The Grad Ball in SMS Messages: the marriage proposals, the overused word “dench” and the million audiologists.


On Tuesday’s Grad Ball, I was working backstage with the SUSUtv folks operating the text messaging displays in the Icehouse room of Oceana. It opened up a weird and wonderful world of what the graduates were saying. In some cases it was hilarious, in others moving.

On the night we received (as a best estimate) around 800 texts, the peak whilst Pixie was doing her thing. Unfortunately we’ll never know the exact number as our Vodafone dongle gave up the ghost half way through… so a new dongle on O2 was acquired. In total, 408 messages were published to the screens, which equated to 17,680 characters.

I read every single one. And double that for all the ones that didn’t make the cut.

We’ll start with some of my favourites:

Pixie we love you, but for 50 quid we thought you’d at least wear shorts…

Sorry I can’t be there, couldn’t find a four-pawed suit! SUSU the cat xx

Becky McGee, sorry to blow you off last night meet me on the dance floor at 2am. Love Alex ‘hunky’ Ram x

Not normal attire for a violinist. Oh well, I shan’t complain.

I just made out with someone on the dancefloor….I don’t know who you are, but I have your camera. You gave it too me. I’ve handed it in.

Well done everyone on impending unemployment!

Afterparty in the Hartley library anyone???

And whilst these are perhaps the funniest, they are not why I’m writing this article. I was genuinely moved by some of the texts. There were people texting in with messages of thanks, love, friendships, etc. It really is a testament to just how much University becomes one of the best times in your life.

As it happens, 1218 characters of the 17,680 published (thats some 6.9%) were ‘x’. Whilst you could argue this stat is disproportionate as “Pixie” was a fairly popular word on the night, you can rest assured there was a LOT of love.

These texts below aren’t particularly funny or witty, but I find them strangely heartfelt. And trust me, there was no shortage of texts like these.

Sim i couldnt be more proud. I love u with all my heart! Xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Becki ever since the day we moved in together at monte, i’ve loved every minute with you. don’t be a stranger now. bff. <3 xxx

Tim, love of my life, I love you so much!! 🙂 xx

On the topic of love, we received a large number of marriage proposals. I call fake on nearly all of them, but I publish them anyway in the small hope that I could genuinely be changing the life of some couple, somewhere.

Here are just some of the ones we published:

Nicola Hubbard will you Marry me? Matt x x x c

Maritess, I love you, Marry me!

Emily Gibbs will u marry me! Sam xxx

Will u marry me Amy Pulford

Kittles will you marry me? Love tommy xxx

Emily the past 3 years have been amazing. I want you to be my wife. Will you marry me? J x

Can anyone in the comments section confirm for me if any of these were real?

Strangely enough, we had a large bounce of Audiologists texting in. I was rather surprised that despite being a degree I know nothing about or knowing anyone in, we had a huge number of texts from you guys. You guys win on that battle of the courses.

Other big degrees to text in were the nurses, geographers, management folk and WSAers.

Also, who ever decided the word “dench” was a cool word? You guys just sound strange.

Susutv are dench, beckie Neil is a sick dj too x

82 Sirdar road are dench x


such a dench night x

Finally, the event seemed to be getting great feedback. To pick a few:


Best night of my life with the banter brigade! xx

Damn good job SUSU!

Last, but not least – whoever sent this, I hope your hangover went well for you. You deserve a medal just for getting our number right.

im fuickkee  dguy lwook it sss home waNMKERED HAGHH. I juohd fod CCCccc



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