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Previous Balls "Undignified Rave" According to President

May 13 2004 14:11
Nia Stevens
In an address printed in the programme for this year's Summer Ball, Union President, Mustafa Arif, has made derogatory comments regarding previous similar events.
Union President Mustafa Arif with DPFS and Ball organiser Mike Moate at the C&G Freshers' Ball in the Great Hall.

In a leaked preview of the programme note welcoming revellers to the Summer Ball at Alexandra Palace, the President declared that "It’s taken seven years but the Ball is finally back in its rightful home – rather than being an undignified rave on some turf". Then displaying an apparent lack of disrespect for any potential impact his derogatory remarks may have, Mr Arif followed on with the flippant quip "There. I said it. Muh ha ha!".

These blunt statements contrast in style with a recently published carefully constructed argument for holding the event at the West Hall of Alexandra Palace, which argues that this was the only financially viable option. Previous balls held at the South Kensington Campus did face financial trouble but broke even with financial assistance from College as well as external sponsorship as did the last ball held at Alexandra Palace in its Grand Hall. A previous ball, held in the, smaller, West Hall at Alexandra Palace, (in 1998 not 1997 as implied by the President) was profitable.

The decision to hold the event at Alexandra Palace has met with some criticism from some quarters, who feel that it pushes the ticket price excessively high for students. Similarly the decision to hold previous balls at the South Kensington Campus has met some criticism that the venue is unglamorous and that the ticket price is excessively high for the venue. The Summer Ball programme leaves little doubt as to where Mustafa Arif's preferences lie in this regard. It can only be hoped that this personal preference was not the main driving factor behind the decision to hold this year's Ball at Alexandra Palace.

In defence of his remarks Mr Arif asserted that he was just being his "normal cheeky self" and noted that he is recorded as having had made similar comments previously in an Exec meeting. He further expressed that the idea of Alexandra Palace as a venue was "a driver for there being a ball at all" as other Union figures who were previously reluctant to have a ball were enthused by the idea of Alexandra Palace before finally commenting that "student activities are driven by the people who run them no matter what the activity is".

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Discussion about “Previous Balls "Undignified Rave" According to President”

The comments below are unmoderated submissions by Live! readers. The Editor accepts no liability for their content, nor for any offence caused by them. Any complaints should be directed to the Editor.
1. Ameet   
May 13 2004 14:25

2 things don't quite seem right, actually they seem pretty f**ked up....

1) i don't think the home of the IC (located in s.ken) ball is miles away in north london at ali.pali.

2)is there a reason y C+S are getting a ?5 discount?

May 13 2004 15:01

"There. I said it. Muh ha ha!"

Muh ha ha!!!

May 13 2004 15:36

Just off the top of my head, I can think of 10 reasons why not to go to the ball:

1) It is sponsored by Shell, a company responisble for death and destruction all over the globe (and I'm not going to reply to any idiots who try and stick up for Shell - if you want to find out how f**ked up they are go and find out for yourself).

2) It is far too expensive.

3) There isn't the option of an Entertainments only ticket.

4) Even if there was, there is no decent entertainment

5) It is before most peoples' exams have finished

6) I don't know anyone who is going... except, presumably for Mustafa

7) Mustafa is going (no offense Musty)

8) It isn't an undignified rave

9) It's miles away

10) It finishes too early

4. haha   
May 13 2004 16:23

Ameet, you might not have noticed but IC is not just located in s.ken anymore, maybe it would have helped you if you had realised this sooner...

but then again it probably wouldn't have.

May 14 2004 10:18

It would be interesting to know how things are going. Looking at the Exec Agenda yesterday (, apparently there was a report on the Summer Ball.

Let's hope it all goes well, and finally the union can build a solid brand for the future.

May 14 2004 12:00

can't please everyone.

7. Simon   
May 14 2004 20:44

If this proves to be true, then I think it is a miss calculated statement by The President.

For someone who should be embracing the views of all students it's very unprofessional to make such prejudiced remarks.

I hope that this year's ball is a great success in the chosen venue. I know that a lot of hard work has gone into it.

That said, I thought that the two recent balls at South Ken - particularly the most recent - were excellent entertainment.

May 14 2004 22:02

Do we have rough numbers for those who have bought tickets?

May 15 2004 09:56

I was tempted to go when some of my mates bought tickets and made several attempts to pursuade me to go......

BUT COME ON!!!! ?60???? + Other costs.....

Thats practically stealing money from my wallet. I could achieve the same thing by drinking gallons of champagne at some wannabe clubs in Fulham/Chelsea where wannabe chicks are approximately 9887.45 times hotter than Imperial Chicks.

I agree its the Summer Ball and its once in your life time. However, from my perspective, if I had to choose how to spend my ?60, I would rather get wasted with my mates in South Ken.

I am sorry General Mustafa. You lost ?60 from me!

May 15 2004 16:31

Why do people think it is too expensive this year, isn't it almost the same price as last year (if you take out transport which anyone who lives outside S. Ken had to pay for last year) but with better entertainment. People who only went for the entertainment last year did not get ?25.00 worth of entertainment (particularly in formal dress). This year although they can't only go for the enertainment the entertainment is at least worth the money. Last year I'd have preferred a dinner only ticket. This year (if I hadn't had a previous engagment) I'd have gone for both.

May 15 2004 21:59

I did enjoy Mustafa's state of the union piece this week. It's reassuring to know that despite the fabulous word-of-mouth about this ball, there's still a small number of tickets left.

I heard from other sources however that the "small number" is around 400 below break-even. But what do I know? Perhaps someone will tell us.

Certainly Mustafa may be correct in his judgement and the ball may be a resounding success; in which case he deserves a round of applause from all. He certainly seems confident as he's more than willing to belittle the efforts of those who've gone before, throwing away a lot of goodwill in the process.

However, in the unhappy event of things going badly, the question is how much money can he afford to lose before falling on his sword? And, having stated pubicly that he doesn't believe that union money should subsidise a party for the few, where will the money to meet any loss come from?

May 15 2004 22:53

"There is no such thing as bad publicity."

Tee hee :-)

May 16 2004 07:14

So the numbers are anywhere between 60 and 500. I will say it again, is there anyone which knows the actual figure, rather than a rumour that they heard.

14. Seb   
May 16 2004 09:27

Edward, I've been meaning to try and get hold of you.

Can we have Jez turn up to the "midsummers night ball" event we are holding on the 12th June? Outside the MDH area?

Give me a call on 07984462989

May 16 2004 12:30

Ameet...just go home. Don't even bother commenting anymore.

May 16 2004 22:02

Seb, isn't midsummer the 21st june though?

Real Random Student, if you have to calculate how much better looking the chelsea/fulham set are, then you won't be getting any, will you?

May 17 2004 01:46

Strbuck-Dude. My experience is vast.

And trust Uncle McCoy, my words are beyond contestation.

Stay away from Ally Pally!

18. Seb   
May 17 2004 08:20

Yeah. Well, 12th was a good date for us and we needed a theme. Given it was supposed to be in spring and at Silwood Park Manor House, the so-called "spring ball" (cancled by nebulous forces beyond our controll) and we couldn't call it "summer ball", "midsummers night" was apparently what was decided.

It's only a week out rather than the black widows advertisment for "chistmas nightmare" to be held in June... "six months early..." oooo.... spooky.... wierd.... kRaZy! God I hate that place, you can't even take a **** without the place trying to be "in charachter".

19. amram   
May 17 2004 21:54

A comment to you all.

1)Seb - is it wise giving your mobile number out on the Internet (even if live has a readership of around 20??)

2) Ameet is right- in a way- South Ken is where the vast majority of IC students are at. And of those not at South Ken (mostly medics) the majority don't act as part of the whole uni.

3) ?60 seems to much Mustafa- but on the plus side I have heard that lots of people are going,

4)South Ken ladies (save for Imperial women of course) tend to be a)french, b)in-bred or c) both...

As to exams. Well i have finished. So there....

Life's a bitch and then you marry one (except if your anArab and then you marry 3 or 4)


Amram is back!!!

May 18 2004 11:17

Excerpt from an e-mail sent to all EEE students:

"If you want to meet God, you'll find Mustafa on table 12."


21. Rumour   
May 18 2004 17:24

Sources close to the Union today put ticket sales at 600.

May 18 2004 17:49

I had nothing to do with that email. I saw it the same time as everyone else. It's all down to the unique sense of humour of .

23. Seb   
May 18 2004 19:09

Meh, the point of a phone number is that people know it in order that they contact me. It's the same number I used as an "officer of the union" last year, so it's kind of public knowledge anyway.

When I graduate, I'll probably change the phone anyway.

24. tom t   
May 18 2004 22:51


Amram is back!!!

And as usual has nothing to say.

25. amram   
May 19 2004 00:11

To the esteemed Mr. Tibbits

Gosh, have you not finished your PhD yet? What a waste of taxpayers money. As usual I have a lot to say- unfortunately it doesn't agree with your rather anachronisitc view of the world. Tom , communism is dead- it died around 1990 (Berlin wall and all that)

move on.

Although as a "Respect" (please how silly do you guys get) campaigner you should object to fancy balls costing ?60 a head. Although I heard there was a rather nicer one held tonight costing a fair bit more- around ?1000 a head.

OH and please don't attempt further argument vis a vis MidEast , Iraq etc as I really don't want to have to destroy your arguments again...

Buy the Spectator, better still get national review online...

come come your far too old for this nonsense.

26. tom t   
May 19 2004 10:53

Amram have you just finished your finals? I'm sure it won't only be the Chemistry dept glad to see the back of you.

I for one shalln't be voting respect. Anyone who actually knows me would know that I root for the Greens .

27. amram   
May 19 2004 14:45

clever but not so clever mr, tibbits...

As to Greens well- you move from one bunch of loosers to another...

Although they are slightly more sane than respect- at least they don't have blatant terrorist supporters running...

28. Editor   
May 20 2004 14:24

This Imperial College news message board has been moderated in the interests of the majority of readers. The Editors suggest that discussions relating to the Middle East be continued over coffee in the SCR (or similar).

May 20 2004 16:22

That is a rather pathetic reason- censorship klls the point of a discussion forum!!

May 20 2004 16:59

Well, to be fair, the conversation/flame war had moved away from the topic of conversation to something very different altogether. Good call, I thought. Amram, you have my email address should you wish to continue the discussion (as I am slightly geographically challenged to get to the scr these days.)

May 20 2004 17:11

Concerning the ball:

People always end up missing out due to exams no matter where you place the ball in the summer term, unless you place it on the very last day of term. So the only way to get round this would be to persuade college not to kick people out of halls by midday on saturday (a large cause of complaint from the last ally pally ball) They could even extend the leasing agreements to include this in the rent possibly for an extra half a day's grace. And then instead of spending the money to cover costs of the ball etc the cash college would normally pay, could be used to pay for the overtime needed to get the halls in a fit state for the conference guests which start arriving very soon after, also a plus for college employees getting paid overtime. Just an idea, not necessarily a good one. But there you go.

32. Beci   
May 20 2004 17:38

Down in Wye we have the option of staying an extra half day or day in halls, after our Summer Ball, which is on the last day of term. It's a very good idea and is often taken up by quite a few students who don't feel up to driving home.

33. ant   
May 24 2004 19:32

And Down in Wye they probably don't get as many people complaining about the ticket price either.

Closed This discussion is closed.

Please contact the Live! Editor if you would like this discussion topic re-opened.


See Also

  1. Self-righteous Balls
    03 May 04 | Straight Talking
  2. Flash Talks About Balls
    25 Apr 04 | Feature
  3. “Ally Pally” Summer Ball Confirmed
    31 Jan 04 | News

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