Despite Roses remaining one of the most historic varsities in Europe, according to a SCAN survey (taken by over 200 students) 70% opted to not attend due to impending exams.
For the last two years, the university experience has been less than desirable for students worldwide, so the anticipation for this year’s in-person varsity and the morale boost it promised to bring, was felt by the entire campus. However, despite this excitement, many students weren’t able to attend the event due to academic commitments. Instead, they spent the weekend revising at home or in the library.
Although the decision to not attend Roses is an individual choice, several students told SCAN that needing to revise during the varsity left them feeling “really isolated” as they felt they had “missed a really good time.” Students from all years of study felt they had been left in a difficult positon, forced to miss the opportunity to support their friends, spectate, and immerse themselves in the electric atmosphere that comes with a varsity of this scale.
SCAN spoke with Amelia Daniels (English Literature & Creative Writing student) to find out about her experience studying through Roses 2022.
Daniels expressed that her degree is 100% coursework with the majority of the critical deadlines sitting in the two weeks either side of the Roses weekend.
“I was really looking forward to it being on campus and getting to go and support my friends but instead, I was up at eight in the morning to start working on three different assignments and watching the coverage on my phone during my lunch break.”
Daniels went on to tell SCAN that she was “really dissapointed” that she couldn’t attend and thought it would have been much better if the event had been held at the end of the second term so that more people would have had the opportunity to enjoy the historic weekend.
Although there was online coverage of events happening over the weekend, which Daniels acknowledged as “impressive,” she felt it was “often too limited to just the most popular sports such as football and netball.” She concluded that for students hoping to support their friends in niche sports, were out of luck unless they attended in person.
For the vast majority of students, this year’s varsity will have been the first in-person Roses they would have had the opportunity to attend since the Pandemic. So, for those who were unable to attend this year due to academic commitments, it may have been their only opportunity to attend before graduating.
A final year student, who wishes to remain anonymous, spoke to SCAN about why they opted to miss their sole opportunity to attend Roses. They said, “I’m only taking coursework modules this year, so instead of a swift death by exams it was a slow death by coursework for me over Roses weekend.” They continued that as tempting as it was to go and watch some of the matches, the slate of impending deadlines was “like quicksand.”
“I didn’t have a moment to spare, unless I wanted to end up doing all-nighters in the library a few days down the line.
“While most people were having fun and thrashing York, I was trying not to go insane, preoccupied with cobbling together something vaguely resembling a decent essay. The thought of the tub of Ben and Jerry’s waiting for me in the freezer once I finished was all that kept me going.
“On my breaks I kept up with SCAN’s Roses coverage. While it’s unfortunate I never got to watch any Roses events myself during my time at Lancaster, I at least made it through coursework crunch time intact.”
Several students also commented on the restricted travel over the Roses weekend that had seemingly affected their studies. One student noted that Roses had affected bus routes which had not only affected students living on campus but also those who live in town since it made accessing campus facilites far harder.
Another student commented that the noise and disruption caused by student from both universities contributed to even more stress for those having to study through the event. Between lost and intoxicated York students shouting down the spine to herds of spectators and competitors hopping from the pitch to the bars, Lancaster was taken over.
Ironically, prior to Roses, the ‘University Quiet Period’ had been established, set to begin on the 18th April and conclude on the 22nd June. During the ‘University Quiet Period’, “no noisy activities must take place” due to the start of the exam period, as stated on the student portal. Despite this, Roses occured at the end of April, completely contradicting these measures to ensure students had a suitable environement to study in.
Roses may have been a fantastic event to celebrate sport on campus and bring two rivals together for one of the most historic vasities in Europe, but was everyone considered?