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No place like foam

Raisin Monday Foam Fight St Andrews

St Andrews is home to a large number of academic families – a spontaneous tradition where older students adopt first year students as ‘children’ and can help guide them in a system of mentoring.

This is a fantastic way for first year students to meet new people, and many of the friendships that begin as part of the academic family tradition continue throughout a student’s time at the University and beyond.

This ‘mentoring’ culminates in Raisin Weekend when children are entertained by their parents and are encouraged to play pranks and silly games.

On Raisin Monday, the children dress in embarrassing, flamboyant costumes, are given strange objects with a traditional Latin inscription, and are let loose on Lower College lawn for an enormous shaving foam fight.

Find out more about the student experience and St Andrews traditions.

Visit the University’s Facebook page to see all the Raisin Monday photos.

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2 thoughts on "No place like foam"

  1. Steve Baker Nicholson says:

    Why is this no longer held in the Quad as it was “in my day”?

  2. Louisa Radice says:

    The way St Andrews University seems to be positively promoting Raisin Monday to prospective undergraduates is a sharp contrast from when I went up in the early 90s, when the true nature of this bizarre and sadistic initiation ritual was largely kept hidden.

    Back then the only source of information I had was the alternative prospective Praeco (does that still exist?) which portrayed Raisin Monday as a quaint little exercise of parading to the Quad in fancy dress for a jolly sing-song of “Gaudeamus igitur, iuvenes dum sumus”. It wasn’t until I was in St Andrews that the senior students of University Hall warned that a shaving-foam fight was involved, and even then they said it was “fun” so I was absolutely unprepared for how aggressive it was. On top of that there was some misunderstanding as to who was supposed to provide the shaving-foam: I though it was the academic mother’s role to provide the ammunition, but she didn’t – well, not to me at any rate. Then again, I had only met her the previous weekend, which might explain why she had no qualms about abandoning me in the Quad when the rest of her children (all from McIntosh Hall – I was only there to make up numbers) decided they’d had enough. When I eventually realised the others had gone, I staggered out, only to have someone throw a bucket of cold water over me from an upstairs window and laugh at me. So my abiding memory of Raisin Monday is walking home alone and confused, freezing cold, soaked to the skin, eyes watering from the shaving foam, and asking myself: “If this is a joke, why aren’t I laughing?”

    Years later I expressed these sentiments to the head of student services, who told me that Raisin Monday “is not compulsory”. Sheesh. Now they tell me!

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