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From Cocktails to Crustaceans, The St Andrews ‘Can Do’ Initiative Knows No Bounds

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at St. Andrews chapter.

By the time this article reaches you, our beloved fried-egg adorned friend will no longer be with us, but the image of the GIANT LOBSTER will be forever burned in our minds. One of the most striking features of the university’s new Can Do initiative, Philip Cobert’s installation garnered much attention following its erection in Sallies Quad. Met with mixed emotions from students, the lobster has been described as both an ‘honourable gentleman’ and ‘repulsive’, but overall, surprise seems to be a consistent factor. 

In a world where most simple pleasures are gone, the lobster is the gift no one asked for and no one needed, but perhaps that is the joy of it. Unprecedented times call for unprecedented inflatables. While some see the lobster as an amusing addition to the quad, others have complained it is a waste of money which could be better spent elsewhere. With limited study spaces, restricted in-person teaching and widespread financial hardship, many argue this is not an appropriate way of spending tuition fees. 

Despite the very mixed response to the lobster, the reaction to the ‘Can Do’ initiative overall seems much more positive. The opening event ‘Can Do Cocktails’ received significant interest online, with over six hundred going or interested. The opportunity to socialise in person, with alcohol, after 6pm was understandably a welcome sight to many. Despite this, one student called into question the ethics of this event. Is a global pandemic really the right time to host “the University’s largest ever outdoor cocktail party?”

We seem to be walking a fine line in this town of complying with government restrictions while also attempting to reinsert some semblance of a social scene. There are always people on either end of the spectrum arguing that the university is doing either too much or not enough. Concerns over the safety of these events are pitted against arguments that mental health is declining, and events that we ‘Can Do’ are not necessarily the same as events we should do.

I know that for me personally the ‘Can Do’ initiative is an overall positive thing. I thought the lobster was funny, cocktails sounded good, and marquee sections named after local cats was a nice touch. However, I know that for those more personally impacted by the virus these events may be coming a bit too soon, and that’s okay. We are all entitled to make our own decisions on what is best for us within the guidelines, and although our choices are currently fairly limited, the ‘Can Do’ initiative at least offers an opportunity for those who wish to take it.

There are already a plethora of events scheduled to take place as part of the ‘Can Do’ initiative and the Students’ Association is encouraging you to submit your own proposals as well. Whatever fun or wacky ideas you may have for a socially distanced event, I would suggest you take the leap and propose it. If a giant lobster can make the cut, chances are you can too!

Charlotte Luse

St. Andrews '23

Charlotte is a 3rd year English & Psychology student from Glasgow with dual citizenship in the United States. Founding Co-President of EmpowHER St Andrews, she is passionate about fitness, feminism, and lifting other women up. This year she is looking forward to expanding the ways in which she can have a positive impact through her writing.
The University of St Andrews chapter of Her Campus!