The Freshers’ Christmas Ball was, as it turned out, less a “ball” than a night out in suits and dresses, as students turned up dressed to the nines for an experience they could have had in almost any nightclub.
That’s not to say it wasn’t an enjoyable night, The Cube showed its potential as a venue – a big, open dance floor with a good atmosphere and a good DJ meant you could cut loose and dance with your friends, while the smoking area was good for a breath of fresh air and a more relaxed time. Drinks, while not cheap, were reasonable and thankfully we didn’t see the horrendous queues for the bar which made nights at The Cube during fresher events so frustrating. Other than a small hiccup which saw the entire union evacuated following a fire alarm going off (thankfully a false alarm, as it transpired), it was a good night, as the state of deterioration of the leaving students’ smart clothes was testament to.
One just felt, however, that to bill something as a “ball” required something that was at least fairly different to a night at a club while dressed up, at least an attempt at something slightly out of the ordinary would have been nice – perhaps theme it as 50s swing night, keeping it festive with rat pack Christmas songs? The idea may not have worked, but at least it would have been an attempt to show the students something radically different at the end of a term that, for many, has included regular club nights.
It may be that there were no workable alternative ideas that would have appealed to as wide a demographic, it would just have been nice to see SUSU try something a little more adventurous and outside of the box (or The Cube). The fault lay not in what SUSU did, but failed to do, as although they gave everyone a perfectly good night out, they gave them nothing more. Nothing special, which for something billed as a ball, right at the end of term, with so many students all in one place, and all having put so much effort into the night, seemed a real waste.
Overall, it was a very fun night out, but unfortunately no more than that – if you didn’t go you would be able to have a similar (if more expensive) experience if you got dressed up and went to Oceana – you would probably have a good time but, unlike Freddie, I’m not sure you would be having a “ball”. It was rather a shame, given the potential the occasion offered to give students a really memorable night to end the term with.