The incompetent management of this year’s Graduate Ball ticket sales has left many final-year Southampton students disappointed. With the ball being spread over the course of two nights, students were already pressured to co-ordinate their ticket-buying with friends, and doubts as to whether there would be enough tickets to go around were raised.
With only 300 dining tickets available for each night, only those who began queuing before 6.30am on Monday for the Box Office (which opened at 10am) were successful in securing dining tickets for the Ball on the first night (Wednesday 9th June). This left students who had queued for over six hours devastated that they would not be celebrating with their friends, and annoyed that the attainment of tickets had become so competitive. With only one cashier on hand to sell tickets to the hundreds who turned up to buy tickets in the student union, the queue was extremely slow moving, adding hours more onto waiting times.
Further trouble occurred when the box office began selling non-dining tickets to those who had queued, despite it being advertised that these would only be available online at 5pm later that day. When the remaining tickets did go online at 5pm, the predictably huge demand overloaded the university system, causing the site to crash.
Many students have been left upset that they have had to fight so hard to obtain a ticket to their graduation ball, especially as very few details have so far been released about the event. It was also widely considered to be unfair that each graduate could invite up to 3 guests, despite the apparent short supply. Some students have set up a Facebook group encouraging others to complain to the university, found here.
The union has since apologised via email for the mistakes.The organisation of last year’s graduate ball was criticised, as only a handful of toilets were made available at the event at which thousands were present.
Did you find the Grad Ball ticket process unfair, or did you end up with the tickets you wanted? Share your opinions and stories in the comments box below. We will also be exploring this issue further in the next issue of the Wessex Scene.