Volunteerism versus voluntourism?

Thousands of young people today undertake volunteering projects in developing countries around the world. In Oxford too, organizations such as Oxford Development Abroad (ODA) sends student volunteers to Uganda, Nepal, and for the first time this summer, to Bolivia. But what are the underlying reasons motivating students to get involved in such endeavours? Is their […]

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The Malcontent on: Rowing

By James Mckean ‘How’s W2 getting on?’ ‘Fine, how’s M1?’ ‘Great, how are the ergs?’ ‘Oh, just working on cores, you know, how was the race?’ ‘We got bumped.’ ‘Oh, that’s sad.’ Yes, it is sad. But rowing’s more than sad; it’s also the most infuriating activity ever conceived. Have you ever had to share […]

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Hezbollah are in the streets

By Will Todman “Hezbollah are in the streets! Another civil war is starting!” our taxi driver spluttered as we sped through Beirut’s empty streets to one of its trendy drinking areas on Sunday night. Having lived in Lebanon for almost a year, when faced with the prospect of political instability we have developed a degree […]

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The Malcontent on: Trashings

Ah, Trashings. Yet another obscure Oxford tradition designed to put the plebs in their places and have ourselves an exclusive little bubble of penguin-dressed academic funsies. Glitter, flour, the shoes of a sleeping tramp; there is nothing that cannot be acquisitioned and thrown merrily into the faces of your triumphant friends as you skip down […]

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The Malcontent on: Punting

As May takes its stride and summer begins to force its joyful tidings upon us, this Malcontent turns regretfully to one of life’s banes: punting. In the month’s following Oxford’s very own exercise in Darwinian evolution, those that survived the mass exodus of stupidity on Magdelan Bridge will most likely be found beneath it, swanning […]

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The Malcontent on: First World Problems

Or more specifically, “ohmygoshIwasjustgettingchangedafterashowerandmyscoutwalkedinonmehashtagfirstworldproblems”. Or any other egregious example of over-wringing a trivial moment of embarrassment, strife or inconvenience into a social occasion. Not that any of us are exempt from such minor worries. Of such incidental day-to-day mishaps is life’s rich tapestry woven. What is a problem, though, is the persistent habit of the […]

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