You may have noticed on your usual night out at the LCR that there are now people standing around with bright orange tops on. So who are they? Well the student union have introduced new additions to our beloved Damn Good and A-list events, ‘Alcohol Impact crew members’, and I couldn’t be happier to welcome them with open arms. I feel we should all take a second to appreciate the new staff and the responsibility the SU have taken to make our nights out safer.
Yet for me the name and role of these crew members was shrouded in mystery until a couple of weeks ago. After speaking to Sophie Clayton, a member of the alcohol impact crew, she explained, ‘our aim with Alcohol Impact is just to make sure everyone has a good night. Whether it’s someone making you feel uncomfortable, you’ve drank a little bit too much and want somewhere safe to sober up, or you’re just a little bit homesick or upset, we’re always up for a chat. We have a dedicated safe space in The Hive next to the gender neutrals, and we also walk around the LCR so feel free to come and grab someone in an orange t-shirt!’
Who better than fellow students to help you when you are at your lowest on a night out? They have either been in your position or know when things haven’t gone your way and you just need someone to talk to. This is one of the best decisions made by the SU to show how they really do value our welfare.
Furthermore, these new jobs aren’t only to the benefit of those in need on a night out, but the employees themselves. Sophie Clayton also said, ‘I love the job we do, making someone smile and knowing you’ve improved their night really makes you feel valued. I’ve always been the mum of my group, looking after people on nights out, but now I get paid for it – whilst still getting to listen to all the classic LCR songs!’ It’s touching to know employees aren’t just there for the money. This care given by these student employees is a true testament to how we as students are part of a community and should be taking care of each other, rather than finding reasons to scorn each other in places like Concrete Confessions.
Would I personally take the role? No, I am not one with a strong enough stomach to deal with those who are sick on a night out. However, I admire those who do. We can set an example to those who do not recognise the need we have for such measures, and that with more dangers emerging on club nights we need to look out for each other. I applaud the staff and the SU for their role in taking steps towards protecting our students’ wellbeing, and I hope that all of us here at UEA appreciate these employees and take gratitude in their support.