Students paid to look after drunk peers
How many hundreds of nights out in your university career have ended up in either you being hauled home by your mates, or you valiantly endeavouring to flag down a taxi with a semi-conscious person in tow? Everyone has done it at some point so it’s always fine, no one minds because you will be there for them when it’s their turn to be the king or queen of debauchery.
How would you feel if you knew they were getting paid to do it? The sober–er person wouldn’t awake feeling a little bit smug at not being the buffoon for once but guilty at having taken money, surely?
Well no, not according to a recent online article written by Cambridge News reporting that students at St John’s College Cambridge, have been signing up to a scheme that pays students £100 to collect their drunken fellow students who get a hefty fine to pay for the pleasure.
The students involved in the scheme are required to stay on-call for the upcoming events May Bumps and May Week at Cambridge, when students are expected to become particularly riotous. They are trained by a college nurse and only paid if they are actually called out, and if they don’t wish to accept the money they can donate it to charity.
The benefits of such a scheme are obvious, students get home safely under the supervision of someone who is trained to look after them and sober; but is a huge fine really necessary?
You feel guilt and shame after a heavy night as it is, let alone the thought that weighs on your shoulders ‘what did I say and who now hates me for being a moron?’. In my experience that tends to be punishment enough, and honestly if someone said I was going to be fined I would not be thrilled about it but neither would it stop me doing it again. It might encourage me to do it less frequently but not stop altogether.
One of the big questions being raised about the scheme is how students are bound to feel awkward when they know they paid their friend to look after them. If not the payer but the payee at least may feel less than comfortable with what is effectively the position of employee for an evening.
Thus far St John’s College are using the May events as a trial period for the scheme, and if it is successful it may be brought in all year round.
Let us know your opinion on the scheme: do you agree with the fine, people getting paid to take care of their friends, or do you think all the money made from the fines should go to charity?