Community and Belonging

Promoting inclusive activities 

If you lead or run events for a student group, it’s important now more than ever to consider financial factors for anyone who might want to attend your events.

Everyone is responding to the Cost of Living crisis differently, and some people may be cutting back on going out for food or drinks, ordering takeaway and delivery, buying alcohol, paying for event tickets, or other expenses to try and save money where they can. When planning events, it’s important to be mindful of this so that everyone can participate and feel included, without feeling pressured or expected to spend money.

Events that may create pressure to spend money

Helpful alternatives to try

Coffee meetups at a café

Coffee/tea meetups at someone’s flat (BYOM – bring your own mug!)

Committee meetings at a pub/café

Book a room in the Union by emailing sarooms@ or using the ResourceBooker online system, or just snag a free table in Main Bar or Sandy’s for your meeting.

Pub crawls

Try sticking to one or two pubs for a social instead, so that people don’t feel like they have to buy another drink at every pub.

Pub socials

Host a fun themed social at someone’s flat instead so people can bring their own drinks, alcoholic or not.

Trips out of town

Show everyone how to get their free bus travel if they’re under 22, and see if your budget can cover the travel costs for people 22 and over.

Drink & draw at a pub

If hosting at a pub, make sure there is no minimum spend or if there is, that your budget can cover it if needed. Your advertising of the event should not pressure people to buy drinks. Alternatively, you could look into holding it in Sandy’s, where people can buy drinks from Main Bar if they’d like, but there is no pressure to.

Craft social at a pub

Consider booking one of the many spaces in the Union that are available for student events of various capacities! Plenty of craft socials and board game nights have been held in the Small and Large Rehearsal Rooms, Sandy’s Bar, and even in the Society Rooms and Meeting Pods for smaller gatherings. Email sarooms@ with your enquiry.

Going out for a group meal at a restaurant/café/pub

If you really want to go out for a meal, you could anonymously poll attendees in advance to choose a place, in case people would prefer a less expensive option. Alternatively, you could host a potluck where everyone brings their own dish—people can have the option to buy a pre-made dish or cook something, depending on their budget and free time.

Other free / low-cost activities:

  • Group walk along the beaches or down Lade Braes
  • Visit free museums/exhibits (check out the Spaces section for more information on what’s on near you).
  • Movie night at someone’s flat or in a Union space

Offerings from Saints Sport

Saints Sport offer a participation programme which seeks to widen access to sport with beginner friendly free or low cost activities. One of these activities is Rec Dodgeball  which runs weekly on Tuesday nights 20:30-22:30 at the Sports Arena. Sometimes these sessions are split, with the first half being dodgeball and the second half being another sport. These sessions are free to all St Andrews students, and are open to all students regardless of ability or passion for sport. Go to reception on the night to register.

Some students who receive access scholarships are eligible for discounted Saints Sport membership. You don’t have to disclose that you are eligible, Saints Sport are aware of those who are able to get this discounted membership.