Balliol College’s 750th anniversary commemoration ball has been met with concern from JCR members.Issues surrounding ticket costs, white-tie hire, as well as the ball’s ‘opt-out system’ have all caused controversy.

Balliol College’s 750th anniversary 
commemoration ball has been met 
with concern from JCR members.
Issues surrounding ticket costs, 
white-tie hire, as well as the ball’s 
‘opt-out system’ have all caused controversy.
At a JCR meeting last Sunday, Balliol student Will Tummon proposed 
a motion singling out the “extortionate” requirement for students to 
wear white-tie, as  well as the potential stigma attached to anyone who 
chose to opt-out.
He called for the JCR to endorse 
a change to the ‘opt-in’ system and 
to encourage its members to refuse 
to pay the ticket price of £150 until 
financial details were clear. He also 
pressed for the ticket price to be reduced by at least half for JCR members.
The original motion submitted by 
Tummon was not passed; however, an 
amended version, proposed by Sam 
Ellis and Omid Pakseresht, passed 
without challenge.
The amended motion shared concerns about the ball possibly being 
too expensive for some students and 
resolved to work with the college’s 
Welfare and Housing Officers in exploring financial aid options, such 
as subsidising some tickets. It also 
pledged the JCR’s full support to the 
Ball Committee.
Tummon told Cherwell, “The 
amendment has made some progress 
in that it should help advertise the 
existing welfare provisions available 
to JCR members who might like to 
attend the ball but can’t for financial 
reasons.”
However, he continued, “Perhaps 
the college might consider chipping 
in rather more for its own birthday 
party, since it sits upon an endowment of about £64m, and a large 
proportion of its students are sitting 
upon a growing pile of debt. Such an 
act of fairness might best demonstrate the progress our wonderful institution has made, rather than galvanize the idea of Oxford as exclusive.”
Sam Ellis commented, “The original motion gave the JCR a great opportunity to discuss the price of commemoration balls. The main point to 
address was that members of the JCR 
might be priced out of the ball.”
Tessa McGuire, President of Balliol 
Ball, said that the ticket price of £150 
was “justified by virtue of the unlimited food, beverages and first class 
entertainment that will be provided.”
One Balliolite disagreed, commenting, “I think £150 is pretty high, especially given that it’s for Balliol’s 750th 
anniversary.

At a JCR meeting last Sunday, Balliol student Will Tummon proposed a motion singling out the “extortionate” requirement for students to wear white-tie, as  well as the potential stigma attached to anyone who chose to opt-out .He called for the JCR to endorse a change to the ‘opt-in’ system and to encourage its members to refuse to pay the ticket price of £150 until financial details were clear. He also pressed for the ticket price to be reduced by at least half for JCR members.

The original motion submitted by Tummon was not passed; however, an amended version, proposed by Sam Ellis and Omid Pakseresht, passed without opposition. The amended motion shared concerns about the ball possibly being too expensive for some students and resolved to work with the college’s Welfare and Housing Officers in exploring financial aid options, such as subsidising some tickets. It also pledged the JCR’s full support to the Ball Committee.

Tummon told Cherwell, “The amendment has made some progress in that it should help advertise the existing welfare provisions available to JCR members who might like to attend the ball but can’t for financial reasons.’

However, he continued, “Perhaps the college might consider chipping in rather more for its own birthday party, since it sits upon an endowment of about £64m, and a large proportion of its students are sitting upon a growing pile of debt. Such an act of fairness might best demonstrate the progress our wonderful institution has made, rather than galvanize the idea of Oxford as exclusive.”

Sam Ellis commented, “The original motion gave the JCR a great opportunity to discuss the price of commemoration balls. The main point to address was that members of the JCR might be priced out of the ball.

”Tessa McGuire, President of Balliol Ball, said that the ticket price of £150 was “justified by virtue of the unlimited food, beverages and first class entertainment that will be provided.” One Balliolite disagreed, commenting, “I think £150 is pretty high, especially given that it’s for Balliol’s 750th anniversary.”