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Some Loose Thoughts

By Jamie Rodney

Something a bit different this week, just to change things up a bit. Instead of my usual hot takes and tortured metaphors about friendship, I’m going to talk a bit about some of the things the Populus team have been up to during Fresher’s week. Now, hopefully you’ve come to some Populus events over the course of this Fresher’s week, but what I’m going to be chatting about- Buzzfeed listicle style, because why not- are our midnight bake sales. Once you’ve spent a five-hour shift outside the Union, on Freshers week, shouting about cake to drunk freshers (and drunk non-Freshers, and drunk locals, and the occasional sober person subjecting themselves to the intoxicated crowds outside the Union for whatever reason), you begin to notice some patterns. So here, for your amusement and education, are a few loose thoughts about midnight bake sales:

1) You would think that, even drunk, St Andrews Students wouldn’t try to steal from a charity bake sale. Apparently not.

2) To be entirely fair, if the guy who did try to steal these cakes is reading this, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy having the chance to chase you into a dark alley Batman-style to get them back. Thank you for giving me the chance to live out my masculine power-fantasies.

3) If we had £1 for everyone who asked us if the brownies we were selling were of the…more exotic variety, we would never have to fundraise ever again.

4) For that matter, why do so many people think space cakes would be for sale at a pound each? This is a town where you have to pay a grand a month to live in a cardboard box on West Sands.

5) Surprising amount of people seem to be confused, nonplussed or even angry at the fact we’re having bake sales at midnight. I’d rather be in bed too, Dave. Or drunk.

6) That said, a surprising amount of people seem to be confused, nonplussed, or even angry at a lot of random things- like how crumbly our brownies are, the size of our muffins, and, on one memorable occasion, the fact I have type-one diabetes.

7) Literally everyone looks hot on a night out. I don’t know why this is, but it’s very distracting.

8) Well, not the ones who have overdone it and start throwing up outside the Mansfield like some kind of crying puke-spigot, but nearly everyone else.

9) Why do people who have no interest in buying cakes from us also seem interested in trying to help us sell them by screaming about the bake sale to passers by?

10) Rhetorical question. It’s alcohol. Of course it’s alcohol.

11) But still guys, can you not?

12) That said, I have no issue with people being drunk, and, in the case of those three middle-aged German tourists who bought about £30 worth of cakes from us, neither does the Populus bank account.

13) That makes us sound unethical. Are we being unethical?

14) Oh shit, what if the whole concept of the midnight bake sale is not an innocent way of making money by curing hangovers, but actually an attempt to exploit the drunk and foolish?

15) Nah, we’re probably good.

16) Shout out to locals and tourists as well, donating to a charity that helps the students who probably irritate you on a fairly regular basis.

17) Not to the guy who threatened to report us to the police though. While the Vic was being raided and a fight was breaking out on bridge street.

18) All joking aside, despite my (many) gripes about the drunken behaviour of students, locals and tourists in this town, your generosity is as heartwarming as it is humbling. We managed to raise over £400 for Populus, which we can use over the course of the semester to put on free events to make St Andrews a better, more inclusive place. If anything is worth investing a little time and money into, it’s that.

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