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Like a drunken Ronnie Rowlands trying to navigate the college bars, Roses 2015 came and went in a flash. I’d love to say how fantastic the weekend was, and I’d love to feel some kind of patriotism or happiness for the teams involved, but at the end of the day I’d say it was rather fantastically average. I don’t get particularly involved with sports, but last year’s home tournament for the 50th celebration was remarkably decent, and I was unfortunately underwhelmed when I noticed the “away years” weren’t quite up to the same standard. Bloody York.
Last year, supporters turned out in their thousands. The tournament was the talk of campus, and the points flooded in for Lancaster. Student media was on such a high, and I actually felt a sense of achievement despite only watching from the sidelines. Away at York, I struggled to find someone who didn’t look a complete wreck after sleeping on a lecture theatre floor for two nights. People seemed fed up, moping around the concrete jungle of York, carrying a can of Carlsberg they’d picked up from YUSU Shop.
Lancaster University gave LUSU an additional £60,000 for Roses 2015 which, considering Lancaster were pretty much guaranteed a loss on away turf, seems unreasonable. Investing money in sports teams is excellent, but perhaps it would be nice to see large lumps of money like this being dished out to the non-sports societies too. Whilst some of us were taking a weekend away in York, other student societies were struggling to break even on their collaborative performance of West Side Story. Considering the wide majority of students on this campus really don’t care about Roses or sports tournaments, it would be nice to see them better represented by the Union in terms of where their money is distributed.
More recently, LUSU issued a joint statement with YUSU. Allegations of sexist and racist remarks by athletes and supporters have materialised, and the two Students’ Unions have come out in force as standing firmly against the behaviour. It should really go without saying that this kind of behaviour is completely ridiculous; everyone likes healthy competition, but it sounds like the line was crossed in this instance. Sports events can be intimidating enough for athletes, so further ridicule from the sidelines is not only inappropriate, but rather childish too. It highlights a further ingrained prejudice that people still appear to have, and LUSU are right to introduce a Code of Conduct in response. Hopefully, a code of this nature will highlight what is expected of LUSU members when they are representing the University both off and on campus.
The countdown to Roses 2016 now begins, and here’s hoping it will be just as successful as last year’s. It can’t get much worse than the one we just had.