NUPSA President, Ash McIntyre, brings you up to date with everything we’ve been doing this past month.


It has been another exciting month in the NUPSA office, where I’ve been spending so much time recently that there is now a small bed of pillows hidden beneath my desk.

Perhaps my favourite initiative we started was our trivia night at NeW Space. Believe it or not, I was going to read a round of questions or two, but little did we know that Hugh is a born Trivia Master. Aside from a pizza shortage after an attack from a ravenous student populace, the night was a raging success – hopefully we will see you at the next one!

May 1 was Uni Mental Health Day, where we had a stall at Park on the Hill. Astrid and myself hula-hooped with our necks (as I am hula-challenged), we played Jenga, petted puppies, listened to some folk tunes and handed out the much-desired NUPSA pens (I know, I know, it’s all we had left!). We also held an online forum for satellite and off-campus students to connect with each other, share their thoughts and learn tips on building student community in the digital space. Uni Mental Health Day culminated a week later with a mental health trivia night at the Clarendon, which we ran in collaboration with the Health Promotions Team. There was some terribl(y good) dancing.

Hugh and I also shared our first vlog! We are famous now, haven’t you heard? We are trying to enter the 21st Century, and we hope to expand the platform as another way for you to reach out to us, chat to other students, and share your thoughts and ideas! So, watch this space.

This month, however, we have dubbed ‘Geek Pride’, in commemoration of the fantastic day of celebratory nerddom, May 25. Hopefully you are all enthusiastically shouting at your computer screens, “But Ash! May 25 is Towel Day too!” Rest assured, friends, we know! And to celebrate, NUPSA will be showing The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, where your admission requires you to bring a towel. For those of you suppressing your inner geek, here is an explanation from Douglas Adams, the man himself:

You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapors; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a mini-raft down the slow heavy River Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (such a mind-bogglingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.


More importantly, though, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitchhiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitchhiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitchhiker might accidentally have “lost”. What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with.


Hence a phrase that has become synonymous with hitchhiking slang: “Hey, you sass that hoopy Ford Prefect? There’s a frood who really knows where his towel is.” (Sass: know, be aware of, meet, have sex with; hoopy: really together guy; frood: really amazingly together guy.)


— Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

So on that note, let your geek flag fly, keep your eye out for our upcoming events, and have a squizzle at some of our brilliant submissions this month!


Ash McIntyre
NUPSA President

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