FULL PAGE ADVERTISEMENT: HOT YOGA
CONTENTS NEWS 6-9 VIEWPOINT 10-17 FEATURES 20-27 PHOTO 28-33 EVENTS 34-37 CULTURE 39-42 SPORT 43-44
The Freshers’ Week Magazine September 2020
Photo: Samantha Chinomona
THE SAINT 2020
Editor-in-Chief Angus Neale, Deputy Editors Tamara McWilliam & Linden Grigg, News Editor Natalie Pereira, Viewpoint Editor Laura Beveridge, Events Editor Hollie Herman, Features Editor Olivia Bybel, Sports Editor Adam Robertson, Money Editor Sanjana Ramaswamy, Culture Editor Milo Farragher-Hanks, Photography Chief Samantha Chinomona, Illustration Chiefs Maya Marie, Rachel Cripps, Copyediting Chief Hilary Chan Cover Illustration: Maya Marie, Rachel Cripps SPA BEST PUBLICATION SCOTLAND © The Saint Student Newspaper Ltd.
From the Editor | Angus Neale Footnotes on COVID
My first leading article comes at an unimaginable moment; though maybe that speaks to the limits of my imagination. I used to imagine Swedes to be your typical Volvo driving Scandinavians rather than a bold people carving their own path through a global crisis. I imagined St Andrews to be a little too remote at times, now that’s a selling point. We could become the last bastion of mankind if we wanted. “Safe. Supportive. Scottish.”, the new online strapline, a trendy tricolon with silky sibilance sifting through the grey sea fog and nestling you on sandy shores with sounds of soft waves. A little much maybe? You sit there and gaze into the shimmering offing, that imminent strip of sea below the horizon, promising something but who knows what? There is also a discord, a world united against a common challenge yet suffering unequally. Coming in peaks from one community to the next. Online learning suited to some and challenging to others and online exams set to stay. The box bedroom feels even smaller now. Women disproportionately impacted by a hammered service industry and £96
empty roads, encapsulating the best of humanity in a trying time. On my return home the taste of exhaust returned, the roads became busier, and the haze thickened. Social distancing being an impossibility on the narrow pavements of populace suburbs. Day to day life must go on, a removed concept for some pious university students. Whilst COVID is a killer, so is lockdown and it is exposing stark social divides. In many areas the
statutory sick pay a poor penance for doing the right thing. St Andrews has already said goodbye to Blackwell’s, who will be next to fall? What more is there to come? Waves may seem like a good way to extend the maritime metaphor, but this does not come in waves. This is not flu, peaks are the enemy – don’t tell the mountaineering society. It is impossible to write this crisis and I do not envy our poet laureate. Invoking the story of Eyam, a village in the Derbyshire Dales that isolated itself upon discovering that members of their community had contracted the plague, is a response typical of Simon Armitage, that being his ability to find the right words. We cannot capture the totality of COVID, it’s like trying to knit fog. But I hope the impressions that others have depicted in this magazine, now an online piece which is itself a sign of the times, can provide interest and solace. The Saint will continue in its efforts to give clarity to the events that shape our community, something more important now than ever before in our 36-year history. During my splendid isolation, whilst on our government mandated daily exercise, I leapt on my bike. I wanted to flee my local haunts for a cycle on quieter roads, so naturally, or rather unnaturally, I ventured into central London. With no footfall and minimal bus services, it was a veritable paradise on a bicycle. No fear of lorries at Hyde Park corner, an empty Regents St, and more police in Trafalgar Square than civvies. Finding the correct adjective to describe this experience is difficult, so I will opt for sublime. Seeing London, a city that I have always known and that has shaped the way I
science is still out on which approaches are best. Indeed, freshers may be shocked by the apparent abundance of epidemiologists on Fessdrews. The zealots will make the most noise but often do not speak for the masses. On that basis, obedience should never be the most valued quality, instead it should be reason. We should not pathologically disregard our critical faculties. However, we should also avoid strawmen and our dependence on emotive fallacies. Whilst we may have been apart, world events have motivated us to address matters close to our community. Student activism has resulted in discussion about institutional racism and sexual abuse. Understanding our own biases and the potential for each of us to address them is hopefully being brought about through dialogue and learning. Searching questions must be asked in lieu of performative gestures. Quietude online does not mean that an individual is not reflecting and not feeling compelled to do something; instead, they may be looking for effective and authentic steps that they can take. These issues are deeply complex and entrenched, requiring both persistence and strategy. For the mercurial Fresher who is new to St Andrews, welcome. It’s not as bad as it sounds or looks. If you are an international student unfamiliar with the climate of the east coast, suffice to say that despite our latitude, warm winds keep conditions mostly tropical. The stereotype is true, nice warm beaches and fantastic weather. This is because, despite our geographical location, we are still tech-
think, hollowed by COVID, was astonishing. However, things were always subtly wrong, an ambulance passing on the Embankment was a reminder of the state of things. Silent protectors, no need for sirens on the
nically a Caribbean island. Finally, if you find yourself doing the old drive to the South again, Tebay services in the lakes are the finest of them all.
Photo ÂŠ Mat Fascione (cc-by-sa/2.0)
1. AEPi and the University respond to allegations of sexual of misconduct made on St Andrews Survivors 2. Being a Black Student in St Andrews
The most read articles of Lockdown 4. Principal Mapstone: If You Can, Go Home Now 5. June 2020 Graduation Cancelled
3. St Andrews Student Kate Mowatt Passes Away at 20
Apply to become a deputy section editor or staff writer in:
We are hiring. WHAT MAKES THE SAINT SPECIAL? The Saint is an award winning print publication at the University of St Andrews. We are the only news publication at St Andrews to print, with a fortnightly run of 2,000 papers. We are an independent company, generating our own revenue through advertising. This gives us total financial and editorial independence from the Students Association and University. Very few papers are in this fortunate position, others include Varsity at Cambridge, and Cherwell at Oxford. Consequently, there are a broad variety of jobs at The Saint, from Editorial to Business. These are all required for us to run as both a publication and a business. With a history that can be traced back to 1984, The Saint is a true St Andrews institution with an independent voice.
NEWS VIEWPOINT FEATURES EVENTS MONEY CULTURE SPORT or join Illustration, Photography, Design, Copyediting and research, or the Business team.
Learn more at: www.thesaint.scot
Coronavirus arrangements Navigating the new normal JESSIE HARDIE Deputy News Editor The university has issued detailed advice and arrangements for: • Travel • The Library • Teaching • Accomodation households
Illustration: Rachel Cripps dents, we all have a responsibility to be respectful of and to protect our local community and closely following the guidance is a major part of that.” TRAVEL AND ARRIVAL Guidance is being given to students before they arrive in St Andrews. This encompasses a range of advice from global guidance to instructions specific to the town. The University has advised students to wear a face covering in shops and on public transport, to carry hand sanitiser, and to observe social distancing. Signage within University buildings will also communicate important health and safety instructions. The institution has also issued more specific guidance such as not keeping a car in St Andrews unless absolutely necessary, limiting pressure in terms of access to parking; thinking locally and supporting the local economy. LIBRARY The University’s Library recently announced via a Facebook post that “staff & postgraduate students booking workspaces must wear face coverings (unless exempt under the regulations) at all times when within the Main Library and Martyrs Kirk. This includes when sitting at desks, entering and leaving the building as well as moving within the space.” Speaking of library arrangements in terms of access to space and resources, Professor Peddie said, “We are working hard to safely
bring back Library spaces and services. “In order to support research over the summer, University staff and postgraduate students can book a workspace within the Main Library and Martyrs Kirk. Using Library search, all
“ Our message is clear that, as students, we all have a responsibility to be respectful of and to protect our local community and closely following the guidance is a major part of that. Dan Marshall Students’ Association
Likewise the Union have announced: • How their spaces will work • The delaying of Raisin Weekend to 2021 With the beginning of the academic year approaching fast, many incoming and returning students are questioning how student life will resume with the continuing presence of the COVID-19 pandemic. The coronavirus pandemic disrupted not only student life and classes last semester but caused borders to close and lockdowns across the world. The University, the Union and other student organisations have laid out their preliminary and flexible plans for how student life will be allowed to resume in September with the continuation of COVID-19 restrictions. The University has made it clear that at the heart of their plans is the safety of the St Andrews community. Clare Peddie, vice-principal and proctor said, “Safety informs all the actions we are taking to prepare for your arrival, including measures we will have in place to safeguard your health, the shape and blend of our academic programmes, and how we intend to use our University buildings and grounds. “Before you depart you should check most recent government travel guidance, and take personal responsibility for understanding quarantine requirements and how they apply. “Scotland has taken a particularly cautious approach to managing the COVID crisis, so you must also be aware that behavioural expectations may be different in Scotland to those in England and elsewhere. We have produced a series of guides to help you prepare.” She continued, “We remain committed to delivering the best possible student experience, and in return we ask that students show full consideration and respect for St Andrews residents and our surrounding community.” St Andrews Students’ Association President Dan Marshall echoed this ethos towards the importance of safety: He said, “Our message is clear that, as stu-
in an exceptionally strong position academically, financially and reputationally when the crisis began, and we continue to be so. Given our esteem and influence as a University, we have taken a leadership role in working with the governments of Scotland and the United Kingdom to explain the impact of the COVID-19 crisis around the world, and how universities can play a leading part in addressing the crisis.”
Scottish Government Public Health Campaign
TEACHING With regards to academic learning, Principal and Vice Chancellor, Sally Mapstone, announced “a blend of traditional, in-person classes, pre-recorded content and live, interactive online provision” on 19 June 2020 via email. This approach has been named by the University as the “dual mode delivery.” Despite this blend of learning, the University has requested that students return to St Andrews. The University has stated that it requires either medical evidence for students claiming they are not safe to travel back for the start of term, or evidence that their country of residence is not allowing people into the UK for the consideration of full online learning. Furthermore, the University has established a Coronavirus planning group (led by the vice-principal for Governance) as well as a COVID Helpdesk for students and staff to provide a single point of contact for advice and information. Speaking of these measures and the wider effort of the institution, Professor Peddie said, “The University is well prepared to deal with any possible future outbreaks. We are working closely with NHS Scotland to ensure a best-practice response to limit the risk of the spread of coronavirus, and other seasonal illnesses. “We will proceed in step with Scottish Government guidelines, adjusting our own response as national guidance evolves.” She continued, “As a University, we were
week. The same two-week self-isolation is expected to be carried out by students renting privately. The University also announced in a recent email to students that students in University accommodation who share kitchen facilities will be considered a “household” after the first two weeks of them living together. Thereafter, they will not be required to physically distance within their own household.
“The University is well prepared to deal with any possible future outbreaks Professor Claire Peddie, Vice Principal and Proctor
University staff and students can also access available physical collections through our new Click & Collect service. “More spaces and facilities will reopen in the coming weeks.”
ACCOMODATION With regards to University Accommodation, halls of residences are expected to function differently this year. Students in halls of residence who need to quarantine on arrival in the UK will be provided with free accommodation by the University for the two-week self-isolation period and will also have a meals service to their room. Catering will be provided with a charge of £70 per
UNION Furthermore, the Union has released a detailed report which covers a range of issues such as “Physical distancing, Adapted food and drink service, Movement within the Union, Repurposed spaces, Scaled-down night-time activities, More frequent cleaning, Impact on commercial income.” This same section of the “Your Union” page goes into more detail about how the union will support, guide and inform the student
body through this semester. This includes “Support for societies and student event organisers,” “List of contacts,” and “Emails from the University”. SPORTS FAYRE The annual Sports Fayre that is usually held during Orientation Week 2020 has plans to be both in-person and online. According to provisional plans sent to University-affiliated sports clubs, the in-person Fayre plans “are very much dependent on the Scottish government announcement due to take place on the 20th August.” Unlike previous years, the fayre will take place on the 3G synthetic pitch with visitors walking around the athletics track, to allow more space for physical distancing. Students will be placed into one of two groups; each group will have two possible time slots to visit over the two days of the fayre. Other safety measures will be in place such as a one way system. Stalls will be situated 10-12 metres away from each other, allowing plenty of space between clubs. Track and trace details will also be taken. The in-person Fayre will work in parallel with a virtual event for “anyone not in St Andrews or for those that wouldn’t be comfortable coming along to an in-person event.”
Professor Peddie acknowledged the impact of the changes being made to the typical social experience available at the University. Speaking of this and the reassurances the University could give to students, she said, “Planning for orientation 2020 for new students is well underway. Freshers’ Week will look very different this year, but we’re working hard behind the scenes with the Students’ Association and colleagues across the University to bring students some unique and creative events that can be enjoyed both from home and in St Andrews come September. “We aim to continue in this vein throughout the year – working collaboratively to reimagining our unique traditions, and supporting students to think creatively about what our student experience looks like in a changed world. This is an exciting opportunity to reshape our inheritance.” All of these current plans are dependent on the Scottish Government’s regulations and are all flexible to change. More information will continue to be released and plans specified closer to the start of the academic year.
University Coronavirus advice can be found on the Coronavirus FAQs: www.st-andrews.ac.uk/coronavirus/
InFocus Dan Marshall Students’ Association President For most incoming sabbaticals, a group who promote and act on student representation, the transition from recent graduate to working in a full-time job is smooth and comfortable. Previous holders of the position are at hand to guide and direct the “Sabbs” in their new roles for the first month. However, in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, with lockdowns and social distancing creating barriers for communication, the roles and responsibilities of the Sabbatical team have faced an unprecedented change. The Saint interviewed the new association president, Dan Marshall, about his motivation to join the sabbatical team, his commitments for the next academic year, and what students can expect from the changing surroundings. Mr Marshall finished his Astrophysics degree last semester, but this was completed online unexpectedly after the outbreak of COVID-19. His years as a student were rewarding, though challenging. He said, “I have absolutely loved my time
Photo: Polina Sevastyanova
at University because of all the fantastic people I’ve met through my course and through the societies I’ve been part of (special shout out to AstroSoc). As with everyone, I’ve had high points and low points (often around big deadlines) but I will always be glad that I decided to come and live here in North East Fife, it’s an amazing part of the world and I feel so lucky to live here.” In his new position, he now has the responsibility to represent students on issues including ac-
commodation, affordability, widening access and sustainability. Mr Marshall said, “I also take the lead for the Students’ Association on our external relations with the governments in Westminster and Holyrood, Fife Council, local politicians and our wider St Andrews community.” The motivation behind running for Association President
Mr Marshall intends to focus on the deliverance of affordable
accommodation and highlight the importance of Hall Committees in the face of the pandemic.
stems from Mr Marshall’s involvement in campaigns and activities in St Andrews. His aim is to build on the work he has done as a student so that St Andrews changes for the better. One such campaign is the Campaign for Affordable Student Housing (C.A.S.H) that he helped to set up last year. Speaking of this, Mr Marshall said, “Through my work with that group, I gained a much better understanding about the way the University thinks about accommodation and working alongside people like our previous president, Jamie Rodney and our previous Rector’s assessor, Camilla Duke, we started to make real progress. “I felt like by staying on in St Andrews for another year, I would be able to hit the ground running and keep up the momentum we have built up around
NATALIE PEREIRA News Editor
“Another thing that
I think is really important is that students exercise their right to vote and this year there are loads of opportunities to do this!
Mr Marshall noted, “The biggest things I have learned from my predecessors is that the thing that defines your time as a sabbatical officer will probably not be something that you planned on even thinking about. I think COVID-19 has that one covered but we’ll see!” With accommodation being a significant section in his campaign manifesto, Mr Marshall intends to focus on the deliverance of affordable accommodation and highlight the importance of Hall Committees in the face of the pandemic. With the global economy taking a hit due to the pandemic, it is needless to say that students at the University will also be affected. Mr Marshall is aware of the repercussions and is working on alleviating their struggles. He said, “Coronavirus has also put financial pressure on many students and the availability of part time work in hospitality is a lot more
limited than usual. This means that making sure that students are able to access financial support from the University is more important than ever. “Over the next few weeks and months, we’ll be working with the University to better publicise the Discretionary Fund which is available to any student in financial need regardless of household income and helping them to make the information about financial support on their website clearer and more accessible.” The significance of politics is one Mr Marshall is familiar with, having been elected back in March 2020 after winning 1,156 votes of the third round of the Students’ Association Election. Mr Marshall said, “Another thing that I think is really important is that students exercise their right to vote and this year there are loads of opportunities to do this! Within St Andrews we will be electing a new Rector in October and we will have our Students’ Association elections as ever in March. We also have Scottish Parliament elections in May and for those from the US there’s a rather high-profile election in November! “I want to make sure that students have all the information they need to make sure they are registered to vote and to make an informed decision at the ballot box (or indeed on the sofa with a postal vote). I’ll also be working with the University and Fife Council on Automatic Voter Registration so that in future students can concentrate on who to vote for rather than whether or not and how they can vote.” In the midst of arriving in a new environment, incoming first-years may not know much about the role and responsibilities of Association President. The Saint enquired about this: Mr Marshall said, “There’s two really important things to know about the role of President that a lot of people don’t realise. The first is that despite what the title might suggest, I’m not in charge! As sabbatical officers we each have responsibility for different things and we take the lead on those. “The other important thing to know is that as sabbatical officers we aren’t scary or distant, we’re students too and we’re here to help! As president, a massive part of my job is to take student concerns and work out how I can help to address it. That might mean sending someone an email on your behalf or it might mean helping you set up a campaign to change the law! Any question, issue or idea you have, big or small, please just drop me an email. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.” Given the new circumstances, Mr Marshall realises the different student experience for the coming academic year, regardless if they are able to return to St Andrews or not. He said, “Whether you are physically in North East Fife or not, you are very much a
part of St Andrews. There will be loads of opportunities to get involved with societies, subcommittees and sports clubs remotely whether through online events, our virtual Fresher’s Fayre or just joining society group chats to get to know people with common interests.” He continued, “Back in March when University buildings closed their doors and restrictions started to come into place, what became clear was the importance of our St Andrews community. Not just the community we have as students or as a University, but as a whole town. My advice to students both new and old is to explore and invest in that community. “That might mean making sure that you introduce yourself to your neighbours or helping them with shopping. It might mean reaching out to students in younger years on your course to offer help and advice. It might even mean running to be a class rep, society/sports club officer or for a position in the Union! Whatever it is, make sure you get stuck in and try to find your place in our St Andrews community.” Mr Marshall reiterated the importance of behaving responsibly in town once students arrive. He said, “If we don’t follow the guidance and coronavirus is allowed to spread, it will only lead to further, stricter restrictions later on and may cause members of our community to fall seriously ill. The best thing for everyone is to follow the guidance and to be aware of those around us at all times.” Finally, Mr Marshall noted that despite the unprecedented circumstances and changing environment, St Andrews will remain a special place for those coming to study in September. He said, “There’s no getting around the fact that this academic year is going to be very different. Our ability to meet up with each other in person is going to be fairly restricted and we are going to be doing lots more online. “Despite these new surroundings, many of the things that make St Andrews special will still be there. Societies will still hold events even if they are in a different form, our famous traditions will still take place though perhaps later on in the year and the sense of community that we have from being a small town on the coast, I think, will be stronger than ever.”
officers “aswesabbatical aren’t scary or distant, we’re students too and we’re here to help!
making accommodation more affordable.” He continued, “Since November 2018, I have also been a member of the St Andrews Community Council. This gave me the opportunity to discover just how much is going on in St Andrews beyond what students are generally aware of: St Andrews in Bloom and the Clean and Green team keeping the town looking fantastic, StAndEN helping people cut their heating bills or Storehouse our local foodbank to name just a few. “It also helped me better understand the things that often cause division in our town. Previous presidents and community relations officers have done a lot of great work in bridging the ‘town-gown’ divide but I felt that if I stuck around for another year, I was well placed to help bring our communities closer together which now is going to be more important than ever.” Looking ahead to the next academic year, Mr Marshall remains optimistic about accomplishing his goals in spite of the impact of the pandemic.
An open letter to First Years, from a Fourth Year Dear incoming freshers, For those of us who have already gone through our first year of university, I believe that I speak on behalf of everyone when I say that to start such a major life transition during a global pandemic is unimaginable. This is supposed to be one of the most exciting times of your life, yet it is being rocked by the uncertainty of online lectures, social distancing at events, and anxiety over your own health and safety. No one can say for certain when the pandemic will end nor how it will affect factors such as nightlife, events, or university culture in the foreseeable future. On top of this, you are wracked with the fear that once gripped us all, of starting university in a new place: whether that be a new town, country, or continent. Forget COVID-19 what about making friends, getting settled at university, and navigating this taste of adulthood? These are uncertain times, and no one except fellow first years can say that they fully understand what you are going through. However, as a fourth year at this university, I want to give you my assurance that things will be okay and that all of us will do whatever we can to support you. Furthermore, you can also find peace of mind in knowing that every single first year is in the same position as you. The task of making
Photo: Samantha Chinomona
Freshers’ Week may look different this year, there will still be a Freshers’ Week — even if it means we are all wearing masks and keeping some distance. The fact that students will be on campus means that your first year won’t be that different from first years of the past. However, things may still be difficult, and that’s okay too. Whether you’re starting university during a pandemic or not, this is a time of immense change and new beginnings regardless of external circumstances. Some days may feel like the start of your amazing new life, while others might be wrought with homesickness, loneliness, and imposter syndrome. The best way to prepare for this is by ensuring that you have all the resources at the ready in case you start to feel a bit down. This could mean getting in early with Student Services if you feel that having someone to talk to could be helpful, establishing yourself with the local church or religious group if you are a person of faith, or just by signing up for leadership opportunities and societies so that you begin to create a community of support around you. All of these outlets should also remind you that you are not alone! Nearly everyone you pass on the street has been in your shoes and would be willing to help you with whatever you need, so don’t be afraid to ask for that help.
focus on the positives and get excited about this new adventure
ANNIE SMITH Staff Writer
friends and getting involved on campus won’t be any easier for the fresher down the hall as it is for you, so don’t ever feel that you are falling behind or that others are managing their first year better than you — even fourth years are nervous about how they will manage in the face of new health and safety restrictions. Now is not the time for comparison or self-deprecation. Instead, we need to work together to support each other. If you see someone with a leadership role in a society that you’re interested in, reach out and ask them how you can get involved too. If you’re looking for someone to study with in your tutorial, just speak with someone who looks friendly and see if they can help. This might seem like a scary prospect, but from experience, I can assure you that you’ll be glad that you took those first steps in reaching out. Next, find faith in knowing that older students at your university have worked tirelessly this summer to ensure the wellbeing of incoming freshers like yourself: societies are hard at work planning online and in-person events; sabbatical officers are working to create a safe environment where we can have fun and socialise; and academic representatives have been advocating for a learning environment that is conducive to the best of experiences, even if it is online. These students remember all the fears and anxieties that come with starting university, and especially in this time, they want to make sure that these are as limited as possible for you so that you can have the best first year under the circumstances. Finally, take peace in knowing that while
Most importantly, focus on the positives and get excited about this new adventure. Instead of pondering the “what ifs” late at night – although this may be easier said than done —, look at the University’s website to see what societies you’ll join, or start getting more active in your fresher Facebook group or subject-related group chats. Between finishing your final year of high school in lockdown and struggling to have a summer amidst the restrictions worldwide, you have been through a lot these past few months, and hopefully the start of university will give you the opportunity to hit “restart” and enjoy the new beginnings that you deserve. You’ve got this, and we’ll be right here with you!
Deputy Editors Tamara McWilliam & Linden Grigg
TAMARA McWILLIAM Deputy Editor In the face of a global pandemic, many things change. For a long time it seemed like the world had stopped turning. Our restaurants and shops put up the shutters, schools locked their gates and businesses closed their doors. Many of us sat at home baking banana bread while essential workers helped keep us afloat. We adjusted to shopping for essentials as infrequently as possible and buying exclusively online. We turned our living rooms into pubs, dusted off the board games and nights out were simulated via Zoom. (As someone who lost the customary quiz every week, I’m happy this phase is over.) So as we made our whipped coffee and binged Normal People, there was one saving grace that feigned reality... When government guidance allowed that takeaways could remain operational throughout the lockdown in Britain, incomparable boredom inevitably led to a rise in takeaway custom. Though food establishments and delivery services wavered in March and April over concerns of infection through takeaway food, Just Eat reported a 6% rise in orders for the first quarter of 2020 to 65.3 million. In a trading update at the end of April, the food delivery firm said despite an initial reduction in mid-March, they quickly recovered to above before-coronavirus order numbers.
never in my three years “ Iinhave this town met anyone who
has uttered the words “I like one just as much as the other”.
And so, just as takeaway culture remains inherent in British culture even in the face of an unprecedented world-wide pandemic, I would like to hope that the takeaway and post-night-out-food culture will remain alive and well in St Andrews. Like many events that were set to take place this disastrous year, Freshers’ week will not be exactly what you envisioned, particularly for those of you who were looking forward to partaking in one or two (sensible, I’m sure) nights out in the town. “Going out” may look different come September, alas, it might not exist in the way we have known ever again, but two establishments still stand strong. As long as fryers burn and rotisserie doner meat spins, an inherent choice rooted in St Andrews culture will still have to be made. This is a decision that will define you as a St Andrean and shape the rest of your years in this town. You will have to decide between the two fast food pillars of St Andrews; Empire, or Dervish. “Why those two?” I hear you ask. I’m sure that you’ll have fleeting
affairs with Courtyard Cafe or Toastie Bar. You might even put your responsible cap on for a couple of weeks and think “I’m going to save money, I’ve got food at home.” Ha! I was young and naive once. What is special about Empire and Dervish and what I believe to be so unique to St Andrews, is that among students, there is somewhat of a Capulet-Montague opposition between the grease merchants. I have never in my three years in this town met anyone who has uttered the words “I like one just as much as the other”. They seem alien even to write down. It’s the yellow sign of Empire that shines like a beacon of hope for the hungry and intoxicated, or the scarlet branding of Dervish that is simultaneously enticing and terrifying. I can’t tell you why, it simply is. Nobody likes Edward and Jacob, or Rangers and Celtic.
“ But the camaraderie will still be
there... They might be 2 metres away, but you will be instantly bonded with others who have chosen the same fate as you.
They may take our social lives, but they’ll never take our takeaways
This is the way it has been and will remain until the end of time, pandemic or no pandemic. Granted, if you do visit either after a night of drinking, whatever that may entail now, things will be different. But the camaraderie will still be there, you will sense it in the air along with the stench of curry sauce. They might be 2 metres away, but you will be instantly bonded with others who have chosen the same fate as you. Allow me to recount my most fond takeaway memories in St Andrews. Crossing that threshold with upright zeal, belly rumbling and fingers tightly gripping the tenner fresh from the cash machine. Hunkering down and setting up camp with your numbered ticket in hand, those two digits burning into the temporal lobe of your brain as you wait with anticipation for it to be called and that warm and precious cargo to be placed in your arms. Looking back to see a wilting friend with pain in their eyes as they complain and they can’t hold on any longer and that they have a frozen pizza at home. They’re losing the will to live after waiting for “HOURS!” (it’s been 10 minutes). You take their hand and gently prize their paper ticket from them, vowing to meet them outside and testifying that you will bring them back their cheeseburger. *wipes tear* I hope that takeaway culture in St Andrews remains the same. We all know that now more than ever, local businesses need our custom. So whether you’re a night-out person or not, know that coronavirus has not shaken British loyalty to takeaways and with that, neither the student loyalty to chips and cheese. You too shall go through the rite of passage in making your choice between Empire and Dervish, coronavirus has not robbed you of that.
So Far in my Life, Harry was Right
LINDEN GRIGG Deputy Editor “Men and women can’t be friends”, Harry says, “because the sex part always gets in the way.” And two years after coming to university from a single-sex private school (somewhere unpropitious for my social skills), and as a heterosexual man, I have found Harry to be right - something I discovered with my now former best friend. When it comes to platonic friendships with those of gender(s) you are attracted to, I Photos: (L) Rdsmith4 Wikimedia Commons, (R) rob bishop / CC BY-SA 2.0 find the opportunity for romance a difficult fear to resolve, since once a relationship has become romantic, friendship know how I became trashy, but as much as I try, I struggle to shake it can be hard to reconcile. off. Perhaps it was years of male-only interaction. Perhaps it was being I first watched Rob Reiner’s When Harry Met Sally as a naive sevenbrought up by women in a 2:1 gender ratio at home, with the impulse to teen-year old schoolboy. I found the Katz’s Deli fake orgasm scene awkrebel. Perhaps it was the years of stunted development caused by reading ward (parents laughed), and over the course of the following year-and- too much literature. I don’t know, but trashy is the result. a-half I foolishly took care to never look a girl in the eye, in case they got Which is why, in my case, me and a certain close female friend could the wrong idea. Making no friends and earning some fairly disparaging never be friends. When that fateful day came around, when me and my looks in the process. Big surprise there. friend-who-was-a-girl became for five seconds a little more than friends, University was a chance to correct myself and prove Harry wrong. too much emotion — on both sides — had been invested, and had spilt Surprisingly, and to my horror, I discovered on one particular occasion over. that a friendship was scuppered by the inclination to become romantic. So whilst my now-copine teaches German kids to wash their hands to In my experience, the fear of damaging a relationship was a shared barGod Save The Queen, I’ll be reminding myself that not all relationships rier that stopped us leaning in for a consensual kiss, but because I am an progress the way in which mine did. In fact, I’ll re-watch When Harry idiot, I leaned in for one regardless. Met Sally again, and consider myself and Harry lucky that we did break Many will exclaim, as Sally did: But I have lots of male friends - we the friendship barrier, and embark on a relationship of a more romantic don’t sleep together! And for many men and women and across all sorts kind. For whilst I do not truly believe that men and women can never be of relationships, this is correct. Yet I, on the other hand, being the height friends, I certainly know that it is no bad thing to reach out where love of immaturity, disregarded sense. I am far from a spotless individual and exists and hope for something back. the rewriting of this article proves it. I am not virile or macho and will willingly label myself as trash. Please understand I say this in jest, but there is a sorry truth at its core. The spectrum of masculinity is wide-ranging, but I believe that from all degrees of said spectrum you will find a trashy man. Harry was trash too but ended up with Sally in the end. His ability to redeem himself shows the humanity of the film. I am likewise heavily flawed. What I mean by trash is not that I wait to be taken out in a gull-proof bag by a flatmate on a Tuesday, only for them to “forget” every single week. On an entirely different and more serious note, I definitely also do not mean that in my bedroom I have a noticeboard covered in strings, long-distance photographs and St Andrews street plans that will climax in some nefarious operation whose result will be me hugging last night’s shirt to myself as I traipse back from DRA having stolen the other party’s last yoghurt. I mean that by virtue of being a trashy man I have very indistinct notions of the consequences of ostensibly innocent deeds and am not unfamiliar to courses of action that many would facepalm to. I don’t This is Linden Grigg’s rewritten comment piece on masculinity and when platonic relationships become romantic. We apologise for the humorous tone with which salient issues were approached in the previous article. The central relationships depicted were never intended to read as non-consensual. However, the metaphor depicting hounding behaviour was inappropriate and we are sorry. Trivialising such behaviour was never the intention of the paper; hence, the article being rewritten, and we welcome pieces addressing toxic masculinity, “locker room” culture, and other issues. We take seriously the concerns of the student body and recognise our failure. We hope that The Saint can be an effective tool for examining the difficult issues that impact our community.
“once a relationship has
become romantic, friendship can be hard to reconcile.
For whilst I do not truly believe that men and women can never be friends, I certainly know that it is no bad thing to reach out where love exists and hope for something back.
Confessions of a FirstTime Student Cook ran from your room to investigate. The student, you will eventually find out, when it comes to kitchen activities, can defy physics as I learned when a small fire broke out in my kitchen despite the fact that induction hobs are installed to avoid this very issue. Health and safety warning aside, you may start your first week at St Andrews with great intentions of cooking an array of healthy and varied meals for yourself. The first grocery shop of your adult life will be done, and you’ll begin to prepare your meal. As the rhythmic slicing of carrots provides a reassuring tempo to your thoughts, you’ll realise that you could probably have pursued a career as a chef and consider phoning your mother to boast of your epiphany, but alas, you are already three days into an anthropology degree and the
LAURA BEVERIDGE Viewpoint Editor
great intentions “these of a varied diet
will quickly and inevitably collapse
If you are as incompetent in the kitchen as I once was, take solace in knowing that you are not alone. Indeed, I often shared my nightly struggles with my friends who would ask such questions as “Can I put metal in the microwave?” (yes, really). This brings me to my first lesson: beware of a student brandishing kitchen equipment. What may look like a harmless microwave, in the hands of a student, is the source of that burning smell which you
f i r s t your
Illustration: Lucy Robb
Although you may be experiencing Freshers in the Time of Corona, some aspects of the student experience are too integral — nay, stubborn — to be wiped-out by a pandemic. Like a splinter that skin has grown over, the experience of having to cook for oneself is one that will remain unbudged. While I spent my high school years acquiring and honing my academic skills, my practical skills were left wanting — to put it nicely — on my arrival to St Andrews. Before heading off to the promising horizon of the East Fife shore, my mother had offered to teach me to cook. Teach, I had scoffed. How hard could cooking be? I knew my parsley from my paprika. It was not a skill like algebra or trigonometry passed from master to student, you just followed a recipe, surely. But God smites those filled with the hubris of youth. By Week Two, I had become everything I had promised my mother that I would not: that old student stereotype complete with a plate of beans on debatably edible bread waiting to be eaten with mismatched cutlery. So, dear reader, in order for you to never have to nurse a bruised ego as you admit that such a basic skill as cooking was, indeed, not as easy as it looked — that while you could decipher the works of Plato and Aristotle, you had been defeated by a BBC GoodFood recipe —, I have decided to share my experience; to lift the lid, if you will, on the stewing pot of mistakes that can befall the student.
payment installation for accommodation h a s been made.
It shall be then, while you are basking in your competence, that you’ll realise that your recipe calls for a sieve and a whisk – neither of which you own, and neither of which, you will begrudgingly admit, you intend to buy. Perhaps, being a chef is not your calling after all. But be warned, these great intentions of a varied diet will quickly and inevitably collapse into that old student staple, pasta. As you open your kitchen cupboard and find that they are yet again bare, cursing yourself for forgetting to go to Tesco, you’ll finally admit that even if you had gone, your student loan would not stretch to such delicacies as the avocado toast which you crave. With neither the creativity nor the ingredients for anything else, you will find yourself eating a bowl of pasta (40p per kilogram) for the third time that week. While you eat your Pot Noodle, a look of resignation plastered to your face, it will inevitably be then that the flatmate with whom you have not spoken since Freshers’ Week when you realised that you had nothing in common, will walk in, judgement in their eyes.
Planning ahead will “save you a lot of time and annoyance in the long run
Or perhaps in more prosperous times, when the SAAS loan has first arrived, your lack of imagination will lead you to order from one of St Andrews’ many take-aways and it will be the doorbell that serves as the mocking cry that alerts both you and said flatmate to your culinary failures. But what is to be learned from these woeful tales? In short, if you are culinarily impaired like myself, plan ahead and budget — oh god, now I do sound like my mother. Planning ahead will save you a lot of time and annoyance in the long run. Finding a small collection of five or six recipes that are both quick and cheap to make and that allow for storable left-overs that can be eaten the next day has been my saving grace. While it’s no Ritz menu, with vegetable curry in place of vol-au-vents, the fact that I don’t have the hassle of having to think about what to cook as deadlines loom, makes me just as grateful to be eating it. Finally, be prepared for kitchen cleanliness to become both an issue of contention and perplexion in equal parts. There will be suspiciously sticky countertops, mysterious liquids spilled in the fridge, and an uncleaned plate left in the sink for an inappropriate amount of time. You will hold stead because you know that it is not your plate and thus not your responsibility to clean. Your suspicion will fall upon said aforementioned flatmate, leaving you to silently stand-off with them like cowboys in a Spaghetti Western as you bump into one and other on a late-night trip to the fridge. However, the state of your kitchen, although at times can become exceptionally dire, will eventually sort itself out — no matter how many passive aggressive comments about cleanliness have to be made first. A clean kitchen allows you to enjoy your kitchen. Indeed, if the pandemic has taught us anything it has been to take joy in the small things, and the kitchen is often the facilitator of such occurrences. Some of my best memories are from my flat’s kitchen: from parties held there for birthdays to simply having a late-night cup of tea with a friend while putting the world to rights. I hope that you’re able to discern something from my musings; that you are able to sieve out the mistakes that I have made from your first year. If not, it doesn’t really matter, for you’ll have stories to regale about your archetypical student life as you, the prodigal child, return home for the Christmas break.
The St Andrews Dictionary A definitive guide to University lingo Despite only consisting of three streets at first glance (eventually though, you’ll discover that streets with twee-ly amusing names such as “Butts Wynd” exist), when I first arrived in St Andrews I recall often becoming lost, both literally and in conversation. The whirlwind of directions to places that weren’t on Google Maps and a sea of acronyms tumbling from students’ mouths left me feeling overwhelmed yet simultaneously relieved that I hadn’t chosen to go to university in a bigger town or city. So, unlike myself and the many freshers that roamed these streets afore you, who not only faced the difficulty of adjusting to a new town but the additional task of deciphering the St Andrean vernacular, why not instead enjoy a compiled crash course of lingo that will place you as the dialectical oracle amongst your equally confused freshers friends. Bop (n.) This quintessential St Andrews event occurs every Friday night and when in attendance is, more often than not, spent avoiding any couple inevitably making out in the middle of the dance floor; questioning why an ABBA theme has been picked yet again; and desperately trying not to spill any of your Pablo – a St Andrews delicacy consisting of a VK and two shots of spirit that is arguably more expensive than any drink served in a plastic pint glass should ever have Illustration: Lucy Robb the gall to be. The Bop is held in the illustrious 601, St Andrews best and arguably only nightclub The following day, you’ll wake up wondering (note that I use the term “nightclub” somewhat how you scalded the roof of your mouth then loosely). Why it’s called 601, no one knows – remember fondly “ah yes, Dervish” (see also: or maybe they do, but my research doesn’t exEmpire). tend that far. Rumour says it’s named after the International Relations (abbr. IR) number of people it holds – perhaps, in light of If you don’t study this, congratulations are COVID-19, it will be renamed 301 in order to in order, for you have broken the shackles of comply with social distancing. the stereotype of a St Andrews student (see also: Barbour jacket, signet ring, and Daddy’s Amex). Far from a rare spot on campus, you will know when you have stumbled across the IR student as they are often found sporting an American accent, a crippling caffeine addiction, and asking “If I could just play Devil’s advocate for a second…” Jamie Rodney (n.) Gone but not forgotten. Legend tells of a The future of the Bop seems, at time of writhero, part boy, part washing machine. However, ing, like everything else in life, uncertain. But this term is now archaic and modern verbiage fear not, with the only “nightclub” in town berefers to the Student Association President as
“Legend tells of a
hero, part boy, part washing machine.
Dan Marshall. Sally Mapstone (abbr. SalMap) Officially the Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the university and responsible for its overall running, it’s not uncommon to hear exclamations such as “I once saw SalMap in Superdrug”. As of yet, I am still to catch sight of the coveted creature. Seagulls (n.) Surely you are thinking to yourself “I know what a seagull is”. You perhaps may have even interacted with one on a family trip to Cornwall. But heed my warning, the St Andrean Gull is a viscious reincarnation of the ones that soar in your childhood memories. The signs that dot Market Street detailing these beasts aren’t just for decoration: stories of croissants stolen from hungry hands outside Pret and plastic shopping bags torn open by razored beaks attest to such. Travellator (n.) In Freshers’ Week two years ago, my (academic) father gave me directions to his house: “it’s a two-minute walk, behind South Street, down the Travellator, and across the Kinnessburn”. As I stood behind South Street, I realised I had no idea what a “Travellator” was. My mind drew up images of those conveyor belts that move people at an airport. Too nervous to ask for clarification on what I was looking for, I Googled “St Andrews Travellator” to the avail of no results. After taking 15 minutes to complete what should have been a two-minute walk, much to my dismay, I found out that the Travellator was, alas, just a hill.
I found out that the “Travellator was, alas, just a hill.
ing run by the Union, students at St Andrews are already aficionados when it comes to creating our own fun, and, in having to do the same, take solace in knowing that you are contributing to an ancient St Andrean tradition. Dervish (n.) In a quaint coastal town consisting mainly of retirees outside of its student population, it may not come as a surprise to find that at 3am there are limited pickings for a drunken latenight snack. Dervish is the establishment in which you will find yourself in the wee hours of the morning as numbers are shouted at you furthering your already disorientated state.
LAURA BEVERIDGE Viewpoint Editor
The Saint (n.) A fantastic independent student paper with a circulation of 2000 in print copies and one of my personal favourite discoveries upon arriving at St Andrews. Handed out every second Thursday (dependant on government restrictions) outside of the Union, the Library, and the Physics Building, I highly recommend grabbing yourself a copy.
This year, let’s Re-evaluate Fresher’s Week Sadly, circumstances have made it likely that you’ll be reading this article by means of the same medium with which I wrote it – a screen (if not, hurray!). While this is certainly one of the more – if not most – minor maladies that this year has brought, it got me thinking: “in this new world of digital social engagement, what on earth is social life at St Andrews going to look like this year?” And I’m not the only one contemplating such thoughts either. In August, The Saint sat down with this and last year’s Directors of Events to get some form of picture of what the formerly freakishly festive Freshers’ Week might look like this time around. Long story short, it will involve far more screens and far less partying. With sentiments from my own Freshers’ experience two years ago intumescing, I cast my mind back, reminiscing of times gone by. Except, no waves of nostalgia washed over me, for my inaugural Freshers’ Week is neither a time nor place that I wistfully desire to return to. Why? Well, from Freshers’ past it is clear that there exists broadly two groups of people: those who go out and have all the fun and those who sit in their rooms pondering whether there’s any fun left over for them. Sadly, for me, I ranked amongst the latter. However, it’s not all doom and gloom. Every cloud has its silver lining and, regarding 2020, it’s the presentation of an opportunity – the opportunity to dispel, once and for all, the notion that there’s a “right” way to spend Freshers’ Week.
Photo: Anastasia Rak
eternity of solitude in one’s hall room. In the absence of 601, St Andrews should, for good, eliminate the exclusive pervasiveness of the certain style of drinking culture that we have become accustomed to every year and create a Freshers’ culture more broadly appealing to those who’d raise an eyebrow at the thought of going out for the third night in a row before
“Frankly, I’m not sure
how anyone could get to know anyone through “doing Freshers’ right” considering that you’ll spend most of the night not being able to hear what anyone’s saying
JOE WATERS Deputy Viewpoint Editor
I’m sure that my work colleague, a student in Leeds, had the best of intentions when he handed me a bottle of Captain Morgan’s back in 2018, proudly proclaiming that it will grant me the ability to “do Freshers’ right”. In actuality, all this gesture did was leave me confused. You see, I’m not a heathen, which means that I know the way to enjoy Captain Morgan’s is with CocaCola on the rocks, on a warm day, watching the sunset (preferably in Tenerife). However, I suspected this wasn’t “doing Freshers’ right”. “Doing Freshers’ right”, as I correctly suspected, involved going through the whole bottle in one go and boogying down in a packed 601 with people I’d known for a grand total of five minutes. Now, I love a blurry night out more than most, but not with complete strangers. Frankly, I’m not sure how anyone could get to know anyone through “doing Freshers’ right” considering that you’ll spend most of the night not being able to hear what anyone’s saying and spend the next morning not being able to speak owing to your lack of voice and crippling hangover, thus robbing you of the ability to say, “I was rejected by Cambridge but I’m actually not bitter about it”. Considering that 601 is a nightclub venue, it’s no grand leap in logic to conclude that it should consider itself closed well into the next year. However, this only spurs on the call that it’s time we binned for good the daunting, pressurising, and frankly antisocial party culture of student life that is exclusively considered as “doing Freshers’ right”. This year, for those freshers that like a drink, there will finally be no shame in admitting that you prefer a quieter, smaller, more intimate (yet, coincidentally, socially distanced) drink with your fellow debauchers. And, for those freshers that don’t enjoy a tipple, teetotalism will no longer proscribe you as a social outcast damned to an
they’ve even unpacked the shiny new bowls their gran bought. Don’t mistake me for some dull, tiresome bore though. I’m not saying that we should do away entirely with club events post-pandemic. As I mentioned, I love a night out. What I’m specifically not a fan of is the intensity of nightout culture in Freshers’ Week which drowns out anyone else who might have a good time a different way, leaving them mistakenly believing that they are alone in finding the midweek mêlée at the Union a little distasteful. Obviously, Freshers’ Week 2020 won’t happen like this, but I think we ought to keep it that way. So, incoming freshers, consider yourselves lucky that you won’t have the Opening Ball or a struggling ex-popstar’s set plastering your Facebook feed this year; not because they’re necessarily bad events to eventually attend, but rather because you won’t feel bad for missing out. Hopefully, unlike my Freshers’ Week, there will be no implicit pressure to enjoy your week a certain way. Even if partying with people you don’t yet know is your thing, you should take comfort in knowing that you’ll be able to get to know your newfound friends a little better before committing to that round of sambucas when 601 eventually reopens.
The Poisoned Chalice of Working Remotely
JACK CAMPBELL Deputy Viewpoint Editor
“The laptop is
the embodiment of this idea— the most perfect contemporisation of Bentham’s panopticon
When manufacturers were the dominant source of employment, workers had wroughtiron gates—physical boundaries—within which work was enclosed, and beyond which lay the rest of the workers’ lives. Then, as factories gave way to offices as the hub of economic activity, places of work moved into city centres and onto high streets. Gone were the factory gates, but still remained the clocking or fobbing or swiping in-and-out of work, and so still there was the physical barrier between work
Illustration: Emily Watson and play. Now, in the midst of a pandemic, a great deal of workers—and, indeed, students— spend every waking hour in “the office.” The kitchen has become the conference room, the bedroom the workspace, and the mental lines between the two are blurred to the point that the physical confluence becomes a psychological one, too. One cannot tell whether one works from home or lives at work. A nice pun, most definitely—but with pernicious punch. Yet if working from home is to become voluntary post-pandemic then what’s the problem? The answer lies in two part. (Think Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights minus the middle third.) In the WFH diptych first comes convenience, and then control: workers are lured in by the allure of flexibility, and psychologically ensnared from thereon out. The laptop is the embodiment of this idea—the most perfect contemporisation of Bentham’s panopticon in a cute thirteen-inch package of plastic and aluminium. Employers needn’t monitor our actions from a central office building (rent is expensive!) when instead they can slap a work laptop in our hands and “empower” us to WFH. From here, workers will duly self-regulate on the assumption that they could, at any moment, be under the watchful eye of management. Whether there actually is an observer is immaterial: the world becomes one very big panoptic office and finally there can be no escape from the workplace and its (maybe) all-seeing eye. Convenience, and then control. The issue with this lies not in being forced to work but in being overworked: we go from a eight-hour working day in the office or library to a 24-hour working-day at home, in which any time could be used for work and so the opportunity cost of leisure becomes so much greater. Take Netflix—the company has no vacation policy and similarly no tracking of
the psychology “ ofFrom space we will soon learn some lessons, in our online classes poetically enough.
Prior to its pandemic-induced ubiquity, Working From Home (WFH) was touted as the tonic to the office, the future of work, the Holy Grail of the elusive work-life balance. As I have come to discover in my months-long trial, it is rather a poisoned chalice, albeit one wrapped in a pretty bow. Here’s why. Our daily lives are shaped by the spaces and places that we wrap our lives around. Their functional use is only secondary to the position that they hold in our hearts—take New York City as a sad but fitting example. The city could be identified on any postcard by its unmistakable skyline, and it was this physical structure which was attacked nineteen years ago. In attacking these buildings busy with workers and visitors, the very idea of Americanism was attacked too—this was the great symbolistic significance of the built environment. The Twin Towers is of course an extreme example, both in terms of their architectural significance and the events with which they now are associated. But functionally those buildings were offices, where people sat at their desks day after day conducting their economic lives. It is in this work environment that our discussion lies.
working hours, and employees choose where and when they conduct their contractual obligations. The company touts this policy proudly and it’s no wonder why: Netflix employees were more likely to work longer hours and take less holidays as a result, which is great for the company. But what about its effect on workers? In a survey by Blind, a tech workplace app, four in ten Netflix employees responded ‘yes’ to the question “Are you currently suffering from job burnout?” WFH is good for business, bad for workers. So what? What does this mean for us students as we enter this unprecedented academic year? From the psychology of space we will soon learn some lessons, in our online classes poetically enough. As the new semester begins, we’re set to spend the majority of our class-time on screens, within the same four walls in which our personal lives are conducted. This is another boundary-blurring, not so pernicious as it is inconvenient; our brains will have some mental gymnastics to do in working out what’s “home” stuff and what’s “learning” stuff—whether it’s the hit TV sitcom Gilmore Girls in front of our eyes or some dude droning on about astrophysics. If, like I, you have split-screen capability, it just might be both. Longer-term, all bets are off. But one thing is certain: the future is going to be more homely—and that’s not a good thing.
next care package. Some days your little space in halls will be your only respite, so it is important to decorate and stock it accordingly. So, without further ado: here are some St Andrews dorm room necessities every fresher should invest in.
Dorm Essentials for the St Andrews Fresher
Hot Water Bottle A game changer. I seriously doubted the power of these bad boys for my whole first year. “Too old-fashioned!” I cried out with hubris. “An outdated form of technology!” I proclaimed with naivete. How wrong, how young I was. I finally invested in one my second year after coveting my flatmate’s obsessively. Let me tell you, there is nothing better than getting into your bed after a bone-chilling walk home from class (in the dark no less!), and being able to put your feet under the covers and have it be warm down there. They are readily available at Boots and run at about £5 each. You can get your water baby a snuggly little jacket and use it as a stuffed animal, and the hot water bottle is also particularly useful to simulate the love and companionship of your missing pet or paramore. Homesickness trembles at the force of the hot water bottle. Five stars!
MAIRI ALICE DUN Staff Writer To bring, or not to bring, to uni? That is the question. I shall begin by talking about the weather, because that is what all interesting lists do. St Andrews is very lucky it is such a beautiful town, because the climate it inflicts upon its students and residents is, to understate, not the most accommodating. So much so that, when I asked my peers what they recommended freshers to bring for their first year, almost all of their recommendations were things to keep you warm and comfortable over that period where the sun sets at 3:30pm, and some days never seems to rise at all. If you are equipped to combat these minor drawbacks of climate, however, St Andrews makes up for its flaws so stunningly and completely that you forget they exist at all. You will need some things to make this cold season bearable, though. Your packing list this year might have consisted solely of disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, and a mask, and now you’re completely lost on what else your mum should be sending in her
packing list this year might have consisted solely of
disinfectant wipes, hand and a mask.
Extra Blankets On the same theme, there will come a night when the kettle isn’t working, or maybe the water bottle just will not be enough to quench the ice cold tentacles of North Sea air creeping under your bed sheets. In that long dark night, you will want to put on your thickest socks and burrito yourself until your cold, dead, heart again begins to beat. This might also happen after a particularly bevvy night out, or after reading a particularly devastating work of Emily Dickinson or John Keats. Blankets are a jack-of-all comforting trades. You can never have too many. Air fresheners or a reed diffuser Sometimes halls have weird smells. They can’t help it, it’s just the way they are. Do yourself a favor and invest in a nice scent that will welcome guests to your dorm room (if we’re ever allowed to have guests again), rather than sending them running in the opposite direction, holding their noses. Power strip Nothing is more stressful than having to figure out which of your elec-
tronics you should unplug so that you can charge your phone. You can never have enough sockets, especially for all of the… Fairy lights Sike! You will not be allowed to have plug-in fairy lights unless they have been PAT tested. I highly recommend battery-operated ones, however. While fairy lights are certainly the cutest way to softly hygge-ify your space, any form of extra lighting is encouraged. If you have a roommate, you don’t want to be trapped in an argument about when the main overheads get turned off, especially if that essay you just started is due in three hours. A simple desk lamp is available in most of the charity shops in town. During the latter half of first semester, the sun does tend to leave the sky earlier and earlier each day, so it is wise to provide your own source of light. Many students recommend the expensive, but worth it, SAD lamp (as seen on Shark Tank), to counteract Seasonal Depression (which can sneak up on you if you don’t watch out for it). Luckily, for most, the cure lies in warm beverages, friends, and making your space cozy and warm. Mugs, plates, and cutlery Hand in hand with these is obviously things to put in and on said dishware. A hot, friend-making tip is to lure people back to your room with the promise of a teacake and/or tea itself. The quickest way to the heart is through the stomach. Do with that what you will. But seriously, catered or not, you will at some point need to make yourself a snack or a meal, and you’ll need something to put it on other than blueroll. Tupperware If you are going to be cooking for yourself this year, these are the invisible essentials you probably didn’t think to bring. If you are catered, these are great to steal scraps from the dining room, or simply to store biscuits and other snacks. A laundry basket with handles The communal laundry spaces can be a challenge, but for some, simply getting their dirty linens to the washing room is the hardest part. Case in point: my first year I lived on the second floor of Wardlaw Wing in University Hall. My laundry basket was a flimsy one with tiny handles that broke off almost
Hangers Most wardrobes will come with a very (very!) small amount of hangers, so save yourself the wrinkles and bring loads of your own. I know a person, ahem… definitely not me, who ended up having three whole storage boxes full of extra hangers at the end of the year, but she never has wrinkly clothes and ends up with much more space in her dresser drawers. Tote bags Whether your book bag suddenly breaks, or you have to suddenly stop at Tesco after class and have no room
St Andrews is very lucky it is such a beautiful town, because the climate it inflicts upon its students and residents is, to understate, not the most
to carry a carton of milk and a loaf of bread, these just always come in handy. Keep one rolled up in your school bag or purse, or even jacket pocket if you are a hands-free kind of person. You’ll look cooler if you have a fun, printed one. Also, they’re wildly popular about town. You’ll never stop seeing people carrying them. Pictures, posters, or general wall decor Nothing is creepier than walking into someone’s dorm to see that they have empty, white walls. It feels like entering a prison cell. A friend of mine once went back to a guy’s room after a night out only to discover he had nothing on his walls except one printed-out, slightly wrinkled stock photo of a golden eagle. Needless to say, she quickly made her escape before he could execute his then-obvious plan to abduct and assassinate her. Show your peers that you have a soul as well as a personality—and keep yourself from forgetting what your parents look like—and throw up a couple photos, or a poster of a band or movie you like. You can
immediately, leaving me to balance my huge load down the two flights of stairs (there is no lift) on my hip or on my head, often leaving a Hansel and Gretel-esque trail of my intimates in my wake. To avoid similar embarrassment and to make the struggle that is the laundry room easier on yourself, I recommend investing in a sturdy laundry basket with solid handles, or maybe doing your laundry more often to lighten the load.
find some cool ones on allposters.com or even Amazon. Non-marking adhesives On that note, invest in something to hang your wall art with that’s not going to earn you a fine at the end of the year. Blu-Tack is a personal stand-by, but command-strips are better for slightly heavier items. These are just a few of the musthaves for a successful first year at the University of St Andrews, all of which are sure to move you to at least the second level of the Maslow Pyramid. A happy, comfortable space is important for everyone, but especially in your first year of uni when so much in your life is changing. This survival guide of sorts will hopefully get you through the most obvious challenges St Andrews has to offer, but, in the end, those detriments only add to our town’s charm, which you will hopefully soon be discovering for yourself.
Freshers’ Survival Guide
Freshers’ Week is by far one of the most anticipated, and oftentimes the most overhyped, week of the entire University experience, from the first of many nights-out to starting your four-year journey alongside entirely new faces and places. Although we are still in the midst of a global pandemic, Freshers’ Week should still be seen as one of the best opportunities to start making friends, integrate yourself into the town, and begin this adjustment into University life and adulthood. With these circumstances in mind, this is our survival guide and must-do items for firstyears during Freshers’ Week. First, whether you’re arriving in St Andrews for the two-week quarantine period or you’re able to join at the start of the first week, make sure you prioritise unpacking and making your room a cosy space when you first arrive. Due to the uncertainty of in-person versus online classes, and the uncertainty in when gym and large study spaces will open at full capacity, it’s safe to say we will all be spending more time than usual in our rooms. With the time you have in your first week before classes begin, be sure to fully unpack all your boxes and suitcases and begin to make your room feel less like a claustrophobic halls room and more like a home. Some personal recommendations for
this include serene lightning (fairy lights, RGB strips, etc), pieces of art or pictures of friends and family from home, different textures and colours from blankets or rugs, and a comfortable duvet and pillows. Once you have your room ready to go, take some time during your first week in St Andrews to explore the town and familiarise yourself with the restaurants, shops, and study spaces among the three streets. This may include seeking out where you’ll be doing your grocery shopping (Tesco, Morrisons, Aldi, or Sainsbury’s, among the other local produce options), which coffee shops you’ll study in, and where you can find other materials such as stationery, books, and home essentials. If you’re wanting to get out of your room for a government-mandated walk, September is known to be one of the most beautiful months for St Andrews weather, so take a stroll down to the beaches, the castle and cathedral, and the Scores to check out your new home! In terms of academics, Freshers’ Week is the perfect opportunity to ensure you’re prepared for the start of classes in the following week and, especially as a fresher, that you have completed all the necessary steps to start the academic year off right. Throughout the week, check your email at least twice a day as you will be receiving important information about matriculation, modules, and other opportunities. Depending on your course, you may also receive information about how and when to sign up for tutorials and where your first classes will be meeting in Week One. Especially given the current situation and the uncertainty about in-person versus online classes, it’s important to stay on top of academics this week as things will be looking different than in years past. Additionally, if you’re in a reading-heavy course, you can get ahead by buying your textbooks and doing some reading for the first few weeks, making the most of this week without classes and deadlines. With the social distancing requirements in Scotland, making friends seems to be more daunting than ever before, but it doesn’t have to be! Societies are still hosting just as many, if not more, events, both in-person and online. To make the most of Freshers’ Week, you should aim to attend at least three different
society events to explore which ones you would prefer to join and where you find like-minded people that could become future friends. If government guidelines allow, the first week is also the ideal time to get to know your flatmates, and a common way to do this is through a welcome meal or potluck. Once everyone is out of quarantine and if you can meet together for a household meal, try to organise a time to meet everyone, set out ground rules, and possibly make some new friends in your flat as well.
is known “ toSeptember be one of the most
beautiful months for St Andrews weather, so take a stroll down to the beaches, the castle and cathedral, and the Scores to check out your new home!
ANNIE SMITH Staff Writer
Finally, it’s important to take care of all housekeeping tasks in Freshers’ Week so that you can begin the first week of classes stressfree. For international students, make sure you plan early on which phone plan you’ll join and which local bank you will open an account with. All students should also be sure to check their email and MySaint to ensure they are on track to matriculate on time, which includes some new mandatory modules, paying tuition and accommodation fees, and visa check for international students. For tech, some St Andrews-specific apps that all students should have downloaded include Love St Andrews Marketplace to support local businesses, Yoyo to get discounts on food and drink in the Union, ecoeats for food delivery, and the University’s Freshers’ Week app. With all this being said, Freshers’ Week should be an enjoyable, stress-free opportunity to explore the town and all that the University has to offer you for the next four years! While this survival guide is an important checklist, don’t forget to take time to support your mental health in this busy week, call your family and friends at home, and remind yourself why you chose St Andrews. Good luck!
Cures for Homesickness Homesickness is an illness that affects thousands, if not millions of university students every year. Freshers are, understandably, especially susceptible. Moving away from home to university is a huge transition, and sometimes it has unwanted side effects. In the first few days of my first year I found myself googling “How to cure homesickness” and now, I hope to spare this year’s freshers from as much as I can. Homesickness is distress caused by being separated from home, and it can manifest in a whole range of unpleasant symptoms. While there is no perfect antidote, there are a few things that can really help. Don’t Be too Hard on Yourself It’s okay to be excited about starting uni, and it’s okay to have expectations. One can hardly help it. However, it’s a common myth that you should be having all fun all the time at uni, especially during freshers week. While this may be true for the fortunate, it’s normal to feel a whole range of emotions during your first few weeks. If you are feeling homesick, or just generally down, don’t be angry with yourself. Feeling homesick is not a weakness, it’s evidence that you have made a big change from what you were used to: “the first step is acceptance.”’ It’s fairly obvious and a little cliché to say, but it’s the truth.
active and “Staying eating healthy can
also help boost endorphins and ward off the blues.
Bring Things from Home Decorate your new space with photos of friends and family, and other mementos. I personally found that after I was settled into my room in halls, I felt much more comfortable. Stuffed animals are also known for their comforting powers, and are absolutely nothing to be ashamed of (I hope). Basically any items you can bring with you that make you feel at home are worth having. Possessions aren’t the only thing you can enjoy to remind you of home. Eating your favorite snacks, or making a familiar meal can also be soothing. Also, finding a club, society, hobby, sport, or art you enjoyed at home can help you find a sense of community.
Put Yourself Out There When dealing with a lot of changes, feelings of nostalgia, sadness, and anxiety, it can be tempting to just hide away in your dorm room. Isolating yourself may have the opposite effect than you want, however, as it allows your brain a lot of free time to be thinking about what you miss about home. This same reason is why homesickness can often hit in the evening as you are settling down for the night alone. Instead, try to stay busy. Get involved, try new activities, meet new friends, and get to know your new home. Luckily for us, that’s the lovely town of St Andrews. Illustration:Maya Marie Keep in Touch Stay in regular contact with your loved ones from home. We are so and healthy. Follow guidelines to keep yourself lucky that we have the technology that we do and your new community safe. Staying active today, that communicating with our loved ones and eating healthy can also help boost endoris so easy to do. It’s a bit easier to say goodbye phins and ward off the blues. when you know you will get to talk to your family every day if you need. Just make sure Open Up that you aren’t spending so much time on the If you are having a hard time, don’t feel like phone that you avoid making new friends. It’s you need to keep it to yourself. This is a misalso helpful to remind yourself that your home take I made myself in my first week. I put on a is waiting to welcome you when you return. brave face for my new friends, and cried when I was by myself. I thought I had made a huge Stay Healthy mistake in moving across the world. I obviousNothing is worse for homesickness than ly couldn’t cut it. None of my new friends were a bout of fresher’s flu. Being sick for perhaps feeling this way, not even the other Americans, the first time living by yourself is a hurdle that so what was wrong with me? As it turns out, every young adult will have to get through. almost none of the things I had decided in my Now more than ever, it is important to keep safe first week turned out to be true. When I built up the courage, I told my friend just how homesick I was, and all the fears that were coming with it. To my surprise, she had been feeling the same way. However you might be feeling, you are not alone. If I could give any advice to myself as a first year, it would be to open up to my friends earlier, and so I impart that advice to you all now. Starting uni is a huge adjustment for everyone, and while it is exciting and fun, it can also be difficult. Almost everyone will have a touch of homesickness, but it will not last forever. Soon enough you will feel at home in St Andrews, and you will be giving the same advice to the freshers to come.
sick for “perhapsBeing the first time
living by yourself is a hurdle that every young adult will have to get through.
OLIVIA BYBEL Features Editor
St Andrews Halls: A History University Hall: In writing about University Hall, where I spent a wonderful first year, I am naturally biased. But I will do my best to temper my partiality and paint an objective picture of it. University Hall is made up of three very different parts. Lumsden, where I stayed, is a 60s-tastic pre-fab monster known affectionately as “Slumsden” on account of its ugly facade. But as the hackneyed expression goes, beauty is only skin deep. Lumsden residents have the benefit of staying in warm, cosy rooms (except for mine because I never got round to fixing the faulty heating) whilst being able to take advantage of the brilliant spaces and facilities in Old Wing, the infinitely more beautiful part of the hall. I for one spent a good deal of time in the Old Wing Arts Library, an ornate room where Queen Elisabeth’s watchful eye provides a steady source of motivation as you sit down to write an essay. If you can stand the cold, the high-ceilinged, spacious rooms in Old Wing are something to be envied. Finally, there is Wardlaw, a picturesque stand-alone castle, which, rather unfairly if you ask me, is strictly for girls only. “Uni Hall”, as it is known, is in a pretty ideal location. If you are at all sporty or simply like going to the gym, the Sports Centre is right next door. If you are a scientist, you need only hop out of bed and you are a three minute walk from your science lectures. If you are an arts or humanities student, be prepared for lots of walking. Fun fact: Every Uni Haller gets great satisfaction from looking down at ABH, the mere sight of which immediately dispels any misgivings they might have about their own situation. John Burnet Hall: John Burnet is the bitter, long-lasting rival of University Hall, meaning that Clan Warfare events can get very heated. JBH, as it is better known, is by far the
smallest hall in St Andrews, and as such it is a very close-knit community (some would say too close). It is very well-situated, overlooking the iconic Old Course and scenic West Sands beach. Letting it down slightly is the very ugly annexe which looks distinctly incongruous next to the main building, which is an old, stone former hotel. Fun fact: The hall’s Wikipedia page excitedly mentions a newly-installed Nintendo Switch console, which says all you need to know about JBH folk and how they spend their time.
Uni Haller gets “Every great satisfaction from looking down at ABH, the mere sight of which immediately dispels any misgivings they might have about their own situation.
Whitehorn: Whitehorn students are probably the most resented group in St Andrews because of the sheer luxuriousness of their accommodation. Those who are lucky enough to secure a room in Whitehorn are permanently conscious of their superiority over everyone else in the student community, and they don’t hide it either. Anyone who has access to heated, tropical-themed study rooms is bound to get a little full of themselves. The only disadvantage of being in such a pampered environment is that you have to contend with regular
Photos: Samantha Chinomona and Henry Memmot
streams of asylum seekers from University Hall — leeches who try to spend as much time as possible soaking up the delights of Whitehorn away from their own dingy digs. Fun fact: It even has a nice smell. McIntosh: Whitehorn’s close rival on the aesthetic front is McIntosh, a relatively small hall consisting of mostly shared rooms. It boasts some genuinely spectacular common rooms, lending it the air of a posh country hotel. Location wise, it could not be more fortunately placed. Whilst being in close proximity to some of the University’s main facilities, it enjoys the peace and quiet of Abbotsford Crescent, away from the hustle and bustle of Market Street. The views are second to none, too. I will never forget the deep feeling of jealousy looking out of a friend’s top floor room onto West Sands beach. Fun fact: Rumours abound that McIntosh is haunted by the ghost of someone who died in a fire there.
ALLY ADDISON Deputy Features Editor
David Russell / Fife Park: Apparently David Russell Apartments and Fife Park are two separate halls, but as far as I can tell they are essentially the same. Aside from the fact that every room has an ensuite, the biggest asset DRA and Fife Park people have in their favour is their very own bar, though this does not seem to stop them making the long trek into St Andrews town centre on nights out. Having your own bar and cooking your own food comes with a few caveats. Firstly, unless you have the money to get taxis to and from lectures, you have to be ready for a tough fitness regime. Secondly, it is impossible to navigate around, so make sure to bring a building map if only to save yourself from getting trapped in a directionless maze. Fun fact: If you live in DRA you most likely enjoy a double bed.
do not have to be an admirer of Brutalism to fall in love with it. As one of the larger halls, you will not be hard-pushed to find friends in Andrew Melville.
It may not be the prettiest of halls, but what it lacks in beauty it more than makes up for in spirit.
St Salvator’s Hall and Gannochy: St Salvator’s has reached a level of fame that exceeds every other hall, mainly due to the fact that Prince William stayed there during his first year at St Andrews. Like their Whitehorn counterparts, residents of St Salvator’s have a heightened sense of their own worth (though, in their case, their arrogance masks a deep-rooted insecurity about the size of their rooms, which are mostly small and pokey). They do have the most amazing dining hall though, and it is there that they host their weekly High Table, replete with wine and fine cuisine. F u n
fact: Outsiders get their own back when the grass is routinely ruined by glitter-filled festivals and end of exam soakings.
in their “(though, case, their arrogance masks a deep-rooted insecurity about the size of their rooms, which are mostly small and pokey).
St Regulus: The first thing you should know about St Regulus Hall is that no one knows where it is. The second thing is that this is probably its single greatest virtue. St Regulus is situated on one of the nicest, quietest streets in St Andrews. It is also right next to St Mary’s Quad, which is so serene it would make Oxford University squirm with jealousy. It is important to note that it is also one of the smaller and more traditional halls, so not only do rumours spread like wildfire but there is no escaping the games and traditions that are so close to its heart. Fun fact: it is named after the Greek Saint Regulus, who is said to have fled to Scotland with the bones of St Andrew and deposited them in St Andrews Cathedral.
Andrew Melville: On the surface, Andrew Melville Hall is not to everyone’s taste. Built in the Brutalist style, it was once used as a location for a dystopian film about organ harvesting. Even the way the hall is ordered lends it a Stalinist air — it is divided into blocks lettered from A through to E. However, judging from the praise and adulation of its residents, as well as the fact that it has one of the highest rates of returning students, you
In terms of location, it is super convenient if you are a science student, but a bit more of a struggle if you have to migrate back and forth from the Arts buildings. Fun fact: from the windows of your room, you stand a good chance of seeing wild rabbits roaming around. Agnes Blackadder Hall: Contrary to its self-deprecating nickname, “the prison”, ABH is well-loved by its residents for its refreshing, down-to-earth feel and its friendly and diverse community of undergraduates. It may not be the prettiest of halls, but what it lacks in beauty it more than makes up for in spirit. An added plus is that it has ensuite bathrooms. Fun fact: after Prince William announced that he intended to go to St Andrews, applications tripled and the university had to convert study rooms into bedrooms as well as install bunk beds in single rooms in ABH. It is back to normal now thankfully.
My Favourite St Andrews Memory
Photo: Randale Dinsdale
OLIVIA BYBEL Features Editor In my humble opinion, students at the University of St Andrews are some of the luckiest people in the world. We get to live, work, study, and make memories in a beautiful place filled with history, charming cobblestone streets, wind off the North Sea, and wonderful people. Freshers beginning their time in St Andrews have so much to look forward to. I asked friends, peers, and (academic) family to share with me some of their favourite memories in St Andrews, to provide a small glimpse into the experience that the class of 2024 is just beginning to enjoy. “My favourite memory in St Andrews was in late April of my first year. It was a warm, sunny Saturday, which is very rare. My friends and I set up a blanket on the grass outside halls and laid in the sun all afternoon. I remember feeling so happy, peaceful, and grateful for the beautiful day, and the wonderful friends I got to share it with.”
Photo: Samantha Chinomona
“Doing the pier walk for the first time during freshers week and looking out at the sea of red robes, as well as the actual North Sea with the picturesque cathedral ruins in the background. It hit me then just how happy I was to get to live to live here for the next four years.” “One of my favourite memPhoto: Henry Memmot ories is the garden party for Uni Hall — when everyone joined of friends returned from May Ball and packed in for the ceilidh and just sat about chatting for out a corridor of our hall of residence! We hours in the sun, it was a fab way to end the were freezing and exhausted, but staying up year in halls too!” together and chatting away the wee hours of “Getting ready on Friday nights with all my the morning, cupping mugs of tea and bracing friends for the BOP, we would all get ready in ourselves for the challenge to come was such a one tiny dorm room, and have makeup and uniquely St Andrean experience that I’ll never clothes and hair tools everywhere. It was utter forget. There was a lot of love in the room that chaos, but so much fun.” night!” “Having tea and scones at Gorgeous after “Meal time in my first year in University class. It’s such a cosy thing to do, especially on Hall will always be something I will treasure. a rainy day.” Being able to sit and eat and have far too much “My favourite memory would be the night tea with my friends from all over the world before May Dip in first year, when a big group who I got to see day in and day out was just amazing and made the halls a wonderful place to live!” “Dressing my academic kids up as chickens, uni career peaked in that moment!” “My first Highland Ball with the Celtic Society was one of the best nights I’ve had at university. A night of Scottish Country Dancing with students from universities from too many countries to count with great music. Starting Dancing again at uni has been one of the best decisions I’ve made and I can’t wait to get back to it!” “Taking sunset walks on the beach” “During Raisin, my academic parents had my siblings and I run into the sea on East Sands at sunrise. I remember how vibrant the colors of the sky were reflecting off the water. It was so freezing, and I ran right back out, but it was a stand out moment at the beginning of a crazy day.”
20% off services with Selected Stylists.
ADVERT: HAIR DRESSER
The student deal is available from Monday to Wednesday. Simply quote “The Saint” and bring a valid student id. To book, call 01334 461497 or go online at: www.chrismarkshair.com
Chris Marks Hairdressing Mon-Wed - 9am-6pm Thurs - 10am-8pm Fri - 9am-6pm Sat - 9am-4pm Sun - Closed
34 South Street St Andrews Scotland KY16 9JT
Saints in Silence
Linden Grigg and recent graduate Henry Memmott describe their lockdown lives.
Linden Grigg Aside from the length of my hair, the countryside has been my lock-down clock. On an insignificant North Welsh B-road, evidence of an outside world during lockdown has been minimal. It has allowed that profound British guardian, the weather, to reign over us in a way far more noticeable than the habitually unremarkable summers of years past. Hot weeks where tractors chugged along the back-lanes like tireless worker ants were followed by days of torrential rain and the occasional evening of rolling thunderclaps and moody black clouds. We experienced a tropical summer this year, but shared it with only ourselves. So, the corn fields have swelled in size, rainforest green and over six foot high in places. Our hay field has risen, borne witness to mysterious fogs, baking hot days, angry red sunsets, lonely mornings, heavy driving rain, and the passing of a long lockdown. All the while watched over by a wide, empty sky. I took my camera out on many occasions, if just to record something I could use to document my piece of a remarkable time. These photos, therefore, do not capture empty streets or frantic hospitals, but a period where time was no longer sand falling through my fingers.
Following Dad through the Summerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s corn
Stars appear in the sky
A weed emerges from the hay as an evening mist settles
A farmerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s muck spreader waits patiently for use at the end of the field
Far off over the Welsh hills rain obscures a fiery sunset
31 Henry Memmott Lockdown for me has been spent in St Andrews, mainly working away on my dissertation. As many students left the town, those who remained were given a strange view of the town, with very few people around. I decided to take my camera with me when I went for a walk (once a day as per government guidelines), and got the chance to document the changes occurring. I also took the opportunity to explore more of the local area, running on the farm roads and finding places which I had never seen in the three years I have lived here. The changes of the seasons still occurred, with the flowers around town blooming, and the fields in the local area bursting into colour, but with very few people around to appreciate it. Some of the most celebrated dates in the student calendar were also very different; East Sands was almost completely deserted on May 1st, the sunrise of the day only lasting briefly before being consumed by cloud. As restrictions have eased slightly, I have been able to walk parts of the Fife Coastal Path, and enjoy bonfires on the beach. Having now finished for the semester, I am staying in St Andrews for the summer and working on a vegetable farm, and I am hopeful of the days when more people fill the streets of the town. St Andrews feels empty without the bustle of people, the chatter along the pavements, and the sound of people splashing in the sea.
Watching the sun coming up on West Sands
A little row of cottages I noticed while running
The glistening surface of the stones on Market Street reflecting after some rain
A gorgeous sunrise over the cathedral
The Swilcan Bridge, on an early quiet morning
Golden hour leaves all of the town basking in a beautiful light
St Andrean Dinner Parties EMILY FIELDER Staff Writer
the best things about a good St Andrean dinner party is getting to talk to people you might otherwise never have met, so don’t leave this out of your planning. You could even switch the seats between courses. Creating a boy-girl-boy-girl seating plan is also always fun.
matter “Itwhatdoesn’t the dress code
is, there should always be one.
Ambience If possible, dim the lights a little and include candles on the table, either tea-lights, a good scented-candle, or, a personal favourite, the classic ‘stick a candle in an empty bottle of wine’ trick. This will help to give the evening a
Wine Ask all your guests to bring a bottle of winewe’re all students so no-one can expect you to pay for the entire evening’s drinks! However, if you’re cooking something typically paired with a white, put a bottle or two in the fridge a few hours beforehand so that everyone can start (and continue) the evening with a nicely chilled glass. A further hint- encouraging white wine as the beverage of choice is usually a good idea, especially if you don’t have wooden floors.
When creating the “ seating plan, ensure that close friends are not always sat together
Whilst the Scottish government continues to extend restrictions on large gatherings, typical St Andrean social events, such as a classic Wednesday night out in 601 or a Illustration: Maya Marie ball in Kinkell Byre, look a long way off. However, with government guidelines curmore intimate feel, whereas guests might feel rently allowing three households to meet up exposed in harsher lighting. Plus, it looks like indoors, there is one social scene in St Andrews you’ve gone to extra effort. that may continue to flourish, albeit with a few changes — such as guests bringing their own Music cutlery and sitting further apart, as per social Create the music playlist before the dinner distancing rules. I speak, of course, of the beparty starts, so you don’t have to worry about loved St Andrean dinner party. With this in changing the music or arguing over the aux mind, here are seven tips to hosting the perfect cord during the evening. Start with more relaxdinner party. ing music, just as jazz, and then allow the music to progress from there over the course of the Dress Code evening as everyone gets more inebriated- from It doesn’t matter what the dress code is, there personal experience ‘Mr Brightside’ gets everyshould always be one. No-one likes to turn up one’s spirits up (even if they pretend to hate it.) to an event feeling either over or under dressed. If it’s a more low-key evening, smart casual is Seating Plan always the go-to, whilst if you want to make it When creating the seating plan, ensure that more of an event, go for shirts and jackets for close friends are not always sat together, as men and equivalent for ladies. Alternatively, this impedes the flow of conversation and may you could have a fancy-dress theme, especially make new-comers feel left out. Instead, try to good for academic parents looking to impress put people who don’t know each other that well, potential children. but who you feel might get on, together. One of
Food Firstly, always ask your guests if they have any dietary requirements before you even begin to decide what to cook. Secondly, cook something you can mostly prepare before your guests arrive, so you don’t have to keep rushing in and out of the kitchen and miss all the conversation. My flatmates and I tend to make a curry or pasta sauce of some kind that will be simmering and ready by the time your guests arrive. This also means there won’t be any panic about food spoiling if anyone is late. Sauces like these are also easily adaptable to anyone with dietary requirements, especially Vegetarians or Vegans. Games Plan to include some fun dinner party games over the course of the evening, whether it be saving a cork for ibble dibble, or writing challenges on the back of the name cards. This helps guests to relax and enjoy themselves, whilst it can also save the evening if conversation starts to go a little flat.
Raisin Weekend - The Lowdown MEG DYSON Deputy Events Editor Raisin Weekend is a St Andrews event that everybody else in the UK (and probably around the world) thinks is totally bonkers — but in reality they are just jealous that they do not get to take part. My personal Raisin experience was fun and memorable — most definitely a high point of my first year! Traditionally, first year students gave their academic parents a pound of raisins to thank them for welcoming them into St Andrews — hence where the name comes from. However, this small and wholesome custom has since evolved into the weekend full of crazy challenges and activities that we have today. You will be adopted during the first few weeks of the academic year by some third years - or possibly second years if they are medics or going on a year abroad. There’s no way to say who your parents will be — I was adopted by my dad after I bought a textbook off him, others have found theirs during nights out and a whole host of different ways. That is part of the beau- Photo: Randale Dinsdale ty of St Andrews academic families — you cannot predict your parents or your siblings and often they will be people you have not had an opportunity to meet before!
personal Raisin “My experience was
really fun and highly memorable - most definitely a high point of my first year!
Your parentage will not necessarily be traditional at all — I personally had two mums and a dad, but you might have a single parent, two dads, three mums, five individual parents — the possibilities are endless! The number of siblings you have also ranges — I had nine brothers and sisters, but I know people who had 30 siblings or had a single other sibling. During the days before raisin weekend, you might be asked to source a series of strange items — for me, this included ten condoms, milk and a bottle of wine. You will also need to get some shaving foam — I recommend doing this well in advance because it sells out so quickly during the week before (also foam, NOT gel). On Raisin Sunday, you will be asked to meet at a very specific point in St Andrews at a very specific time — some parents choose to
punish you if you are late, so be careful! Here begins the fun — a range of tasks (sometimes including drinking games, if you and your family are into that!) ensues. At 6:32am, my family gathered on East Sands — and our first task was to strip off and run into the sea. What happens after this is hugely diverse dependent on your parents and what they want you to do. After our (freezing) early morning dip, we trundled back to our mum’s house, where we played Jenga (with tasks on each of the blocks you pulled out), took shots of various liquid combinations (think milk, tabasco, whipped cream, vegetable oil...) and passed condoms filled with vodka and milk between one another using our teeth in the rain outside. We then had a scavenger hunt around town (featuring wholesome tasks like hugging strangers, taking selfies with dogs, buying food
items for exactly £1.17 for us to snack on). The majority of parents will sharpie their numbers somewhere on your body so if you do end up lost and confused, somebody can help you back to where you’re meant to be. After you have worked incredibly hard carrying out all those tasks, your parents will pop you down for a nap at around lunchtime. Full disclosure — this might be the best nap you have ever had. By evening, you will feel right as rain, and ready for a slightly more lowkey evening. For us, we were fed mac and cheese and watched movies for the rest of the evening — recovery for Raisin Monday is much needed! Raisin Monday features the infamous foam fight that is featured in newspapers across the world. Your parents will have planned a costume for you. This is usually topical with some sort of relation to a trend/event that occurred during the year. We were dressed as tide pods (this was the year that kids were eating them as a dare). You will then collect a “raisin receipt” — traditionally a piece of parchment with a Latin phrase written on it) from the other parent and head over to the Quad, where you’ll cover yourself and other people in foam from head to toe. Thus, Raisin is over — and with the tasks your parents made you do fresh in your mind, you will begin to plan your revenge on them for the next year. It is so important to note that if you are not somebody who drinks or is worried about being forced into something you do not want to do - do not fear! Not all parents who adopt drink, so it is perfectly possible to be part of a non-drinking family. Your parents will have stocked up on food that will soak up alcohol and water to look after you, and you will never be forced into anything. You also have a few weeks to get to know your family before Raisin so you will be able to work out if they are your kind of people. If they are not, there is no shame in joining another family! Raisin is your opportunity to have fun and enjoy yourself, so make it what you want!
Events to Look Forward To HOLLIE HERMAN Events Editor Event committees are currently working very hard behind the scenes to create new and innovative events this coming September for you to enjoy from your own home. This year our usual event-packed semester will look quite different, but that does not mean we cannot build up excitement for what St Andrews has in store for you over the next four years. There is plenty to look forward to, so make sure you keep an eye out for future ticket sales! The Polo You do not Polo aficionathis particuThis all day tournament beautifully displays the surpassing
have to be a do to enjoy lar event! outside
bles at après every afternoon, this week long trip really is the best of both worlds. If you are an experienced skier/boarder then the day is yours to explore the surrounding slopes and socialise with your peers over a chocolate crepe. However, if you are a slightly unconfident skier or if you have never skied before fret not; you can sign up for morning lessons to find your ski legs and enjoy a well deserved party later on! This jam packed week has been known to sell out in less than twelve hours, so do not hesitate to sign up and do not be scared to go even if you do not know anyone else going — as an incoming fresher this winter break is a fun and easy opportunity to make friends with students from all year groups. Starfields As the largest student-run music festival in the UK and the largest event hosted in S t
talent of our university’s Polo team, whilst simultaneously providing our supporting students with the opportunity to relax on the sunny lawn with their friends, a glass of champagne in hand. If you are eager to play your part in-between chukkas, do not hesitate to vault the white picket fence and take your place Illustration: Rachel Cripps on the pitch — the bizarre sight that is divot stomping Andrews is the perfect chance to discuss the game with over 2,000 attendees, Starfields attracts acwhilst smoothing over the churned surface claimed acts from all over the world. Alongside of the grass. When you are not watching the some of the biggest house and electronic names ponies gallop across the field and the players in the industry, such as Matoma, Gorgon swing their mallets down towards the ball, City, Cheat Codes and the Disciples, students there are plenty of catering trucks from which dressed head to toe in glittering festival attire you and fellow spectators can grab a tasty bite revel in the colourful chaos of ball pits, giant and marquees with music to dance within as deckchairs and animal pool floats that surf the the sun begins to set. crowd in the dance tent. Whilst Starfields usually opens the semester as the headline event Ski trip of Freshers Week, the FS2021 Committee have No one does a ski trip like St Andrews announced that it will be postponed to 17 April Snowsports! From skiing down scenic snowy 2021. In worth while wait of this vibrant festival mountains during the day and dancing on tathere is now plenty of time to plan a Coachella
inspired outfit and to watch your favourite artists appear on this academic years lineup. Balgove Market If you are looking to explore beyond the bubble, Balgove Larder and Steak Barn are just a short walk away from St Andrews’ idyllic town centre. Comprised of a beautifully converted sawmill and farm house, with potato box walls and long rough hewn tables, the sight remains very much attached to its rural past. Aside from oozing rustic charm, Balgove purveys high quality local meat from their in-house butchery and hosts an array of Night Markets throughout the semesters, the ultimate event being their magical Christmas Market. You will feel nothing but at home as its friendly staff welcome you through the giant curtained doorway and proceeds to serve you hot street style food fresh off their BBQ. Lose yourself amongst stalls of sweet shortbread, warm liqueurs, local fragrances and homemade trinkets whilst enjoying the live acoustic music that wafts through the barn and the warmth of the fire pit. As St Andrews’ smaller balls begin to resurface throughout the year committees may hire out the venue and you might just find yourself socialising below Balgove’s twinkling lights for more than just a hot chocolate. May Dip Fancy a plunge into a freezing North Sea at dawn on the first of May? Look no further. One of the many traditions of our 600-year-old institution involves just this. Despite the cold weather, this annual dip may be one of the most daring and exhilarating ventures you take during your time at St Andrews. In the night leading up to the main event you will discover an array of parties popping up throughout the town- many of which your academic parents will inform you of I am sure- and as you party through the night you will strive to remain awake until the crack of dawn (perhaps a few espresso martinis might help do the trick) before you join the crowds that begin to migrate to the shore. As
The Union Our vibrant student union is the social hub of this small town. With four bars (each with its own unique ambience and style) and Club 601, you will find plenty of space to socialise amongst the chaos with your friends over our renowned blue Pablos any night of the week — or if you are looking for something with an element of class, try the innovative and creatively named cocktails in Beacon Bar! Big and small events are hosted here throughout the year to keep us entertained, such as weekly themed Bops, Karaoke nights and entire building events that celebrate Halloween and Christmas. However crowded, loud and cheesy your nights at The Union become, a large amount of your best memories will be made here. Oktoberfest In celebration of Bavarian heritage this annual event em-
Photo: Samantha Chinomona
ulates a traditional German beer festival. It welcomes not only St Andrews University students to dig out their lederhosen and dirndls but international guests as well. The relaxed and merry atmosphere of this all-day festival will transport you away from your studies and into the midst of German culture so authentically created for us by das Komitee. Comprised of Bavarian food, a live band, rides, and litres upon litres of the finest brewed beer, this spirited festivity has much to offer. You will be washing down warm bratwursts and apfelstrudel with a cold Stein of “Paulaner” (or the occasional shot of Jägermeister) in no time. Auf Wiedersehen!
Photo: Samantha Chinomona
Szentek If you are looking to explore a unique and creative music scene that offers a variety of styles and encourages comfort over formality, Szentek is the place to go. Whether you already have a passion for techno, electronic and underground music, or you are eager to try something new, this event welcomes all students who are prepared to cook up a storm amidst the heavy and hearty sounds of both local and world renowned DJ’s. Szentek will provide you with an eclectic art and music experience, where anything goes. It is significantly cheaper than the majority of events in St Andrews and it
This year our usual
event-packed semesters will look quite different, but that does not mean we cannot build up excitement for what St Andrews has
embraces the wackiest of outfit choices that you feel best express yourselves. Get ready to witness physical artwork, soul-shaking sound systems and the mouth-watering work of graphic designers as they all come together to form this vibrant event. Balls The immense assortment of balls in St Andrews continues to grow in size every year and you may be a little overwhelmed by the choice at first, but do not forget that you have four years to explore them all and find your favourites! A few examples from the vast and eclectic mix are White Tie Reeling Ball, Gin Ball, Opening Ball, Glitter Ball, The Mermaid’s Christmas Ball, Welly Ball, and The Masquerade Ball. Societies, sports teams and even your university accommodation committees host balls, therefore they all greatly differ in style, price and purpose. Although they vary from traditional dances with sit down dinners to informal soirées with local catering trucks, you are always encouraged to dress up in your most elegant finery and dance the night away with your friends.
you make you way down the lowly lit steps to East Sands beach, your swimming costume hidden beneath a layer of warm clothes, you will notice hundreds of students gathering on the sand, small camp fires dotted in between them. When the sun begins to rise you will run down to the sea hand in hand with you friends, but watch out, the water can be rather icy, especially for those of you who choose to skinny dip!
Fashion shows Fashion Shows are our claim to fame here at St Andrews. If you did not know already, the beautiful Kate Middleton wooed
Prince William in a daring sheer dress on one of our catwalks during her time at the university. A huge amount of hype and kudos surround our fashion shows, and rightly so. The committees and models produce highly professional and innovative shows year after year that never fail to wow their audience. Amidst flashing lights and creative clothing, that will blow the designer socks off of any fashionista, each unique fashion show offers an unforgettable experience. We are extremely lucky to have six different shows in our university alone (Sitara, Ubuntu, Catwalk, FS, VS, and Don’t Walk), so there is plenty of opportunity to come along and support the abundance of talent on display. Conclusion As I am sure you can imagine, an extremely abnormal freshers week and semester is in store. However, what will remain the same is the hard work that event committees and students will be putting in to ensure your start at St Andrews is unforgettable. From black tie to fashion to underground music, there is sure to be an offering catering to all tastes. Despite the obvious setbacks and limitations you can rest assured everyone is eagerly waiting and preparing to host a plethora of diverse events, which give St Andrews its signature nightlife, in a safe and secure way.
Arts Societies in St Andrews MILO FARRAGHER-HANKS Culture Editor Here at St Andrews, we take pride in the fact that the study and appreciation of the arts isn’t restricted to the classroom. No matter what classes you’re taking, if you have an interest in the arts, the University’s many extra-curricular societies offer ample opportunities for participation and appreciation. Perhaps the most famous
the Gilbert & Sullivan society has been putting on the comic operas of its namesakes for fifty years, bringing their “topsy-turvy” absurdity and colourful spectacle to vivid, suitably eccentric life (I can personally vouch for their 2018 production of Princess Ida as one of the most accomplished pieces of student theatre I’ve ever seen). The
artistic institutions is the St Andrews Symphony Orchestra, the town’s largest orchestra, consisting of the finest instrumentalists among the student populace. Auditions take place during Week One in the new Music Centre, with all student musicians who feel they have the appropriate passion and drive encouraged to apply.
op ideas. Those whose interest in art leans more toward appreciation than creation (I count myself among that number), the Art History society offer casual social events such as pub quizzes (so brush up on the difference between your Cloisonnists and your Fauvists) and screenings of relevant films, alongside the opportunity to attend muse-
of our creative societies is Mermaids, a performing arts fund dedicated to helping students put on their own stage shows, providing the funding and expertise to turn concepts into fully-realised productions. Past works funded by Mermaids have ranged from original scripts to radical reinterpretations of Sophocles and Marlowe, from light comedies to brutal political tragedies. Each November they run the Freshers’ Drama Festival, which offers the opportunity for interested freshers to gain experience of putting on a show. The opportunities offered by Mermaids are not limited to St Andrews; several of the funds’ shows have made it to the Edinburgh Fringe in past years, while their weekly workshops include advice on auditioning and applying to drama school. Mermaids is the centre of a wide-ranging set of performing arts oriented societies. Those more inclined towards
Comedy Society offers the chance to try your hand at comedy, in stand-up (at the regular Sandy’s Sundown Standup events in Sandy’s Bar), sketch and improv (in a once-semesterly show), and written (for their satirical newspaper the Salvator) varieties. If you’re the kind of comedian who prefers to throw out the script entirely, then Blind Mirth might be the society for you; they stage free shows every Monday at the Barron Theatre, each week’s performance completely different to the last. Meanwhile, the annual performance by the Dance Club is a far more choreographed, planned affair – but the society is no less welcoming to newcomers, open to all levels of experience with dance and a multitude of styles. Creativity of a less public kind is represented too. Inklights is the university’s creative writing society, who seek to nurture aspiring writers through regular open-mic nights (typically
Conducted by the internationally renowned Iain McLarty, the Orchestra’s performances are stunning displays of student talent, with recent pieces including RimskyKorsakov’s Scheherazade and Stravinsky’s The Firebird. The Symphony Orchestra is part of the broader music society, who offer opportunities for musicians of all instruments and styles to hone their craft and meet like-minded people; their ensembles include a string orchestra, a chamber choir, a wind band, and the big band Big BUStA. The university’s first ever ukulele orchestra, Uklear Fusion, have lately gained some note outside of the university thanks to their much-loved appearances at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2018 and 2019; their sheer enthusiasm and inventive ukulele reworkings of popular songs make them one of the university’s most fun, best-loved societies. The Art Society, meanwhile, is the place for students
um and gallery exhibitions, talks by experts, academic conferences, and careers events alongside fellow art enthusiasts. While it is open to students from all disciplines (as are all societies here listed), the society offers a mentorship scheme for Art History students, putting first years in touch with older students to discuss the academic and practical nature of the course. If you see yourself behind (or in front of) the camera, then you might be interested in the Filmmaker’s Society. If you have a concept or a script for a short or even a feature, they can provide you with the appropriate equipment, and through extensive workshops provide guidance on aspects of film production from direction to cinematography to sound mixing. If you like your filmmaking a little more on-the-fly and high-stakes, then you might be just right for the 60 Hour Film Blitz. As the name would suggest, par-
theatre of the musical variety are directed towards the Just So society, which dedicates itself to viewing, appreciating, and putting on musical theatre productions with the fabulousness its name suggests. Yet more specifically,
held in the intimate environs of Aikmann’s), slam poetry sessions, extensive writing workshops and creative retreats, as well as the chance to publish your work in their journals and zines. One of our proudest
interested in developing their skills in the visual arts. In addition to weekly live drawing sessions, they also offer informative talks by visiting artists, as well as informal group creative sessions in which to exchange and devel-
ticipants have sixty hours to produce a three-minute-long short film, in accordance with a (typically highly specific) theme. The films are screened at a gala at the Byre Theatre, where they are judged by a jury (which this past year in-
The Orchestra’s performances are stunning displays of student talent, with recent pieces including Rimsky-
cluded veteran Marvel director Joe Russo) and eventually the best are awarded. It’s a great test of creativity and ingenuity under pressure, which should provide both memorably chaotic experiences and valuable filmmaking experience. On that note, one of the University’s most casual and welcoming societies is the Film Society, who meet each Thursday to watch a film, followed by a discussion in a near-by pub. With screenings in the past year alone ranging from Paris Is Burning to Hocus Pocus to
Blow-Up, it’s the perfect place to expand your knowledge of film and meet new people. Their once-a-semester pub quiz, meanwhile, will test your knowledge of film scores, plots, and the scrambled faces of iconic actors. Hopefully, the above should demonstrate the vibrant range of arts-related societies available in St Andrews. If you want to get more involved in the arts – whether that’s creating your own or simply broadening your taste – there’s never been a better time.
Throwing Yourself Into St Andrews JULIET BOOBBYER Deputy Culture Editor
Illustration: Rachel Cripps
Without trying to sound too old or wise or clichéd, it feels odd to think back that three years ago my friends and I were asking each other our names and what we were studying whilst holding a questionable mixture of vodka and cloudy lemonade in our hands; yet these three years have sped past, filled with a myriad of memories to look back on. However it’s all well and good hearing and saying these things now, but equally I could reflect on times when
it felt weird to call the streets of St. Andrews home, when my closest friends were strangers and when seeing red gowns everywhere might have meant I had accidentally entered a cult and, with some hindsight, what I now wish I had known back then. Don’t get me wrong, university has as many ups and downs as life outside of it. and it is often incorrectly recounted as an alcohol-fuelled couple of years with late-night discussions and dancing and a couple of pieces of coursework which you manage to quickly scribble down; more often, the late nights are often owing to hard work trying to work out your scribbles from earlier on. Having said that, it’s important to emphasise the multitude of societies and opportunities the university of St Andrews has on offer and to take advantage of a place where there is always something exciting going on. My biggest piece of advice – not that you asked but here I am telling you – is to throw yourself in as much as you want and can and to try as many new things as you dare. The great thing about having a four year course is that you are able to use your first year to properly explore all the clubs and societies that you might like to join or say yes to another event or experience – even when an essay is impatiently waiting to be written for the week after. I feel envious looking back at my first year self having all this time which I sadly do not. The main barrier, however, is getting involved in the society itself and going into a situation in which you might be alone or uncomfortable. You start to feel self-conscious and second guess yourself, wondering if there is anything interesting about you (is the fact I have a cat a fun fact?) and feel like you should definitely leave. But having been on both sides of this situation, everyone in that room is most likely eager to get to know you and for you to get involved. It is so incredibly easy to savour the security of your bedroom rather than take part in a Freshers’ interest meeting or a society social or talk to someone new in the dining room however
To learn more about the Arts Societies that are available, be sure to attend the virtual Freshers Fayre and consult the list of Societies that is found on the Union website. www.yourunion.net/activities/societies/ societiesa-z/
something I learnt is that there really is nothing you can lose by putting yourself out there. The worst that can happen is that you realise you do not fit into a group of people or the society isn’t for you. There are plenty of occasions I look back on in first year in particular when I felt worried to go to something by myself or to reach out to someone and honestly those are the memories which frustrate me to think back over. But whilst it is very easy for me to say this now three years on, I do remember how difficult and daunting it can be.
My biggest piece of advice – not that you asked but here I am telling you – is to throw yourself in as much as you want and can and to try as many new things as you dare.
By throwing myself into theatre, and The Saint – after several failed attempts where I was too scared though, don’t worry – I have created some of my strongest friendships and important experiences in which I have learnt valuable lessons about myself and working with other people. I am so glad that I did reach out and join but also equally I am so grateful to everyone who made me feel welcome and helped to pull me into a room because it has completely formed my St Andrews experience. Ultimately by putting yourself in situations beyond your comfort zone and cooperating with new people, I believe you might find you learn lessons just as valuable as those learnt in your lectures and tutorials.
Oh the Humanities! A guide to studying the Arts and Humanities MARIANNA PANTELI Deputy Culture Editor What are the Humanities? This question is not as clear as it seems. At St Andrews a Humanities student could be studying anything from Film to Medieval History. There are also grey areas of social science that melt into the humanities realm as well. However looking at what has been said about the humanities we can begin to see a clearer picture emerge. In A New History of the Humanities, the collection of disciplines has historically been defined as those which investigate expressions of the human mind. The British Academy for Humanities and Social Sciences, includes that the Humanities produces research that comes from a detailed understanding of human be-
if our library does not own it. Morebooks allows you to make recommendations to the library about books they should buy. All subject guides can be found on the library website and you can use these to find online resources specifically useful to your subject. The Community Bookshelf, which is both in the library building and accessible on the library homepage, provides reading recommendations on a theme. This is a great way to broaden your reading horizons and apply new perspectives to your subject. Attend society and subject talks Speaking of broadening your horizons. A great way to enrich your time at university is to attend subject and society talks. Over re-
haviour, cultures, societies and economies. c e n t This research can shape crucial decisions we need to make. These two reflections on the Humanities give us the idea that through these disciplines we learn to understand ourselves and other people. The things people do, make and say and the world that these Illustration: Maya Marie behaviours create. That’s some powerful knowledge to have. I months many of am entering my final year studying Philosophy these have been moved online. and my time studying humanities at St The Philosophy Society talks have been some Andrews has unlocked so much of the world of my favourite events to attend at university for me. Be it learning about the Cochabamba and you always leave with a renewed enthusiwater wars in Comparative Literature, the imasm for your subject. However, lots of non-acportance of Italian Neorealism in Film Studies, ademic societies host really interesting talks or the concept of Liberty in Philosophy. All as well. These can provide a new context for this to say that studying the Humanities is an some of the theories or literature you’ve been amazing opportunity to understand the world. However, there are definitely habits that can help with getting the most out of our subjects. I am by no means a study guru. I have had many late night caffeine fuelled essay writing sessions. I still struggle with the dense language of many Philosophers (looking at you Kant). But thanks to many people around me I have picked up some useful tips for making
I’d give “Ultimately the tip to not be
Know what services the library has to offer The library has loads of services you can use to access resources. A lot of these I was not aware of until later on in my degree. Inter-library loans is a service that allows you to request books from another library,
studying more enjoyable and enriching.
harsh on yourself along the way and enjoy all that these disciplines have to offer you.
studying. If you want to take broadening your knowledge to the page then have a look at the Diversity Reading List for scholarly articles. Be confident in conversation Contributing in seminars can be intimidating. However, I have found that I started getting much more out of my subjects when I was more engaged in seminars. Preparing well for seminars can make this much less daunting. I started noting down opinions on a reading as well as just notes about the reading. This way I had opinions I could confidently draw on in a seminar. I have also found that revising in groups, not all the time but every now and then, to be really useful. A few of us in my Comparative Literature classes would get together to discuss the books we were revising. I loved getting to talk in a more informal setting and bouncing ideas off each other. It does not always work out that you become friendly with people in your modules, but when it does make the most of it! Ask for help This is a cliché tip. However, I didn’t really take head of it straight away. Making use of tutors’ office hours is a great thing. If you get a disappointing grade for an essay, arrange to speak to your tutor about how you can improve. Often in a humanities subject, you will be happily typing away on your essay plan when a thought pops into your head. It seems to undermine a point you want to make or add some added complexity. That is also a great time to talk to your tutor to try and work out the idea fully. This can only really happen if you are not rushing a last minute essay. I have felt this frustration many times, wishing that I had more time to solve the rubix cube of thoughts going through my head. It is a far more enjoyable process when your thinking is not under the thumb of a fervent time ticker. To round off, I hope you will really enjoy all the things you learn studying the Arts and Humanities. It is a great experience. I have definitely found my degree more enriching as the years have gone on and I have developed the skills to work in better ways. That is a process that takes time in itself — so ultimately I’d give the tip to not be harsh on yourself along the way and enjoy all that these disciplines have to offer you.
What Joseph Wright has to Teach Freshers MAIRI ALICE DUN Staff Writer Ah, fine art, it can be so hard to relate to. The rich colors, idealised forms— not to mention the nudity—it just seems to represent a different time and a different set of out-of-reach ideals. In this painting by Joseph Wright of Derby from 1766, however, your average fresher might find a few lessons to take away as they begin their St Andrews career. First, a little background: In this painting, a travelling scientist, often called a philosopher, teaches a group of people about the solar system. He is using an orrery, a clockwork model which creates shadows to show the movement of planets around the sun. In this case, an oil lamp, hidden behind the boy in the front, replicates the sun’s rays. This painting is one of a series of three that Wright of Derby completed exploring the effects of light and shadow with Caravaggio-esque dramatism. Wright of Derby completed the work in 1766, a moment in which the Enlightenment was in full swing, and this painting gives its ideals a visible form. Light, a common metaphor for truth, is falling on the students, figuratively embodying scientific knowledge about the universe. The artist’s play here is a reverse of that of Caravaggio, in whose paintings the source is always out of sight, off-canvas and not visible (thereby signalling that truth’s origin is beyond human’s ability, being god-like and heavenly in origin). For Wright of Derby (and in the other two in this series) the source of the light is obvious,
art, like every “Well, subject, requires a
deeper look to get anything out of it. It requires you to be patient, think deeper, and to take your time.
but hidden by the people who crowd around it. Knowledge of how the universe works is unrecoverable here, but one has to look for it. Pardon my Art History geek-out, it has been a long summer. How does any of this apply to you? Well, art, like every subject, requires a deeper look to get anything out of it. It requires you to be patient, think deeper, and to take your time. Without doing so, this work is just a bunch of colors on a canvas; it won’t affect you in the long-term in the slightest. University, no matter which subject you take, requires the same discipline. A Philosopher Giving a Lecture on the Orrery focuses on the attitude of its subjects toward the scientific concept being explained in front of them, rather than the concept itself. The viewer can hardly see the planets and their movements depicted in the orrery, but we can see the people’s reaction to that knowledge through the (wait for it) lighting up of their faces. The children are clearly fascinated and curious, the little girl is pointing at the moon, the serious student in the top left of the composition is taking diligent notes, his master, in red, is correcting him and pointing something out to him that he has missed. The man in the blue coat at the bottom right corner looks overwhelmed by his own insignificance in the universe. Perhaps he has just realised how small he truly is? I’m sure you all remember first learning that the world does not revolve around you (or maybe for some that awakening is still on the
way). Your attitude toward your studies will probably at some point, I hope, be reflected in all of these figures. You’ll need to be patient again, because you won’t succeed right away. Unlike high school, you do not really have to achieve academically to succeed at university. No matter what your parents have told you, you are not here in St Andrews only to study. You are here to grow and develop and go through stuff that will change who you are, probably on a fundamental level. You don’t have to take my word on this, because it will just happen. Friendship, its ups and downs, for example, is one of the most important uni experiences you will have in the next four years. You will learn that you have to be patient for it. You’re not going to meet your best friends right away in most cases, but some friendships are more like getting on a train than reaching a final destination, you might be led to new people and experiences that help you grow as a person, and in those you’ll meet greater friends. How does this painting relate to you and your first year of uni? In the end, that’s really up to you, and your own interpretation. You do not have to have the same experience viewing it as I did. You could, in fact, have the opposite! That’s ok. I think, so long as your attitude is one of enthusiasm and determination to make the most of whatever you take on, your experience with this work, as well as university, is going to be the start of an amazing journey. Welcome!
So...erm..Sport? Adam’s Column
Places in St Andrews for Recreational Sport
ADAM ROBERTSON Sport Editor
CHARLOTTE COHEN Staff Writer
When I took the role of sport’s editor a little over a year ago, I, along with everybody else, did not expect to be writing in these circumstances. Usually, this section of the magazine would write itself – being sports editor allowed me the benefit of never being short on articles. In years gone by, The Saint would have provided a helpful guide to the numerous give-it-ago sessions which would normally take place at the university whilst our fortnightly issaues would track the progress of a variety of different clubs across the year. It goes without saying though that, at least for the foreseeable future, things are going to look a lot different. Certain sports, golf (which is in no short supply in St Andrews) being the obvious one, was one of the first to resume. Whilst it was obviously brilliant to be able to turn our attention once again to the Premier League as well as the golf and tennis tours, it is a luxury only afforded to those who exist at
The postponement of BUCS fixtures until 2020 at the earliest, and the cancelling of preseason will be a disappointment to incoming and returning students alike. With the sports centre also closed until further notice you may be wondering how on earth to get in your daily exercise when you come back to university. Well not to worry, we’ve got you covered with all the spots in St Andrews to have a go at some recreational sport while we wait for the resumption of university sport. Although the football pitches at the sports centre can’t be used at the moment, there’s a myriad of other grassy spaces around town to have a kick about. Down by East Sands there’s plenty of grass space to play — although it’ll have to be jumpers for goalposts. Slightly further out of town, next to the St Andrews bowling club is another grassy expanse that makes it perfect to kick a ball around. These parks are also spacious enough for a whole host of oth-
the top level. As students, we cannot exist in the bubbles that they are able to nor can we devote our entire life to one single game. Rather than just an extended lament though about the potential lack of sport, we’ve put together a couple of articles for you about where to watch and play sport amongst yourselves. Hopefully it can serve as a useful guide for you in one way or another. With so much up in the air, we thought it best not to speculate and so for any more information the best place to visit would be the gym’s website where they’ll keep you updated on the facilities and how things are going to work with regards to restrictions and government guidelines.
er recreational sports — take a rugby ball and have your own game of rugby. Conversely, take a frisbee and have your own game of ultimate or regular.
throughout town and even just outside St Andrews meaning there’s something to suit every ability.
All the best for your first year at St Andrews.
are plenty “There of courses set
The beach is the perfect place for any sport — be it football, rugby or frisbee. Another great sport to try out on the beach is beach cricket; of course you’ll need your own equipment but having to run across the sand adds another level of difficulty. Another option for seaside sports are those such as badminton or volleyball — although you may have to forego the net for this one. Why not dust off those running
Illustration: Rachel Cripps shoes and take a stroll or a jog along one of the many beaches St Andrews has to offer. For a straight path with views of The Old Course and the town’s incredible skyline, West Sands is the place for your run. East Sands, sitting next to the pier, is another great running spot with views of the caravan park and out to sea. A more obvious option for recreational sport in St Andrews is of course, playing a round of golf. There are plenty of courses set throughout town and even just outside St Andrews meaning there’s something to suit every ability. Or if you don’t fancy a full round of golf, the St Andrews Golf Links driving range sits just across from Agnes Blackadder and Andrew Melville halls of residence — with views overlooking the Old Course. Whether you’ve just arrived in St Andrews and thought now would be a perfect time to take up golf, or if you’re a seasoned player looking for your golf fix that isn’t playing a full course — the driving range is the perfect place to do that. Tennis is another great, social distance friendly sport and the St Andrews Tennis Club courts, right in the centre of town, are a great place to play. The courts on Doubledykes road are just up the steps from North Haugh, right next to St Andrews museum. The club are taking court bookings for visitors at the moment so why not have a practice until the competitive season starts up again. There’s plenty of options throughout the town to get outside and get yourself moving. So until sports return, and before the weather starts to go south, try to make the most of all the recreational sports opportunities St Andrews has to offer.
Live Sport in St Andrews SAM MITCHINSON Deputy Sports Editor Nothing beats live sport. The atmosphere and the tension is best enjoyed with one’s own two eyeballs and no fancy technology or cameras in-between. Nevertheless, the nature of geography necessitates that there must be some compromise. It’s quite difficult to watch all sport live, and in this turbulent time of COVID-19, it is in fact illegal to do so. Thus, sports lovers are forced to the next best thing, watching the ongoing sporting battles at the greatest of all British institutions: the pub. St Andrews certainly does not have its shortage of pubs and bars from which to watch, but in the current circumstances, it is important to get a clear idea of which of the many venues within St Andrews are the best for sport viewing. Dunvegan Commonly described as the 19th hole at St Andrews, the Dunvegan is an untouchable institution. Visitors travel from far and wide just to drink within its hallowed walls, staring up at the pictures of world famous golfers, celebrities, and presidents that have visited the Dunvegan over its existence. The Dunvegan remains probably the nicest place within St Andrews to watch golf and anything else that may happen to be playing on its screens. Nothing yet has quite come close to the feeling of watching Tiger Woods cement his comeback at the 2019 Masters surrounded by almost one hundred fellow fans willing him to victory. It’s an awful shame that the Ryder Cup won’t be played this year and will instead be played in 2021, but with the Masters set to be played in November, there is no doubt where the best place to watch it will be.
Photos: Samantha Chinomona Golf Inn My first trip to the Golf Inn was admittedly not with the intention of watching sport there, but instead of enjoying a nice cold lager on its ever popular balcony area. Unfortunately, the balcony was rather overpopulated, and I was instead forced inside the pub itself. Much to my surprise however, was the presence of several large screens inside, from which I could watch
the ongoing snooker. Little did I know that the Golf Inn was the gathering place for a large number of the St Andrews snooker community, and I was soon involved in a great debate with fellow patrons on the merits of Hendry vs. O’Sullivan. This rather unique place of passion has subsequently remained one of my most favourite places to watch sport within St Andrews, with a student discount that ensures a trip there won’t break the bank.
New Co. New Co is the Rolls Royce of sports watching establishments. While some may pine after the former sweaty and dingy atmosphere of Rascals, New Co is certainly an upgrade when it comes to watching sports. The addition of countless numbers of screens, all with the ability to be tuned to the particular event you wish to watch, is something that can’t be matched elsewhere. Indeed New Co probably comes the closest in St Andrews to being what could be described as a “sports bar”, with plentiful seating and good food. This goes alongside popular events for sporting occasions such as the Rugby World Cup final and the Superbowl, totalling to a strong start for the newest drinking establishment on this list.
Molly Malones Yet another frequent St Andrews haunt that has recently undergone a makeover, Molly Malones has retained much of the Blue Stane’s famous atmosphere. Malones sold itself to me during last year’s Champions League knockouts, with numerous large screens displaying all of the concurrent fixtures in high definition. Watching Man City’s 7-0 obliteration of Schalke alongside Ronaldo’s incredible comeback hattrick against Atlético Madrid was truly some-
thing special. Molly Malones also carries a particularly good atmosphere during the rugby season, and one could be sure of a sizeable crowd during the Six Nations, particularly when England play Scotland. Let’s just hope that we’ll be able to see more of that this year.
The Rule The reason for the Rule’s inclusion on this list can be aptly summed up in just two words: cheap pints. While there are indeed multiple screens to watch the ongoing sport, the student discount is definitely the Rule’s greatest advantage. Combined with a friendly and helpful bar staff, a good atmosphere, and the presence of beer garden, this is certainly one of the best locations in town for a student to watch sport.
The Union While obviously the ability to enter the union or hit the circuit at the famous “main bar” remains limited in the near future, one can live and dream that it will be open at some point this year. The opportunity to be both socialising with one’s friends and still keeping an eye on the cricket that is ongoing in Australia at that very moment is a great advantage. Outside of the night-time, the union remains a very nice place to watch sport, and the Sandy’s bar big screen affords a very detailed view of the ongoing action. Indeed, the union remains one of the few places where you can play a game of pool while still keeping an eye on the sport, let’s just hope that we will see it open this year.