THE STEREOTYPICAL image of students having a good time by partying until the early hours in bars and clubs, is out of date according to new research.
Instead it suggests young people are more likely to get their kicks out of joining societies and raising money for good causes.
The findings are from a research project called ‘Express Yourself’ - commissioned by Leeds University Union. It shows that students who participate in clubs or societies rate their social lives more highly than those who do not.
The university has also said sales of alcohol in the Union’s own venues have fallen – the decline in ‘wet’ drink sales over the last two and a half years is down by 37.5 per cent in the Union’s night clubs and 12.5 per cent in its other bars, while sales of food being shared by friends in the bar environment has risen. And within a three year period membership of the Union’s clubs and societies has doubled from 11,583 in 2011 to 21,946 students in 2014.
There are now more than 300 clubs and societies on offer at Leeds University Union compared to a handful when it was launched in 1939. They span hobbies and interests like skydiving, pantomime and knitting as well as some quirky additions like the Quidditch and Harry Potter Society, which claims to practice broomstick flying. And since 2012, Leeds RAG – the Union’s Raise and Give Society which organises fundraising activities - has raised almost £600k for worthy causes.
Bradley Escorcio, Union affairs officer, said: “At Leeds we’re seeing unprecedented numbers of students taking part in our diverse societies and clubs – they are a great way to make new friends and develop new skills. Students who are involved with activities outside their studies are much more likely to be happy and positive about life at university.”