Monday, May 20Royal Holloway's offical student publication, est. 1986

Why are we all so scared of freebies?

It’s 1am on a Friday night at the SU and people are starting to trickle out, some a bit worse for wear. This is where the Christian Union Club Mission comes in, offering free water, doughnuts and crisps to tired revellers. Yet one question we seem to be asked is “How much is it?”

Maybe it’s a ‘British’ thing but we don’t seem to accept the idea of freebies. When I suggested going to grab some free Ben & Jerry’s just a stone’s throw away from our flat, my flatmates were less than keen. Yet, as a student, I would think that everyone would jump at the chance to get something for nothing.

As a devotee of the free stuff I cannot tell you why it’s been neglected by my peers, but I can guess that part of this is because they expect there to be a catch. Motives for giving out freebies differ in each situation, but they’re pretty benign really. To emphasise this, here’s what I’ve found from free offerings on campus:

• On Club Mission we’re simply there to love our fellow students. We want you to have a good end of the night and will give out everything, so if you don’t take it someone else will!
• Food tasters are there to encourage you to buy it at a later date. However you don’t have to go back and you may as well get a free meal – it could be a new favourite.
• Food is also offered at events, such as the volunteering fair, designed to drive engagement at an event you may otherwise have missed in favour of lunch.
• Companies tend to offer freebies in return for your details. Yes, you may get some spammy emails, but you could actually find something useful!

So there are many reasons why free stuff might be offered but I hope you can see the benefits of taking it! And remember, next time you’re at the SU, grab a doughnut from us in the red shirts – things won’t be free forever!