Students have hit back over ctiticism that a shopping event held exclusively for them was elitist.
Exeter's Princesshay Shopping Centre recently hosted a 'Lock-in' event for thousands of new and returning students.
More than 3,600 students descended on the Student Lock In between 6.30pm – 9pm, with 30 retailers and restaurants offering discounts of up to 25 per cent to students.
Some residents criticised the event, claiming they had been excluded.
But students responded by saying that was unfair.
Student Danielle Grainger said: “I’d like to thank all of the shops and restaurants that stayed open for the student lock-in.
“However, I’m disappointed and hurt at the reaction of the Exeter residents in last week’s Echo who slammed students because apparently we receive ‘too many luxuries’.
“With most of us being between the ages of 18-24 the majority are studying away from home, to get closer to our studies, grow as individuals and get the full student experience.
“It is hard enough moving out of our family home to begin the first step in our adult life without the residents of where we live and study being so hostile towards us.
“All of us are looking to better our lives by going into higher education and yes don’t get me wrong, there are the odd number of students that behave like idiots – but don’t tar us all with the same brush.”
She said Exeter has been a student city since 1855, and now has 17,200 undergraduates, many of whom work in the local shops, cinemas, pubs and clubs.
Danielle added: “People assume that being a student is a walk in the park – it’s really not. “There is so much to worry about, especially money related.”
She added: “I’m not saying the other residents in Exeter don’t deserve an occasional perk, in fact I believe there should be some sort of event set up to thank them for dealing with the odd idiotic student.
“However, it frustrates me to think that the place I live is divided between two different groups and that something as great as a discounted shop has caused such controversy and backlash.
“There should be more in the way to bring the two parties together to reach an understanding and respect for one another. We are the future generation, we should be supported.”
Store bosses said the event was a big success.
Nichola Mann, schuh store manager, said: “The Student Lock In is a fantastic event; it’s one of the highlights of our retail year at schuh.”
Wayne Pearce, Princesshay Centre Director said: “Our student event is a great way to welcome new students to Exeter and show them what we have to offer at Princesshay.”