LSE today often carries a reputation of being a career-focused hub with a lagging social life, perpetuated by consistently low levels of student satisfaction. The natural evolution of social events within LSE has been documented by the Beaver for the last 70 years, but current patterns suggest that student socials need to be revamped.
One of the earliest records LSE has detailing its social events is from the 1910s, whereby the 1914-15 Director’s report stated that the “social life of the students has undoubtedly suffered from the War. There have been, for instance, no dances”.
The appeal for more formal events has been consistent throughout LSE’s history, resurfacing as a campaign issue of key General Secretary candidates in the SU elections of last week. One of the very first publications of the Beaver in 1949 included an extensive report on the ‘Commemoration Ball’, concluding that “somehow in the morning, faded and chilly, we slid once more into insignificance… How silly we looked going home in the tram in evening dress!” It seems that many parallels can still be drawn today to our conception of life at LSE.
For the last 70 years, The Beaver has been reporting on the social events around campus. From reporting on the Underground Dance Music Society’s parties in the 1990s, to publishing pictures of named and shamed students getting ‘more than friendly’ in AU trips abroad. The reputation of the AU socials has been questionable, with 100 LSE students “rampaging drunkenly through neighbouring King’s College”, in an event known as ‘Barrel’, since renamed ‘Carol’.
The fleeting lifespan of the LSE’s own student nights are also a notable part of LSE’s (lack of a) social life. Launched in 2014 to celebrate the opening of the Saw Swee Hock Centre, ‘Saucy’ became disbanded in May 2018. Whilst it was rebranded under the name ‘Nachos’, this too was cancelled in February 2019, as a result of “little demand” for the event.
Arguably, the heart of our social life now lies in the Library, from library-focused meme page LSE Airport to the vague descriptions of fourth-floor hotties on LSELove.