Buying a round in a pub is branded potentially ‘triggering’ for students at top university | UK | News

Buying a round in a pub is branded potentially ‘triggering’ for students at top university | UK | News

A top university has tried to call time on the honoured tradition of buying a round of drinks in a pub because some students may find it « triggering ».

The warning was reportedly emblazoned on a sociology lecture about « money and finance » at the University of Manchester where undergraduates could learn about managing their money.

Mail Online reports the lecture included notes on picking up tabs at the bar and that if those attending the lecture found any of the content too distressing their were links to a suicide helpline and counselling service.

According to the publication, one student said « a few heads were turned » by the trigger warning, adding « I think my initial thought was, ‘If you’re going to put a trigger warning on a topic such as finance then everything’s going to need a trigger warning, especially in a subject like sociology’. »

Professor Dennis Hayes, director of Academics for Academic Freedom, said the warning was « insulting for students » and reflected a campus culture at universities of « make sure no one takes offence ».

He added: « There is an endless list of things now said to be triggering or are labelled microaggressions. They may just seem silly but they point to something very serious. »

According to « Passport to the Pub: The Tourist’s Guide to Pub Etiquette » by Kate Fox from the Brewers and Licensed Retailers Association, round buying is a « reciprocal exchange of drinks ».

It notes: « In Britain, as elsewhere, drinking is essentially a social activity. Wherever you come from, you will probably be familiar with a practice similar to round-buying, as drinking involves some form of sharing or reciprocal giving in most societies. »

The guide adds the significance of round-buying can be lost on visitors unfamiliar with UK pubs because « to the natives, round-buying is sacred. Not ‘buying your round’ is more than just a breach of pub etiquette: it is heresy. »

A University of Manchester spokesman said: « Students are being affected by the ongoing cost-of-living crisis and financial problems can be especially difficult for young people to deal with.

« This lecture simply pointed attendees towards the free mental health support the university provides for students who may be having financial difficulties, which includes a counselling service, a 24/7 helpline and a wellbeing app.

« We also provide a cost-of-living support fund to ensure that none of our students are left struggling. »

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