Union Freshers’ Ball 2014

JACK LEWY is surprised and impressed by this year’s sterling Union Ball

ball Freshers Union

The Union Freshers’ Ball committee has a lot to be proud of.

After reading reviews of last year’s event, it was impossible to arrive at this year’s Freshers’ Ball with high expectations.

Second years had lambasted the event as “lukewarm”, “dreadful”, and “potentially okay”, but even upon arrival it was clear that this year’s event was going to be completely different.

In an awkward mash-up between a night out at Cindies and The Great Gatsby movie, the dance floor was a truly strange experience.

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An energetic Jazz Band was playing throughout the night. So energetic, it seems, that in the chamber there was a fresher described to have been “acting like a donkey, kicking people out the way willy-nilly”.

The sheer volumes of free drink that were being provided meant that, naturally, nobody seemed to care.

Outside and inside the Union, free drinks were flowing all night.

After the Union provided a champagne reception, we were given access to a cocktail bar which was still serving in the early hours of the morning, and tables holding hundreds of bottles of wine, champagne, beer, and even WKD for all those still stuck in 2010.

The casino room, where $10,000 of fake chips were there for the taking, was expertly managed by a group of third years from Churchill.

Being packed from start to finish meant that it was difficult to find a place to play, and I had a drink spilt over me as collateral damage in somebody’s scrum to get to a roulette wheel, but I couldn’t help but feel like those around me and I had been transported into a crap James Bond movie for a few minutes.

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Not quite Casino Royale, but not bad either

An anonymous Pembroke fresher described the Karaoke as “tragic”, saying that “nobody was dancing to the karaoke and [that] people were singing using their phones”. I didn’t think it was that bad.

The live comedy performance, next door to the karaoke, was very nearly empty, with one of the two performers afterwards describing the conditions that they were given as “dreadful”. Again, I thought that they were still pretty funny.

The Union was in fine form – lights and decorations were out, it felt fitting that the grandeur of the event was matched by its surroundings.

It still feels, as a fresher, peculiar to be partying in such an old building, dancing in the same room that Robert Downey Jr was questioned in the day before.

A professional photographer was hovering around snapping party-goers, and a photo-booth with bizarre props was extremely popular.

I had never before seen so many horse-heads in such a short space of time.

At the end of the night, despite swathes of partiers gathering in groups to begin their descents back to college, there was still a vibrant atmosphere.

Five hundred freshers were at the Ball, and although I’m sure that many of the people I spoke to were too drunk to vividly remember our conversations, it was a great opportunity to get to meet some people from some of the more far out colleges.

Most people seemed to have had a great night – I certainly did.