The Student
A look at the archives: welfare begins at home
by Vaishnavi Ramu, 19/01/20

The title of this  week’s archive is ‘Welfare Begins At Home.’ At first glance, this could suggest taking care of oneself at home or, more ominously, perhaps a stab at giving charity overseas.

However, the article does not appear to be about either of the two. It starts off by discussing the discovery of a sign of a pub in Newington, that bears ‘the rather brusque sign NO STUDENTS WILL BE SERVED’.

It goes onto to say that the BBC contacted the Association Welfare Convener, Derek Ogg,  and asked to meet him there with some fellow students; it is clear that, from the outset, this sentiment against students is about to be challenged.

Mr Ogg, his friends and the owner of the pub were all interviewed; and when asked what he had against students, the owner stated ‘the only thing [he] had against  them was that they didn’t wash, and wore long coats’. This appears to be a rather amusing sentiment from the owner to us today, but proper dressing was far more important then.

Eventually, Mr Ogg and the students persuaded the owner that perhaps not all students were ‘rowdy’, and that some of them did in fact work.

Nonetheless the reader will be surprised with the last few paragraphs: when a student colleague asked Mr Ogg if he would buy a round, he suddenly retaliated stating that they had already gotten free drinks.

The article ends on a cheeky note, suggesting maybe Mr Ogg will make a down payment once he receives his grant.

One cannot help but think of comparing this situation with students today, often stereotyped to be ‘selfish’, ‘loud’, or ‘lazy’.

The current generation are constantly told to stop being so idealistic, to go out and live in the real world; and to actually give a few pennies to the homeless man down the street, rather than tweeting about it.

While there may be some truth in young people needing to practice what they preach on social media (which can arguably be applied to anyone of any age using the same platforms), it is clear that with every group, not every single person is the same.

Just like the student colleague who asked Mr Ogg to buy another round, and saw no reason why he shouldn’t, given what had just occured students today are just as capable of doing the same- be it asking for a round, or speaking up; maybe both at the same time.

What we can learn here is this. Every group has a Mr Ogg; but they also contain the people with true integrity, people that give back more than they take.

Image: via The Student Archives