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Lancaster University has unveiled its plans for an ‘alternative’ Freshers’ Week, with a series of events aimed at non-drinkers and international students. Alongside the usual bar crawls and nights out organised by the individual colleges, the University and Lancaster University Students’ Union (LUSU) aim to cater for people who prefer not to drink or go out every night.
Matt Saint, LUSU Vice President (Equality, Welfare and Diversity), explained the need for more engaging events that aren’t focused on alcohol.
“It is necessary for these events to be as exciting as possible as in the past these have tended to be a little bit boring,” said Saint. “Just because some people don’t drink or don’t want to drink every night doesn’t mean they don’t want to do something fun where they can meet new people!”
The week starts with a film night in the Chaplaincy Centre on Sunday 2nd October, followed by a quiz hosted by the University in the Great Hall on Monday evening. A ‘Faithshare’ event will also be taking place in the Chaplaincy Centre to give students the opportunity to meet people of different religions.
On Thursday 6th October, LUSU are organising a ‘Campus Treasure Hunt’ with prizes for the winning teams. Afterwards, LUSU Involve staff will be on hand to chat about the various volunteering opportunities available, with free pizza being provided. The week will then be rounded off with a night of board games and Wii in the Chaplaincy Centre on Friday and a trip to the Lake District on Sunday. This trip costs £7 per person but all other events are free to attend and open to all.
There will also be an ‘International Students Welcome Event’ on Wednesday 5th October in the Great Hall, where overseas students will be treated to live music, free food and performances from some of the University’s societies.
However, Saint is keen to point out the importance of integration for international students. “The term ‘international students’ applies to an incredibly diverse group of people and between all the events organised, I don’t see why they wouldn’t enjoy them as much as home [or] EU students,” he explained.
“We do have the welcome evening however, so that they can get a better idea of what university is like in the UK and, in particular, Lancaster,” Saint said, adding that “this is a huge, exciting event which I am looking forward to very much and hope everyone will enjoy.”