America Soc makes The Guardian… for poor turnout

Guardian columnist Tim Dowling gives America Soc a mention after just 20 turn up to hear him speak.

UCLU American Society was indirectly mentioned in the national press at the weekend in a Guardian column, after a disappointingly low attendance at one of their events.

Their evening with Guardian journalist Tim Dowling on the 15th of November seemingly went down like a lead balloon, with just 20 people turning up to hear the American speak at the UCL archaeology lecture theatre.

Despite telling Mr Dowling that there was an expected turnout of between 50-100 people, just 20 people attended his talk on his own experiences as an American journalist residing in London.

Mr Dowling, writing in his weekend column for the Guardian Weekend Magazine, described:

“When I arrive at the university’s archaeology theatre, it is almost empty. As the hour of my talk nears, it becomes clear that the low-end estimate of 50 was an exceedingly generous gauge of local interest: about 20 people have turned up, and they seem intent on ranging themselves along the aisle near the door, for easy escape.”

However, the American Society took a less cynical view of the evening’s events. Co-President Beatrice Kelly told The Tab: “The event was fantastic! We had around twenty enthusiastic participants who were keen to hear about Tim’s experiences as a journalist and as an American.

“Tim gave a wry and witty talk about his move from the states to London, echoing the humorous quality of his writing. Speaking to him afterwards, he had enjoyed the evening thoroughly (including the free jam doughnuts!), and is looking forward to coming back again in the spring to participate in one of our U.S. Focus Week debates.”

Curious as to why such a humorous guest drew such a paltry low audience and disappointed at having missed out, The Tab decided to ask the man himself. Mr Dowling, in typically sardonic fashion, told us:

“Who knows? I write about being a parent, so maybe it’s like going to hear your Dad speak – you wouldn’t make a special trip.

“Still, better to have 20 people stay than 40 people turn up and 20 walk out halfway through…”