Senior Tutors are cancelling Bops because they hate us

JONNY OLDFIELD argues that the sacred bop is under threat

Bop Cambridge Drinking fun Pembroke student fun

Bops. That most wonderful Cambridge institution. Somewhere between a school disco and debauched rave, this party is a burning beacon of fun in an otherwise dreary, bleak Fenland.

This most hallowed and treasured occasion is under threat. As many of you are undoubtedly aware, on finding out about his students’ drinking activities, the Caius Master’s rage knew no limits and he banned their Bop. Queens’ too have banned bops in a fuss over a bit of vomit. Anxious Cantabs everywhere now live in constant fear lest their college be next in this assault on student fun. Comrades, it is clear that we live in perilous times. Senior Tutors have learnt to use bops as a weapon against the undergraduate population.

A beacon of fun

None of us should be idle in the face of such a threat. We should rally to the cause and remind ourselves and the Orwellian, fun-destroying authorities of the great benefits of Bop.

Bops inspire creativity and channel our artistic energies. With themes ranging from ‘Myths and Legends’ to ‘I’m Every Woman’ and with only a handful of charity shops and Primark at our disposal, the dress codes for these parties demand innovative costume design and encourage individualistic expression like no formal hall or night at Cindies ever could.

Moreover, the themes themselves require intellectual engagement with their subjects, be it knowledge of ancient Greek tales and extraordinary feats of human achievement, or an appreciation of female triumph and the meaning of femininity. It’s more challenging than a Geography supervision.

Fun I tell you, fun.

Bops provide the perfect opportunity to spark (albeit usually inadvertently) new romances. Unable to work up the courage to talk to that person you fancy? No need to worry, you are sure to encounter them at Bop at the end of term, which leaves the holidays for you both to forget the incident in which things predictably go wrong. Perfect.

On a more practical note, Bops really are the best parties you could ever hope to attend. All your friends are in one place, the alcohol is provided, you don’t have to clear up and all this costs about the same as a bag of Maltesers. But above all, Bops are safe. Located within college premises and run by the college student union, these are practically safe havens for sensible fun, without all the dangers of clubbing. It would be wrong to argue that Bops do not have a tendency to descend into drunkenness, but within the confines of the college environment, there really is no better place to do it.


Bops are fun. The concept of fun might be considered controversial in certain circles in Cambridge, but for the vast majority of students dressing up in silly costumes, drinking with friends and dancing to cheesy music is one of the best ways to release pent-up stress at the end of a strenuous term. Colleges should embrace this chance to create a safe space for sensible fun, not abolish it altogether.

Long live the Bop.