype you’re aiming for much better than Constable. You also could’ve made some comment about the horse features of the upper classes and tied those images together. Playboy is a little outdated though. Pornhub gets updated far more frequently.

Ah, the Kate Kennedy club. The society we all love to hate. Yes, they’re the less good-looking version of the Riot Club, but no we definitely don’t want to be them. And actually it’s Oxford and Cambridge, not Durham, which people tend to get rejected from since St Andrews is consistently ranked higher than Durham. Most people actually reject Durham for a place here, my flatmate being a prime example.

We love our balls!

We love our balls!

I think you made a very interesting choice to launch into the posh name humiliation at this point in the article. Personally I would’ve opened with that to really hammer home the stereotype. Here it just looks like you’re clutching at straws because you feel the humour is waning. The pheasant joke sadly just emphasizes this.

Next I think we just have to address the issue that ‘boys’ in general are awkward. Men however are not. For me I feel that’s part of the definition of the transition, not just an age and the ability to grow a beard. Perhaps your choice of the word ‘boy’ is simply because that’s what you associate best with. Hugh Grant really is a charmer though, and actually not banned from campus at all. But why do we desire our men to be in Tatler? Surely with all of these Americans around we should be focusing more on who’s in Forbes? And I’ve heard a little rumour that you, Mr Zitser were actually in Tatler for our charity polo match? On those grounds I think we should exchange numbers.

Edinburgh fashion is in my opinion rather nice. I have several friends who go to Edinburgh and as far as I’m concerned they look great. I’m sorry you’ve received that opinion of ‘homeless’ though – to be quite honest this is the first I’ve ever heard of it.

St Andrews is the home of FS - one of the largest student fashion shows in Europe

St Andrews is the home of FS – one of the largest student fashion shows in Europe

And now we get to the bit I’ve been waiting for. So my career choice is a lady who lunches is it? In your opinion, despite attending a world class university, despite having achieved exam results that place me in the top few percentage of the population and despite being a woman with a brain and determination, the sum total worth of my life is to be bought by a man and brainlessly nibble a salad with other women you’ve tarnished with the same brush. I’ve got news for you. Yes, I will be a lady who lunches, but that lunch will occur in between my business meetings while I debate current affairs and my own independent plans for financial investment with other women who are also in this glorious position. I’ll have those lunches frequently.

No nightlife, eh?

No nightlife, eh?

How many times have you actually visited St Andrews? Because your impression is way off. The majority of the student population is incredibly welcoming, and I don’t feel that there’s much elitism. In fact I’ve actually felt more victimized by those who are anti-private education and anti-capitalism than by anyone else – yet we’re all at the same ‘pretentious’ university.

We do have a lot of Churches, yet there’s actually more pubs and bars per capita, so it purely depends on what your religion is. Mine is Thistly Cross. The absence of nightclubs is also intensely refreshing. I much prefer actually having conversations with people rather than sticking to floors. Having self-entitled guys who believe a woman is there purely for their amusement. Arse-grabbing thankfully only happens on a Sinners Wednesday. I also don’t know why you think we’d be offended at being nouveau riche; after all I’m at this university in order to get a job that will hopefully both fulfill me and make me any sort of ‘riche’.

Will and Kate

We aren’t all royalty!

Finally though, I feel you’ve hit on some worthwhile piece of journalism. The town is far too expensive! For this reason there have been multiple enquiries recently into overpriced and sub-standard accommodation. I believe these are still ongoing. Sadly though, this isn’t totally within the fault of the student population. Landlords take advantage of the prices driven up by the golf/royal tourism and sadly it’s the students who find they are paying the price. We are a captured market. The minimum university accommodation fee is also £3,514 for the 2015/16 year, in Albany Park, almost half that £6000 sum you’re quoting. So given the fault in what you claim to be facts, I’d be careful suggesting something that’s only ‘rumour’.

Say what you like about St Andrews, but at least do it with the correct facts. I know many of the ‘few’ Scots (who make up a distinct presence in the university) are just as outraged as everyone else at the sexist, classist and bigoted comments you’ve made. Next time, however, that you decide to insult someone at such length, at least do it with a decent command of English grammar and rhetoric.