At around 7pm on the 27th of November, a video interviewing first year students residing in Pollock halls titled: ‘A Fresher’s guide to Pollock’ was released onto Facebook. It has since gone viral, gaining almost 100,000 views.
The video, created by students Jonathan Raphael and Ben Barbour, follows several groups of Pollock residents on a typical evening, with topics ranging from cleaning services at the Halls to nights out at JuJu’s, a popular Edinburgh club.
A number of comments on the post express outrage and disgust about student attitudes towards cleaning services, with the video showing students discussing cleaners coming into their rooms early in the morning, as well as the prospect of them being taken away.
One student says that he “would just pay for a cleaner” once they’re taken away rather than do it for himself.
This comment was met with some backlash and some commenters on the video argue it raises the ethical debate involved with people being able to spend money on a non-essential service that they could perform for themselves.
Some of the more controversial statements of the video include “after around 1pm, everyone’s down for a pull” and “We’ve really branched out…I went to Harrow and he went to Eton.”
The video has since triggered discussion over a culture of financial elitism, with many saying that these students appear ‘ignorant’ and ‘privileged’.
Meanwhile, the students in the video who state that they do not enjoy living there as much cite a contrast between students from London and/or boarding schools compared to those from elsewhere.
The stereotypes involved with students living at Pollock are not a revelation, as is indicated by the numerous meme pages dedicated to critiquing the culture, including the Instagram page @overheardatpollockhalls.
Questions of ‘lad culture’ are also raised in the comments of the video, stating concern over some of the interviewee’s intent of having sex with as many girls as possible, referred to by some of the student as ‘pulling birds’, which some viewers found derogatory.
A small group of commenters raise the point of drunkenness and state that those in the video should not be blamed as they may have said things which they regret or did not intend.
However, others state that drunk or not, the students have to take some responsibility for their words, and that the problem of financial elitism in top UK universities must be addressed.
Speaking to The Student, Raphael and Barbour explained:
“As two people who lived in Pollock, we always found the place very strange…not the norm.
“Weekly room cleans, security, flares, JuJu’s and privilege made Pollock seem more like a boarding school than University accommodation.
“We thought we would have to do a large number of interviews before we got good content, but it turned out to be very, very easy…we were able to find such perfect examples of this extreme boarding school behavior in the first groups we spoke to.
“…We would like to add that we made the video as a bit of fun about Pollock culture…not to single out any particular individuals.
“We hope other people see our video in this way. We have deleted any and all malicious comments and do not stand for any kind of cyber bullying.”
Image: Kim Traynor via Wikimedia