Last week, tickets went on sale for the infamous C&E Comm Ball, one of UCD’s most sought after nights out. Students lined up from 6am just to try guarantee a ticket for the black-tie event. However, with ticket spaces limited, many were disappointed and left empty handed.
This, of course, is not new. Most students will know that this is the case annually. This year, however, the manner in which the tickets were sold was the cause of some controversy, particularly amongst the final year cohort. 250 tickets were reserved for final year Quinn, Sutherland and Engineering students and were on pre-sale in the Sports Centre on Tuesday, 29th October.
A culmination of organisational errors, miscommunication and alleged ‘favouritism’ on the C&E’s behalf led to many disappointed final years. Students outside the criteria for purchase of these tickets, as well as students from DCU and Trinity, were seen purchasing passes. Witnesses also wrote to the College Tribune to complain of the lack of staff on the premises to discourage dishonest people from skipping the queue. The C&E responded to these points to the College Tribune by saying their staff could not feasibly do a background check on everyone and that there were ten permanent volunteers marshalling the queue.
Much to the detriment of final years, Quinn students on internships were privileged with their own line, thus allowing them to stroll past everyone until 9pm, safe in the knowledge that they would have a ticket. One student in attendance, who wishes to remain anonymous, labelled this as ‘favouritism’ from the C&E committee. The C&E counters this by saying these individuals would have been stuck in work on the morning of the general sale.
Speaking of having other commitments that restricted students from buying tickets, Commerce, Commerce International and Business and Law final year students all had a mid-term that night until 7:30pm in Smurfit, which left them half an hour to exit the exam hall and get to UCD before the tickets went on sale. This, according to C&E Auditor Tom Cunnane, was ‘deemed the most accommodating time’ due to the opening hours of the Sports Centre (Mon-Fri, 7am-10pm). Individual accounts, heard by the College Tribune, recall their dismay when they joined the tail end of the line, and failed to secure a place. Over one dozen final years were told that they would have to join the general queue (starting at roughly 6am) the next morning. The C&E refused to note these students’ names to allow them priority in the general ticket sale. Another student, again wishing to remain anonymous, expressed her displeasure to the College Tribune at this lack of coordination and empathy between the C&E Society and the student body.
The Comm Ball, hosted in Killashee House Hotel this year, is the C&E’s flagship event and is often spoken of fondly by those in attendance. From the numerous accounts of the sale of these tickets, many final year students won’t get the chance to attend.
Alex Lohier – Deputy Editor