University of St. Andrews to offer alcohol-free student accommodation


One of the UK’s leading universities has announced that it will be the first in Scotland to offer alcohol-free accommodation to teetotal students.

The University of St. Andrews has made the decision to cater for students who do not drink alcohol for religious or medical reasons- or simply because they choose not to- by offering regulated university housing at the five-person en-suite David Russell Apartments in Fife Park. The alcohol-free option was introduced by the University following discussions with its Student Union.

University officials commented that residents who did not comply with the strict regulations in place in the new teetotal accommodation would face being rehoused.

From September, students applying for places in university accommodation will have the option of ticking a box to request that they are housed with others who do not drink and do not bring alcohol drinks into the shared building.

President of the St. Andrews Student Union Pat Mathewson commented: “We have many students of certain faith backgrounds or maybe with medical issues that don’t allow them to drink alcohol.

“Our first priority is always ensuring our university environment is a safe and supportive atmosphere, so for those students to be able to live the lifestyles they’re used to and to excel academically may require a space that’s conducive to that.

“This is only a beta-version really. Our residential services have decided they will offer a small section and then see what the uptake is like. We’re always in favour of anything that will make our students more comfortable.

“By no means are any students going to be forced into student accommodation they haven’t asked for.”

In a statement published on their website, St Andrews University said: “If you accept an offer of alcohol-free accommodation, you will have entered into an agreement not to drink alcohol in your apartments.

“If you do so, you will be moved to another residence or apartment of our discretion. The offer will be subject to availability and dependent on how popular this type of accommodation is.”

While St Andrews is the first Scottish institution to offer alcohol-free housing, similar arrangements have been made at Swansea University, Bristol University and University College in Cork.

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