Newnham threatens disciplinary action over the reselling of formal tickets

Newnham College’s Vice-Principal has warned disciplinary action could go as far as expulsion

Students at Newnham College, Cambridge have been warned that reselling formal tickets for profit could lead to expulsion in a college-wide email from the Vice-Principal. This was prompted by the fact that non-college members were found to be in attendance at the college’s Halfway Hall formal last week, which the email describes as a “private event.”

In order to enter the event, students will have needed to identify themselves as college members to staff. The email claims that these students “must have been given names of Newnham students to impersonate.” College Vice-Principal Barbara Blacklaws described this as “misrepresentation and fraud.” 

The email – received by students on Wednesday – stresses that formal tickets are “not for resale.”

It concluded by stating that if students are found to be undertaking this practice, “they are likely to be subject to an investigation and serious disciplinary sanction, which may include being removed from their course.” 

Image Credit: Catherine Prior

It is unclear whether any Newnham student has been directly threatened with disciplinary action by the college at this stage. 

The reselling and swapping of formal tickets is a common practice on social media, especially over Facebook groups.

However, Halfway Hall – which took place at Newnham on the 9th of February – is a private formal event exclusively for second-years who have reached the midpoint of their degrees. Non-bookable formals such as subject formals and Halfway Hall are free at Newnham, so the reported selling of Halfway Hall tickets has been received controversially by the college community. 

Image source: Camfess

Formals at Newnham are currently a rare occurrence – only two bookable formals are scheduled to take place this term due to staff shortages. Each formal had 80 spaces available and these were booked out in less than an hour from when the booking system went live.

Complaints have been made by students about this as no notice was given that the system was going live so some feel they have unfairly missed out.  

Newnham College Press Office and Newnham JCR were contacted for comment.  

Featured image credit: Sarah Swift