LUU LEADERSHIP RACE: Sober spaces and sober socials

Talya is running for Activities Officer, here are her views on what LUU can do to accommodate those who aren’t big on drinking.

Here at Leeds, students love a good night out. Working in Terrace I’ve seen just how big the turn out to Otley Runs and nights like Fruity are. Whilst I can’t actually remember my first Otley Run with Devonshire Hall in Freshers week, the photos suggest I had a good time!

Lately I’ve noticed that whilst drinking is something a large proportion of students will inevitably do, there isn’t much on offer to appeal to those who don’t. Don’t get me wrong I love a good Pinot Grigio but I think we all know that being the only sober one on a night out can be disheartening at times. People accuse you of being a party pooper, they insist on buying you a drink despite your polite refusal, and you end up being assigned to designated driver or looking after that one mate who always drinks a bit too much (you know who you are).

Over the last few years across UK student bodies and especially at Leeds, trends are changing. A recent survey from LUU shows that at least a third of students here don’t drink. Despite this, the Union itself still offers little in the way of events that don’t revolve around “getting rekt”.

Some may call this an anti-booze rhetoric – I’m not calling for a 21st century prohibition. Fruity will remain the pillar of society we know and love. What I am advocating is the consideration of students outside of the majority when it comes to planning LUU events. Bars in town aren’t likely to offer this, and LUU has a duty to listen to students and incorporate their interests into the design and organisation of activities. Rewarding Clubs and Societies who make efforts to diversify in this way will encourage a more inclusive range of events and activities.

All students deserve to be supported and represented within LUU, but not all students want the same things. The demand for sober spaces and socials is growing, and I’m the one who can serve them to you.


Talya Stitcher, running for Activities Officer.

(Image courtesy of Leeds List)

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