Wolfson calls off June Event over “time constraints and difficulties”
Students hurt as their “only firm May Week event” is cancelled, but College say they only have themselves to blame
Wolfson College Student Association (WCSA) has just announced it is cancelling this year’s planned June Event.
The reasons given by the college, according to the WCSA, were “time constraints and difficulties faced by previous June Event Committees”. Ahmed Elmi, the President of the WCSA, broke the news on a Wolfson student Facebook group on Thursday evening:
Within the college itself, there has been a lot of speculation regarding the reasoning behind the cancellation, ranging from safety certification, disorganisation of previous years, disruption of study, to a lack of punctuality regarding the committee’s organisation.
Others have suggested the provisional committee organising the event are not culpable, with one anonymous student even suggesting that “college management have been devious and short sighted in cancelling the June on the sly, seemingly to save on admin”.
However, in a statement on Friday lunchtime, the college accused students of failing to put in place a “provisional programme” in time for it to be submitted to the Cambridge City Council, who ordinarily expect the plans for May Ball by late January.
They have also encouraged the student body to organise an end‐of‐year party in May Week for Wolfson students – “by Wolfson, for Wolfson”.
A spokesperson for the College said: “At a meeting of the Wolfson College Council on Monday 25 January, a proposal was put to the College Council by a student for a June Event. Cambridge City Council’s planning cycle for May Balls and June Events starts in October.
“The City Council expects to receive the full provisional programme for a Ball/Event by the end of January at the latest. The draft proposal presented to the College Council on Monday, less than five months before the proposed date of the Event, was neither adequate not practicable, and the College was unable to agree to its go‐ahead at this late stage.
“Nobody from the 2015 June Event Committee nor any other students had stepped forward to help run an event in 2016, and it was only down to the newly elected Committee of the Wolfson College Students Association (WCSA) in December that any interest was shown in putting on an Event in 2016, although this was already far too late.
“In the absence of a June Event in 2016, the College is encouraging WCSA to organise an end‐of‐year party in May Week for Wolfson students – by Wolfson, for Wolfson.”
Wolfson’s response follows the furious reaction of Wolfson students last night, who criticised the college for making “no effort to contact the student body”.
College lothario Adam Butler-Rushton told The Tab: “I think that organising a June Event at a small college six months in advance is hardly outrageous timing, and the only reason the provisional committee took that long is because the college made no effort to contact the student body.”
Last year’s June Event was very well-received, witnessing legendary garage artist Artful Dodger perform, as well as a roller disco, water walkers and a bouncy castle. The then-President of the college’s student union – not the current one – was even “MCing and comparing himself to Barack Obama”, according to one student.
Last year’s June Event president, Alfie Lambert, expressed his disappointment:
“Last year, we held what was widely regarded as the best June Event ever at Wolfson – students from other colleges commented on how good it was and how surprised they were. We brought in headline acts for the first time. We delivered the event on time and under budget; yet for some reason they have cancelled this year’s event and blamed my committee for it.
“The one hold up we had was due to safety certification that had been sent over to the relevant party, however a mix up at their end proved costly. We were then asked to do the paperwork again, slowing us down further. We (the committee) are all very upset to be blamed and the students are understandably disappointed, especially as we have a high number of master’s students that will now never experience a June Event in their college.”
As a mature college with a high intake of one-year graduate students, the disappointment is tangible. Many students have been denied their one opportunity to attend the annual June Event at their own college.
Adam Butler-Rushton elaborated that “because of the range of people studying here, many Wolfson students do not have strong links with other colleges, so in effect cancelling the Wolfson June Event is cancelling their only firm May Week event.
“I’m absolutely devastated. We are an unconventional college with a diverse membership and need focal events like the June Event to help create a community atmosphere.”
“To think that this year the college is going to be silent this May Week is very sad.”