In fact, for many students socializing is almost as high up on their agendas as is the determined acquisition of scholastic knowledge – putting it mildly.
We shouldn’t be sniffy about it either. Learning for the first time how to exist in adult society independent of parental guidance and control is an important rite of passage – every bit as worthwhile as studying quadratic equations or the possible role of variable soil moisture content in the English industrial revolution.
So for students, including freshers arriving at their universities for the first time, to be confined to their rooms in halls of residence and even, in the case of the Scottish universities, threatened with expulsion if they so much as set foot inside a pub, is a pretty extreme imposition on normal life.
The justification cited by politicians and university authorities is, of course, coronavirus. With most students only just back on campuses and many more traveling to them this weekend, there have already been several COVID outbreaks.
The largest to date has been at the University of Glasgow where, as of mid-week, there had been more than 120 confirmed cases attributed to the manic socialising that traditionally takes place in Freshers’ Week.
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September 26, 2020