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25 November, 2003

Socialise, or...

I work at a collegiate university; for accommodation, social and welfare purposes, all students are members of a college, independent of whatever academic departments they are registered with. All staff are also members of the colleges, and in addition to my primary job based in central admin, I'm a senior officer of a college.
Whilst I was in the College office this afternoon, a couple of students came in to see the secretary. One of their flatmates hasn't been seen for almost a fortnight, so could one of them have his room? No, they didn't know his name, as he doesn't go out to the bar with them, and just sits in his room, working.

This is someone they've lived with, sharing a kitchen and bathroom, for a minimum of eight weeks, and they didn't have the vaguest apparent interest in his welfare. They knew he had a good frying pan, as they'd repeatedly borrowed it without his knowledge, but beyond that his absence was merely an opportunity for a bigger room.

Maybe I'm misjudging them; maybe this was a way of alerting the College authorities to a potential problem without compromising their laid-back, laddish images. Maybe they're really trying to do the right thing without wishing to seem nosy or worried. Maybe it just seemed appallingly self-centred and juvenile.

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