There are two sides to student life – the academic and the social. Whilst embracing the chaotic events of freshers’ week that we all know and love, it is important that you can party safely through the night.
Enjoying the week of planned activities is a priority for both the university and students. Still, it is important to understand that NTU is here to offer round-the-clock support if you find yourself in any difficult or dangerous situations on nights out.
Welcome week does not end when the sun sets, and it is widely known that nights out are a part of student culture here at Nottingham. So, we have collected all the information you will need before heading out, just in case you might need NTU’s support.
If you find yourself in a situation you are not comfortable with on a night out, then the first place to start is with our Freshers Reps. These experienced students study at the university and are familiar with the city centre after hours. They volunteer their time during Welcome Week to become the familiar, friendly face and first point of contact for students to call on for help. Freshers Reps often wear light blue t-shirts and will be right there with you in clubs and bars around Nottingham. They are trained to react calmly and know how to manage situations if a problem ever occurs.
Alongside our reps, Nottingham Night Owls are a voluntary service dedicated to ensuring student safety. They will also be out during Welcome week to give students any support they may need. They often patrol on Wednesday and Thursday nights in their blue high-visibility jackets. They will be out in force during the evenings of Welcome week.
Alongside NTU’s support, remember to be there for one another. Get your new flatmate’s numbers before going on a night out; chances are that these people will become some of your closest friends over the next three years, so it is vital to look out for one another. And remember that most people out during this week will be your fellow students, so if you see anyone that needs your help, then do not hesitate! NTU prides itself on a tight-knit student community that extends to out-of-lecture hours.
24/7 security hotline
Alongside in-person help, NTU has a 24/7 security team stationed on campus. If there is ever a need to call for support whilst on campus, the number to call is 0115 848 2222. With this in mind, check the back of your student card; the university prints any alternative numbers you may want to use in an emergency on the reverse in case you ever forget.
NTU’s Safe Place
Our student’s union has worked with NTU to set up designated Safe Places that are secure and at the centre of our three main campuses (City, Clifton and Brackenhurst). These areas are always staffed with NTU security and wardens that are there to offer any assistance you may need. This can range from being locked out of your flat after a big night to having nowhere to go after leaving a situation you do not feel comfortable in.
Access: Goldsmith Street security entrance of Boots Library by the NTU city campus tram stop
Postcode: NG1 5LS
Access: Upper floor of Pavilion, room 123A
Postcode: NG11 8NS
Access: Pippin cottage, room PCL8
Postcode: NG25 0QF
Safe taxis scheme
Suppose you find yourself stranded in the city on a night out with no money to get home. In that case, NTU has an agreement with Nottingham Cars, wherein students can get a lift home covered by the university. Call the taxi service on 0115 970 0700 and explain on the phone that you need to use the ‘student emergency fares scheme’. They will take your student N number found on your ID card or your student email accessible via your phone and arrange for you to pay at a later date.
Symptoms of spiking
At university, it is accepted that socialising is often accompanied by alcohol on nights out. This does not mean you should ever feel pressured to drink whilst out at bars and clubs; however, in these environments, it is important to understand that a small majority of people do not always have your best interest at heart. Unfortunately, as a student city, Nottingham has experienced a recent rise in spiking reported on nights out. Do not accept drinks from strangers or people you may have just met. Knowing the signs to look for when you suspect yourself or someone else has been spiked could play a big difference in ensuring you, or they remain safe.
Symptoms of drink spiking:
- Confusion or blackouts
- Visual problems
- Loss of balance
- Feeling sleepy
- Nausea and vomiting
Being spiked via needle injection is also possible and has been reported at city centre venues. Alongside the listed symptoms above, if you think someone may have been spiked, it is worth checking their arms and legs for any bruises or raised patches of skin with an injection mark at the centre. Regardless of which form of spiking you think may have occurred, it is vital that you seek medical assistance as soon as possible. Clubs in Nottingham will have a trained first aider on site to assist you whilst emergency help is arranged. Symptoms will vary depending on the individual, but if you are in doubt, it is best to seek help from staff or available support in the venue.
As well as everything covered, NTU offers much more advice and support during your time at university. The NTSU’s BoogieSafe webpage contains more details about how to socialise safely during your time in Nottingham and outlines the safety measures that individual venues have in place to support and prevent harm on a night out. Their page covers various topics and suggestions for staying safe in any social situation, not necessarily just clubbing.
Although this article has focused on the vulnerabilities students may face on nights out, it is important to remember that Nottingham is an amazing place to party and friendly faces are not hard to find across the city. Remember that you should never have to suffer alone, and help is always available if needed. So, stay safe and party to your heart’s content!
Lead image: Rucsandra Moldoveanu