Everyone has a story involving a bouncer. Whether it was about that night your mate got kicked out of TP for spilling a drink, or that time you weren’t let into Arena (sorry, Unit 1) because the guy on the door thought you were on MD, it seems like almost everyone has something to say about nightclub security. This week we decided to investigate how accurate this perception is, and whether Exeter’s clubs are doing enough to ensure students remain safe on night’s out.
The results of the survey were mixed. Just over half of students claim to have experienced aggressive behaviour from door staff in Exeter, but more worrying was that in over 70 per cent of these incidents, the level of aggression was described as either ‘unnecessary’ or ‘excessive’. Heavy-handedness seems commonplace amongst Exeter bouncers, with worrying personal accounts describing a lack of care and compassion shown by the men (and women) in black. Whilst it is difficult to envy the job of nightclub security, who often have to deal with great swathes of drunk, disorderly and downright rude students, some of the anecdotes suggest that bouncers may be overreacting and resorting to violence unnecessarily, rather than trying to keep students safe.
It was pleasing, nonetheless, to see the Lemon Grove rewarded for their efforts in ensuring customers have a pleasant experience when throwing shapes and downing VK’s. The Best Bar None Scheme does a fantastic job in reducing alcohol related crime and anti-social behaviour, and the Lemmy came up trumps at their awards ceremony last week, winning the award for ‘Best Student Venue.’ This represents a huge improvement from two years ago, when two bouncers were fired from the venue for aggressive behaviour.
Ultimately, bouncers have a duty of care to their clientele, and we hope to see more being done in the future to address reports of unnecessary violence and aggression; we are paying customers after all.
Our front page also features concerns over the annual housing headache. The rush is on. Despite constant reassurance that student housing does not need to be sorted until January, people are still panicking. We’re only in mid-November and already half of Cardens’ properties are snapped up and three quarters of Star lettings are taken. There are fears that the popular letting agencies simply won’t have enough digs left for the Housing Fair, organised by the Students’ Guild, in January. Our hearts go out to the Freshers’ out there, already committed to shacking up with their BFFs, the same people they’ll most probably despise this time next term.
Elsewhere in News, Exeter students emerged from deadline despair last Sunday to show their solidarity with the recent victims of terrorism. After the irrational brutality within the Bataclan and beyond, the Vigil for Humanity saw students of all ages, backgrounds and creeds standing together to acknowledge the tragic events in Paris, Beirut and elsewhere. As the Forum steps filled, the Vigil not only demonstrated the wonderful compassion within the Exeter community, but also the power of unity in times of atrocity. For the full story, see page 3.
On the famous faces front, two more interviews grace our pages this fortnight. In Features (page 12) we chat to Phil Collins – not the drummer, the Blairite – to grab an insight into the workings of the political machine. Former Chief Speechwriter to Tony Blair, Collins was the PM’s right-hand man and in the wake of the Iraq inquiry, his comments prove to be an interesting read. Meanwhile, Sport caught up with England Cricket’s leading lady and longest serving Captain Charlotte Edwards. Having been at the helm for a decade, Edwards talks recent Ashes disappointment, battling ageism and the growth of the girls’ game. Turn to page 37 to see her thoughts.