Friday, 20 February 2009

Are we fighting a losing battle?

After just two weeks of setting up the PR unit for the Students Union, I am already questioning whether changing peoples opinions about students is going to be impossible. Our mission statement reads as follows:

"The Mission of the P.R unit is to raise the profile of the Students Union amongst students and the local community. We aim to create and implement innovative public relations campaigns which will allow us to communicate with our public and make the S.U more accessible to everyone."

Now a big part of this was to eradicate the unfair stereotypes that we felt students had acquired over the years. In the eyes of the local non student community it is clear that their is a lot of animosity towards us tax dodgers, but why? well I will tell you why my Countdown watching, pot noodling eating friends. Let me share with you what happened to me last night.

So there I am sitting in bed with my girlfriend Gem watching "The City", now usually I wouldn't admit to watching such tripe but I feel that you need to know every detail. Just as the credits roll we hear some commotion outside our window, not at all unusual as we live opposite one of the Headingley Pubs, so I thought I would take a look. Peeking out of the curtain like nosey neighbour Michael Pain, I was astounded at what I saw. A group of drunk students, one of them preparing to hurdle a row of cars like he was taking part in some sort of urban Olympics. Egged on by his cheering buddies, who could quite easily be 6 of the missing links in Darwin's theory of evolution, each of them shouting some sort of incoherent babble to encourage their answer to Colin Jackson.

He mounts the first car with consummate ease, gliding over the Vauxhall Corsa like a gazelle. With the soundtrack from Chariots of Fire playing in his head he moves on to the Peugeot, up and over in a flash he even manages to dent the bonnet on his descent, what a pro. Now as he eyes up his next obstacle, three mini coopers, he is met by the wrath of my girlfriend who shouts some expletives from the window, as she realises that her car is next. Does this put him of his stride, does he let one persons blinkered view of what is acceptable behaviour shirk his confidence? Of course not, after all this guy has won gold medals in being a (enter derogatory here). Getting more and more daring as he reaches the penultimate hurdle, he jumps from my girlfriends car on to the next car without touching the ground, a feat which any Parkour professional would be proud of.

Landing on the next Mini he deals a devastating blow to its bumper, climbs over the roof, dents the bonnet and lands with the elegance of elephant. Now I'm no car expert but the second Mini he trashed is a very nice car indeed, in fact I was only commenting on it and it's driver the other day, now he may or may not be a "flash b******" but he defiantly does not deserve his pride of joy being damaged by a drunken Colin Jackson.

I did not see him complete his last hurdle as I rushed to get my clothes on and congratulate him on his marvellous achievement. As soon as I got out on to the road him and his motley crew had scarpered. All I saw was Gem in her car with a possessed look in her eye, "get in" she screamed, I duly obliged. Racing around Headingley like a scene from the Italian Job we knew we could cut them off on the next road. With no thought for her own safety or mine, Gem raced around corners like Cruella Di Vel on the hunt for 7 dogs.

When we finally confronted the perpetrators, the ring leader, or Colin as he prefers to be known, was not satisfied that he had caused us enough aggro and tried to open the drivers seat door and was very aggressive towards Gem. I thought about getting out of the car and confronting all 7 of the louts but unfortunately God didn't make me to fight, if they however wanted a battle of wits then I'll meet them behind the bike sheds. After exchanging some very strong words we drove off. It was then I realised that I knew who Colin was, I won't disclose the details off how I know him, but needless to say he will soon be getting a call from the boys in blue, the fuzz or the pigs if you will.

I hope that these seven idiots only represent a small minority of the student population and that others don't act with such little respect for other peoples property.

It seems that we have a lot of work to do, if we are to fulfil our aims and change the public perception of Leeds Met students. I will keep you posted about what, if anything, happens to Colin Jackson.

Rant over.


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