This article first appeared on DUSA Media.
Graduating students blame Dundee University for the cancellation of this year’s winter graduation ball, which was announced in an email from the University’s events team to graduates on Thursday. The event, jointly organized by the University and Dundee University Students’ Association (DUSA), was to be held in the Union on 22 November.
A spokesman for the University cited low ticket sales as the reason for the cancellation: “Despite having been advertised to students and graduates for several weeks, at the point the decision to cancel the event was taken only 16 tickets had been sold and we had been informed a significant number of students were planning on attending other events, which would make the Ball unsustainable.”
According to a DUSA representative, successful events such as society fundraisers in “Mono” sell at least 200 tickets.
The cancellation mainly affects graduating nursing and doctoral students.
Francis Nicholson, president of the Nursing and Midwifery Society, said graduating nursing students traditionally held their own event and this year marked the first time the University wanted to organize winter graduation celebrations.
Nicholson said, “As this was not brought to us until late in the year, planning had already started to take place regarding our ball. When students were then consulted as to how they would like to proceed, the majority voted in favour of a nursing only ball … When this was fed back to the University, they explained that the majority of graduates in winter come from the Nursing school and so it was financially crucial for us to be involved in the night somehow.”
As a compromise, Nicholson said, “[t]he University and the [society] decided that the best option would be for us to hold our own ball as planned, and then the University would stage a scaled down winter event that the nurses would then join at 12 AM as a sort of after party to our event.”
Nicholson told DUSA Media, “we had arranged for nurses to pay on the door, on the night”.
Naomi Bridges, who will graduate with an MLitt in Comics Studies in three weeks, said she was disappointed with the University: “I hadn’t gotten round to buying my ticket yet as there are three weeks to go … I think the events team could have done a more thorough job in reviewing the event and perceived interest. The whole thing smacks of laziness to me.”
Nursing and Midwifery School president Sophy Parr said she had not been involved in the matter and referred questions to Nicholson.
Spokesmen for the University and DUSA said they were working on an alternative solution for winter graduates. Those who already bought tickets will get a refund. By the time of publication, 12 people had signed up for student-led “Alternative Graduation Celebrations” on Facebook.
Standard disclosure: DUSA Media is part of DUSA. But you already knew that.
Correction: This article originally stated that Bridges was a nursing graduate. She’s not.