Should Universities offer alcohol free accommodation?

Contributors argue for and against the idea that universities should give prospective students the option of alcohol free or quieter accommodation when selecting first year housing.


By Ashavari Baral

When I first moved to University in 2016, I imagined that University dorms would remind me of the ones I saw in movies – girls and boys in and out of each other’s rooms, loud music blaring from afar, the smell of testosterone and beer and a big pile of red solo cups outside everyone’s room (okay, maybe I watch too many American college chick flicks). However, when I arrived to Aberdare Hall, Cardiff University’s only all-girl accommodation, but living in quieter halls didn’t prove disappointing. Now, for starters I am not a quiet person in the least. I am probably the biggest people person you’d meet, but I liked the fact that my halls of residence were opposed to who I was.

The girls I lived with were more on the shy side and liked this world of serenity and peace away from the hustle and bustle of the city. I genuinely think that quiet accommodation can do wonders for a student’s life – it doesn’t restrict them from going to the louder, more sociable accommodations and meeting people, and at the same time allows them to concentrate on settling in and focusing on their education. I wouldn’t think it stops you from experiencing the social aspect of university, as people in quieter accommodations could be more outgoing than you think. I met livewires at my halls that were amazing support systems when I left home. A quieter environment allows you to get to know your flat mates better, beyond the drunk faces you see at parties in louder accommodations.

Preferring the peace and quiet after a loud night at Revs or an exhausting day at lectures is exactly what the doctor ordered, and I did not regret it one bit. Maybe expanding your horizons in first year means adapting to your independence and your freedom, and the best way to do that is in a more peaceful setting.


By Ashley Boyle

I personally think that not only is this an option that I wouldn’t prefer, but it’s unfeasible. Here at Cardiff, we are asked to make a list of 10 university halls in order of preference when applying for accommodation.

If a group of students have put busy Talybont at the top but are dealt quiet, non-drinking halls, does the university really think that their outlook of drinking culture at university will change?

Surely this idea only works on the premise that everyone within the building has the same attitude. But based on the fact that those who apply late or join Cardiff through clearing and are assigned these halls will not have these preferences, it’s not achievable. How will they enforce the ‘Alcohol Free’ rule? Bag searches at the door?

I also feel that alcohol is a definite ice breaker for freshers. It can be daunting not knowing anyone or anywhere, and having a drink (though not excessively) lets students open up and relax a bit more given the strange and new situation.

The people I met at my halls during freshers are still my housemates in third year and are now lifelong friends. In our first year we were spread out over Gordon Hall and had it not been for socialising in one of the kitchens having a drink (we had no other social space), I may well have missed the opportunity to get to know them all.

I haven’t got a really strong relationship with those on my course, so if not for my halls, perhaps I wouldn’t still be here.

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