News that University of Afpuddle students have been joined by a number of senior academics in their "dirty protest" against unpopular social restrictions [discos are allowed only four times a week and some students have been asked to sleep alone in their own beds on alternate nights] has interested few and dismayed many amongst a non-University population which continues to experience the most excessive suppression of its civil liberties since the April lockdown began. Sympathy for the fee-paying student super-spreaders is, according to recent polls, at an all time low, with 8 in 10 members of the public keen to see the unwelcome Afpuddle undergraduate imports either incarcerated, shot or both.
Any suggestion that Afpuddle students are even remotely observing the protocols imposed on the county at large, was blown out of the water yesterday as evidence emerged that partying, on and off-campus betting and broader alcohol-fuelled social intercourse was thriving within the ancient University's hallowed walls. There were even suggestions that the University authorities - keen to maximise revenues and make good lock-down losses - were encouraging a return to the hedonistic normality that has characterised the headline grabbing palace of entertainments [surely ivory tower [Ed]] in recent years.
Sporting a "Fat Lives Matter" tee-shirt, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education, Research, Sport, Commercial Outreach, Opportunism and On-Campus Betting, Professor Grantham Capricorn denied that the situation was out of control, insisting instead that the authorities had taken "measured and well-calibrated steps" to ensure the safe return of all income generating activities, whilst maintaining the strictest lock-down on loss-making research and teaching. Asked specifically whether he felt that endless drunken partying and louche social behaviour was a problem he added; "We do not believe that these activities, as such, represent a significant threat to our prime areas of concern - the University's financial integrity and student welfare in that order - nor do we think there is a risk to the well-being of the community at large. Whilst the latter is an almost non-existent issue for us and well-above our pay-grade, we do give it a passing thought occasionally and we have encouraged our junior members to leave the campus regularly and to mix as much as possible with the general public to spread the word that we - as a caring and socially-responsible University - are up and running and almost back to normal. We do, however, understand that we have a duty to the environment and in addition to announcing that the University will be fossil-fuel free and carbon neutral by 2025, we have doubled the number of bottle banks on campus to cope with the increased recycling need".
Meanwhile a spokesperson for the RDC confirmed that they had no concerns over activities on the Afpuddle campus. "We are far too busy applying punitive measures to old people who don't follow the stay at home and shut up rules to concern ourselves with University matters. They are a law unto themselves and we are happy to keep it that way". Chief Constable Sir Rising Crimewave confirmed that he had spoken with Professor Capricorn over a couple of stiffeners in the Afpuddle Golf Club Bar after a "good competitive round" and that neither had raised any issues of public interest or concern. "We are in regular touch and if there was any kind of problem, you can be assured we would come to a mutually-acceptable arrangement."