Freshers' Fair : Take 2

Despite the performances for ReFreshers' on the 28th of January being cancelled, I decided to go to the Forum anyway... to see what it was that others missed, or decided to miss.

I met Vice President of UHSU Communications and Media, Thom Palser outside the Forum before this vid and on his suggestion, I decided to hang out near the Project Soapbox booth. And when Thom came back, we did a joint video blog promoting the project !

The only other blogger from Project Soapbox whom I met during ReFreshers' was Kate Snowdon, and I decided to do a joint vid with her too.

And here are the still pictures I've taken — this time I've really reduced the resolution by a great deal.

There were societies and booths of all kinds...

...the officials from UHSU (as you can see, I hung out near the UHSU booth for quite a while...),


...the charitable ones,

...the ones dedicated to passions, hobbies, interests and convictions,

...the ones dedicated to people of a certain origin,


...the sporty ones,

...even those which I do not condone,

all bathing under the light of the chandelier-which-doesn't-at-all-look-like-a-chandelier...

...and the purple lights of the entrance.

I began to think, as I left the Forum after taking what I had to take.

Why did ReFreshers' have so little turnout ? The number one answer would be complacency, in that the majority of freshers have already attended the first Freshers' Fair at the beginning of the academic year and think they've seen it all... but to address this, shouldn't there be something to resolve the complacency ? It's not like we've seen the same thing over and over again. It only comes twice a year. The people who came were either newcomers, or people who have already been University of Hertfordshire students and have decided to pay a visit to the Forum. And there should've been a few incentives to the whole thing — performances, for instance. Crush Radio can entertain us only to a certain extent, depending on the show. (Yes, Crush Radio, the university's radio station, was on throughout the fair.)

It also made me think of what has become of society. As I understand, the UHSU takes a neutral approach. Societies from every end of the behavioural spectrum have gathered at the Forum with displays, banners and incentives. I've explicitly stated in this post that I do not condone the habits of some of them, and for reasons which I may consider taking into another discussion apart from this. Here, the question wasn't about "tolerance" as today's youth culture puts it.

It was, rather, centred on the understanding that we have a gathering full of human beings, flocking to people who share common interests, and on a more serious note, flocking to organisations to let their identity stand out. I am no different. I am an unregistered but proud contributor of the UHSU Catholic Society. The people flocking to different societies, even societies that clash with us, not only look for a sense of identity and belonging, but also search for the truth about themselves, about their surroundings, about the things they do... and not all of them are going to be satisfied, even though they feel that way.

I wasn't disappointed with ReFreshers' — I had no regrets going out to the Forum and blogging about this today, but I wasn't particularly elated either. I left the Forum with the understanding that the concept of running many societies can be a wonderful one, but an imperfect one at the same time.


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