Controversy has engulfed the Balliol and St Hilda’s balls, forcing St Hilda’s to change their theme at the last minute.
The issue arose after Balliol’s team revealed that they were planning a “Midsummer Night’s Dream” theme for their ball, the same theme as St Hilda’s.
But whilst Balliol have gone ahead with their “Midsummer Night’s Dream” theme, Hilda’s have had to change their theme to “Temptations.”
The college’s Ball Committee President, Joy Tuffield, said her team had had no option but to “rework many of the details of the ball.”
She said she was giving Balliol the benefit of the doubt in assuming that the overlap had been accidental, although she felt that it was unlikely to have been a complete coincidence.
She said, “the only plausible explanation I can think of is that someone heard the theme in passing, had not committed it to memory, and once it came to brainstorming for themes it came creeping back from deep in their subconscious. Or at least I sincerely hope that was the case.”
Tuffield said that there were “no hard feelings” about and that the last-minute shock had “injected a bit of excitement in the whole process.”
Tuffield’s counterpart at Balliol, Ball Committee co-President Sasha Roupell, denied that the incident had been in any way intentional, saying “I can’t see how that would work to our advantage. If there had been any connection between the teams this wouldn’t have happened.”
She said she believed that the co-incidence could be explained by a general trend. “All of the themes this year do seem to be sort of fairytale based – Alice in Wonderland, Midsummer Night’s Dream and so on.”s
Roupell said she knew that St Hilda’s had changed their plans for the ball, and that Balliol intended to stick with the theme.
Some students seemed reluctant to believe that the identical themes could have been chosen by pure chance. One St Hilda’s student said “I’m not suggesting they stole our idea but maybe they heard from somewhere. Balliol should have checked round before they started printing stuff.”