Students have voiced concerns over the booking process for this year’s Varsity Ski Trip, which opened last Saturday. Following last year’s general sale, when tickets sold out within hours, many students felt it necessary to attempt to buy tickets within the opening moments of the booking process, which proved difficult for freshers matriculating on the same morning.

Tickets went on sale at 8am on Saturday 13th October, clashing with matriculation preparations for many new students. Two thousand tickets were sold in the first ninety minutes of booking.

First year Philosophy and Theology student Beth Hibbert commented that Ê»the process could have been made a lot less stressful had the Varsity organisers realised that this was Matriculation day at Oxford, and was a busy day for all freshers. She commented, “A simple glance at the University term card should have warned them away from choosing the thirteenth of October as booking day.” She continued, “I did manage to get a ticket, but my morning could have been a great deal less stressful if Varsity booking had been on another day.”

Rohan Sakhrani, Vice President of the Varsity Trip Committee, was more optimistic about the booking this year. He said “after last year’s server struggles we are pleased to announce that our completely revamped booking system handled the traffic admirably and got everyone through in a record breaking one and a half hours.”

Students at colleges who had a particularly early Matriculating slot, including Christ Church, Regent’s Park and University, voiced concerns about the ease of fitting in both booking and matriculating. Sofia Newitt, a student at Regent’s Park College, commented, “Tt was a bad idea – but we all managed to get tickets. Also the booking opened early on the Saturday, so at least matriculation meant that we were awake at that hour of the morning!”

Varsity Trip tour operator, NUCO, said “NUCO is very happy to report that the initial booking process on Saturday morning was generally a huge success. We processed over 2000 bookings in less than 2 hours with very minimal technical issues. “The increased capacity in 2012 has allowed more participants than ever to come on Varsity Trip and we are looking forward to a great week in Val Thorens.”

The Vice President of the Committee added, “We have more freshers from Oxford going this year than ever before so it seems like Matriculation didn’t get in the way of those students that wanted a place on the trip.”