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By Christian Shepherd
Teddy Hall students have staved off Fifth Week Blues for the second term in a row with a series of events organised by the JCR.
The programme for the week included a chocolate tasting on Tuesday, a three-hour bouncy castle session on Wednesday, a women’s film night, and free massages for undergraduates. In addition, there have been organised runs and a two-hour cake decorating session is scheduled for this afternoon.
Two further events are entitled “Cigars without dressing gowns; an education in hedonism”, to be led by the Men’s Officer, Adam Wozniak. On Friday students will have the chance to “snoop about the Hall’s unseen areas”, as the SCR picture collection, the crypt under the library and the Old Library, which is over 400 years old, are all opened to students. The timetable also said there will be “a few other surprises”.
The week’s events were devised by Welfare Officer Matt Bell with the help of the Peer Support team. With a budget of £500, provided by the JCR, in addition to the usual weekly JCR welfare budget, most of the events are free for Teddy Hall students. The sole exception was a trip ice-skating followed by fish and chips at a cost of £8.
Bell said: “The entire week has been received without any opposition; I think some of fellows were amused by the idea of the Bouncy Castle in particular.” He added that the initial proposal of £250 from the JCR budget was raised to £500 after “the idea was received with enthusiasm.”
He continued: “In terms of how events have gone down with students, I’ve been fair with the allocation of the money for events, trying to ensure that larger, more expensive events will benefit greater numbers of people. Rarely has anything cost more that £2-a-head.
“Generally, therefore, I think that people feel they’ve got a lot out of it. Now that this is the second run through of Anti-Fifth Week Blues we have an idea of what’s really popular and how we can genuinely have something for everybody.
Second-year student Jonathan Cockerill said it was “a chance for students to have a bit of fun to help stave off the general work-weariness and work-related stress that is experienced by many students at this point in the term.”
Asked whether chocolate tasting and cake decorating were really beneficial for welfare, he continued: “I think it is indeed justified to call it ‘welfare’ because it is aimed at supporting students and giving them that little extra boost to get through fifth week. In my view it’s a very positive and welcome thing and demonstrates very nicely the Teddy Hall spirit – that of inclusivity, community, support and (of course) fun.”
First-year history student Nick Surry said: “I do think it’s a good idea”, adding that “the little things like the chocolate and fish’n’chips they do are a good idea, because it wouldn’t burden much cost.” However, he suggested the bouncy castle was “a bit unnecessary, but it was really popular last term so it was definitely worthwhile. It does improve people’s welfare, but at the end of the day it [fifth week blues] is still quite dependant on other commitments people may have during that week, something which a bouncy castle may not really help to amend.”