Tom Davies 30/09/14

tom davies

My first term at York seemed to last forever. The halcyon days of the fall of 2012 stretched out into an immortal moment when I was, for the first time, perhaps truly happy, truly content, feeling like there was no place I’d rather be in the whole wide world. I’m now about to enter my seventh term at this University, and by extension, my third and final year.

My feelings now are currently those of focused, meticulous panic. This is the endgame, my swan song. The grim, terminal prognosis of graduation looms and the darkness is beginning to set in. I’ve made my plans, my list of what I want to accomplish with my last year at Uni. It’s rather long, and I can’t help but curse myself for not doing more of it last year rather than spending all that time watching TV and losing money at cards, or during first year, when it seemed like I had all the time in the world.

But, and I hate to piss all over your bonfire this early on Fresher’s, you really don’t have all the time in the world. So let me serve as a walking warning to you all, although don’t for the love of God pity me. I’m brilliant, they don’t give this job to just anyone you know (they really do).

Why wait until you’re as wizened as me to cram in all those things you meant to get round to doing? Do it  now, carpe jugulum, go for the throat.

JCRC and YUSU elections are held every year, why not run? Not as a serious candidate, obviously, that would be ridiculous. No, run as a vaguely subversive joke candidate, you’ll never win anyway so there’s no harm in it (please note that you might win, we elected a man dressed as a pirate YUSU President once, please be careful, you don’t want to end up actually having to do the job).

At University, everybody ends up a tad short on cash at some point. But don’t let that hamper you, let student poverty drive you to new experiences! I’m reliably led to believe that a certain supermarket in York throws out perfectly good food of an evening, and that clandestine bands of students are known to raid their bins. Or how about volunteering for one of the numerous money making opportunities available here on campus? All you have to do is look. What about applying to be part of a psychological study? Like the Stanford Prison Experiment, or that crap Dr. Milgram was up to. Those both sounded like fun? Well, until they got out of hand, obviously.

Sometimes it seems like York has a society for just about everything, but I’m sure we can think of a gap in the market if we put our heads together. The stupider the better, it’ll be even more hilarious when you get Union funding. I had an idea in first year for forming a society called Frontsoc, an organisation which defensively and suspiciously refused to tell you what it did, whilst repeatedly claiming that there was nothing to see here and that you should damn well keep on walking.

What about this. I once wrote a feature for this parish on the greatest ever student pranks. Merry higher education rogues who ascended to the hallowed halls of trickster Olympus. Things have gone downhill since then, but we can bring it back. I’m not suggesting anything specific you could (or could not) do, but in the 1930s the Harvard satire magazine stole a state emblem – which bafflingly was an enormous wooden codfish. The theft caused a three day, state wide manhunt which involved the dragging of the Charles River and a Lampoon editor being detained at a Philadelphia airport for several hours. Now if that doesn’t inspire you all to greatness, I don’t know what will.

In all seriousness, though – and this is my message to you all – whatever you do, be sure to enjoy yourself this year, and make sure when you graduate, you can look back and say you didn’t totally waste the time you spent here. You don’t have to listen to my suggestions. In fact it’s probably best if you don’t take my ideas entirely to heart, because I’m pretty sure some of the things I’ve advised you to do over the course of this article exist in what is broadly known as a ‘legal grey area’.

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When I was but a wee lad beginning my three year stretch at the University of York, the supermarket on campus was called Costcutter. We called it Throatcutter, because – y’know – it was outrageously expensive.

A rebrand later and the now Nisa supermarket on campus has successfully succeeded in changing the sign above the door and absolutely nothing else. Nisa was the old supplier to Costcutter and thus we are still treated to the exquisite range of Heritage foodstuffs, which I assume is a subsidiary company of Beelzebub Inc.

My personal favourite is the cheese. Which manages to be curiously overpriced and yet has the consistency of silly putty.

I don’t understand how this issue has only just come up. Go to YourShop if you must shop on campus. Nisa get away with it because we’re wilfully complicit in their monopoly. Tell them where to go.

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For those of you who don’t keep up with the never-ending party political media circus, UKIP held their party conference in Doncaster last week.

Now, the various scandals which have befallen the purple clown car are well documented, but sadly for this year’s conference they’ve managed to do no more than sit around formulating policy. Which has almost ended up being worse.

The latest UKIP showstopper is a plan to lower tuition fees for students studying for maths or science degrees, reopening the millenia old wounds between BA and BSc and reaffirming the good old-fashioned stereotype of the right as a bunch of bean counting, cultural Luddites who think effete, arty sorts such as myself should be up in front of a McCarthyite Un-British activities committee as suspected commies.

Truly inspired work chaps, well done.

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As many of you will have noticed, the library has installed a new atrium thing-a-ma-jig. I’m sure if you asked them they would tell you that it was designed for some reasonable sounding purpose or other. But I know their game! They just want to force York’s increasingly maligned smoker population a little further back across the bridge, like the scum we invariably are.

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Top marks once again to Disabled Students Officer Thomas Ron with his involvement in yet another victorious campaign. This one to introduce sugar free drinks into The Courtyard for diabetic students. Tron is certainly a man to watch this year.

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I’ve been at the grand reopening of the new and improved Courtyard this week. Reaffirming the idea that I will do almost anything for a free drink and a chance to flaunt my position in the Student Media.

It’s all had a bit of a polish, and we await with bated breath the return of the King. The Courtyard King that is, which appears to be some semi mythical menu item about which information is frankly rather vague.

I spoke to the manager, Max, who assures me the new set up makes service far quicker and more efficient, which can only be a good thing, although I would also suggest shooting anyone who insists on paying by card.

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THIRDS YEAR RESOLUTIONS

1) Stop trying to grow a beard, Tom, you can’t and you look fucking ridiculous.

2) Visit King’s Manor just to prove it actually exists.

3) Find meaning in this empty, theatre of the absurd we call life.

Tom Davies
Tom Davies is a York Vision columnist and generally unpleasant, self pitying human being.