The News From The Dark Blues

TIM WIGMORE is back, and this week he’s talking about alcohol-free formals and Access schemes. Who said Oxford wasn’t fun?

We’ve only had a week of the new term, and already new finalists are taking it all a tad too seriously. Time to calm down and have a drink?

Well that’s not easy if you are unfortunate enough to be at St Hugh’s. As if being Oxford’s furthest-out college (by a long way) wasn’t bad enough, Hugh’s has introduced restrictions on bringing in alcohol for formal hall. You’re now not allowed to bring in any alcohol, and are limited to two glasses of wine or fruit punch (a euphemism for a crap mixer?).

This makes it impossible to get suitably inebriated at formal, which surely is the whole point. The JCR has responded by advising all members to boycott until further notice.

Meanwhile, a few people have busied themselves complaining about bop themes. The problem is a ‘Gypsy Bop’ at Keble. The organisers advised those coming to: “Cast off your materialism! Dance, make merry, eat by the fire of our youth and revel” – not to rebel against their theme, which they insist was well intentioned.

Still, at least bops are cheap and over quickly. Unlike, say, the Brasenose 2011 Ball. Though it happened five months ago, it stubbornly refuses to be forgotten. The JCR has just passed an emergency motion to pay £4,000 towards the Ball’s £13,500 losses; last term, it agreed to pay £3,500, but this was rejected as insufficient by the Brasenose Governing Body. Why did it lose so much money? Essentially it all went on renting a house in the country, and transporting everyone to it which, apparently, rather adds up.

Another perennially reoccurring story in Ox-land is the dodgy investment. Just four months after the University council said Oxford had no investments in banned arms, it has been found that in August 2011 the University had a £620,000 investment in Lockheed Martin, an arms company that dabbles in cluster bombs.

If that’s all a bit serious for you, then let’s talk about Carlos Tevez. New College’s JCR launched an official £996 bid for him, which included a player in part-exchange. Quite possibly taking an amusing joke a little too far, their JCR President said: “We do understand that he is missing his family, which is an issue experienced by many international students… Carlos will also do wonders for our Access programme.”