Grad Ball VIP Tickets: SUSU's Own Expenses Scandal
With the release of all the details about the Grad Ball on Wednesday, many soon-to-be graduates have been checking bank balances and buying their tickets, eagerly looking forward to their […]
With the release of all the details about the Grad Ball on Wednesday, many soon-to-be graduates have been checking bank balances and buying their tickets, eagerly looking forward to their last night out at university.
However, another SUSU faux pas, following hot on the heels of the potential NUS referndum scandal, has come out of the woodwork. This week those people being invited to the Grad Ball as VIP guests of the union, i.e. anyone that the the Sabbs feel deserve thanks for their service to SUSU during their time at university, have been identified. Normally the VIP section is reserved for winners of EVA’s as an additional congratulation for their win, along with anyone who has been involved in setting up the Ball.
This year however, it has become obvious that this trend is no longer continuing. The Tab has discovered that anyone who has held a Student Leader position this year has been invited to attend. The VIP ticket includes a reception two hours before the event and free access to the event itself. With tickets being £50 each for the student body, this isn’t a small luxury being afforded but a significant sum.
As many as THIRTY Student Leaders are being offered the tickets which means a whopping £1500 of ticket money has been wasted! This is even more ridiculous when several student leader positions aren’t even held by graduating students. We contacted SUSU President Sam Ling to ask why so many people were given free tickets. With regards to the Student Leader invitations he had this to say:
The primary aim is to use it to give thanks to key individuals who have contributed greatly and supported the Union in its achievements over the previous year. The secondary aim is to use that celebration of our achievements in order to demonstrate the value of the Union to a number of key stakeholders who there is value in the Union remaining in close contact with, or refreshing our contact with them.…….Invitation to the reception (& the Ball) is a small token of thanks for the substantial contributions our student leaders and Trustees give to the Union over their year
It is understandable that SUSU want to thank people that have worked hard for the union across the last year and throughout their uni career. However this seems a very expensive way to thank them, at a great monetary expense and at risk of angering the student body. With non-graduating students having to individually request tickets through Sabbs and the ticket price itself being so high many are questioning why SUSU feels the need to waste yet more money.
Here at The Tab many of us are looking forward to the Graduation Ball, but as any student would we’re also mumbling about high ticket prices. Seeing first and second year students who have their own ball to attend getting a free ticket purely for sitting in a meeting once a month is fairly disgraceful. I for one feel that the offer should extend to VIP area and preliminary reception, but if people want to attend a grad ball they’re not meant to be at, they should pay for their own ticket like everybody else. Wherever the money for the tickets is coming from it’s still our money, and wasting it on first and second years is a bit beyond the pale.
What do YOU think? Fair or foul on SUSU’s part? We always love a healthy debate so please comment below!