Campus Watch: Christmas Edition

University of Limerick: Union Cancels Christmas Knees-Up

The University of Limerick released a statement last week claiming that its main union bar would not be serving alcoholic drinks to punters in the run-up to the Christmas break.

In a Facebook post, The Stables Club, Limerick’s equivalent of Terrace, stated: “There are no Christmas Days in The Stables… this year. Official or non official. We took this decision on safety grounds”.

One of Limerick University’s previous students who commented on the Facebook post claimed the decision to be ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’. The Stables Club will continue to serve food throughout the festive period but drinks are off the menu for the two days which have traditionally constituted the bar’s ‘Christmas Days’.

The nearby Scholars Club also took the decision not to serve alcoholic drinks to students over this period. It looks like it may be a sober Christmas for those at the University of Limerick this year.

Lily Mead

University of Portsmouth: ‘All I Want for Christmas is Dr Who’, Calls Student

Niall Moran, a student from the University of Portsmouth has launched a petition pleading for the return of the Christmas special for 2019.

Former showrunner Steven Moffat explained how many of the show’s writers had run out of Christmas related material, and exhausted most of their options for festive specials.

The show’s last two Christmas specials performed particularly badly, perhaps contributing to the decision. Instead, Dr Who plans a New Year’s special this year; this is the first change to the iconic ‘Christmas Special’ since the show’s 2005 revival.

As viewings dropped for Dr Who’s tenth series, the move to New Year’s Day marks part of a larger revamp for series eleven.

On why he launched the petition, Niall said:

“For the first time in 13 years, families won’t be gathering round with their Christmas dinner to watch Doctor Who – and I think that’s quite disappointing.

“It has become a tradition for many families and from the petition, it seems to have affected a lot more people than I had expected.”

Megan Cummings, News Editor

Washington State University: Could Christmas Songs be Bad for Our Health?

A study, conducted by Washington State University, found that shoppers are more likely to spend money when exposed to Christmas music and Christmas scents, such as pine or mulled wine, as they feel more positive about the environment of the shop.

This leads to a vicious cycle of money related stresses, stemming back to the Christmas tunes.

Psychological experts have even suggested that playing festive music too soon can have adverse health effects.

According to Dr Peter Christenson, Professor of Rhetoric and Media Studies at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, listening to Christmas music can trigger anxiety that reminds us of the financial and emotional stresses relating to the season. He also argues that the tunes potentially trigger people to spend greater amounts of money while shopping, resulting in even greater stress levels.

Stress can cause physical side effects including headaches, elevated blood pressure and even chest pain, which can raise the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma and arthritis. The stress hormone, cortisol, can also increase the levels of fat tissue in your body, resulting in weight gain.

All because of some strategically-played Cliff Richards – who’d have thought?

Charlotte Loughlin

Virginia Tech University: Do They Know it’s Christmas Time? Lecturer John Lewis Can’t Escape It!

A member of staff from Virginia Tech University has found himself the star of Twitter’s Christmas ad.

John Lewis, a computer science lecturer, is inundated every year after Christmas with tweets following the release of the retail chain John Lewis’s Christmas ad.

Lewis has the Twitter handle @johnlewis which many people confuse with the Twitter handle of the store: @jlandpartners.

Lewis is good-natured and helpful in his replies to the thousands of tweets he receives, often directing them to the correct Twitter handle of the retail store. He has amassed a following of 61,000 people, despite living 3,683 miles from the UK.

In response, Lewis said:

“I think it’s hilarious that people mistake me for the UK store and I do my best to direct them to the right place. I see a massive spike in tweets at this time of year and I always watch the John Lewis advert, especially as it becomes a big part of my conversation.’

Twitter’s ad makes several references to previous John Lewis adverts, however, the campaign is branded #NotARetailStore, a hashtag adapted by Lewis himself when the tweets begun.

Eleanor Smith, News Editor

Image: [BBC]