The Problem with ‘Certificates’

In any other context, most students would be buzzing at the thought of being awarded a certificate. Be it for sports, academic achievements or activities within the student community, it’s a distinction most young people crave.

This might not be the case, however, for recipients of a ‘Brunel Certificate’.

This particular award is not handed out through any traditional means – but it is given to females who have ‘achieved’ a certain feat within the student community. Specifically, sleeping with 3 or more members of a single sports team.

No matter your view on the matter, casual sex is the norm at most universities, but this development is a step too far. There’s absolutely no positive repercussions from this behaviour except for the boosting of male pride and the humiliation of the young women involved. I’m not easily shocked by student behaviour, sexual or otherwise, but this really hit me as an unnecessary and ego-stroking exercise.

Obviously, the guys involved in the ‘awarding’ of this oh-so-prestigious prize, and even those who weren’t, found it absolutely hilarious. They’d talk about who ‘shagged’ who, sometimes in grim detail, and high-five when they found that they’ve had sex with the same girl. But it only got worse.

I’m not afraid to say I was more than curious to see who had conquered this lofty goal, so I asked. The response I received blew me away. The team mate I asked put his arm straight out, pointed into the crowd of dancing party-goers, and claimed “She has a certificate. She has a certificate. She has a certificate. They both have a certificate. She DEFINITELY has a certificate.”

It was damning indictment of youth sex culture in general. The obvious offenders were the sports players involved, as to them handing out a Certificate was like a badge of honour. But let’s not forget the young women who play a part in this. Too often society pampers to teenagers or girls in their early 20’s as if they have no influence on their own dim actions and need to be looked after round the clock. In fact these women are perfectly capable of being rational adults; they’ve just chosen to make some naive and ill-informed decisions. Of course if they sleep with three members of the same sports team they’re going to get a reputation, who are we kidding?!

I’m not saying there aren’t deeper psychological reasons for it, but I’m not here to psychoanalyse students behaviour – I’m just here to stand on my pedestal and  judge them for it. And my verdict? If there was a certificate for idiocy, most students would have one.

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