The financial viability of late night college events has been questioned by Commercial Services, but it has been met by strong denial from College JCRCs.
The problem has arisen due to low ticket sales for some events that have left Commercial services with bills of around £2,000 after JCRCs have had to cancel the event.
Jon Greenwood, Director of Commercial Services, commented: “College bars are not in a strong position. They are down on budget again this year.”
While JCRCs are responsible for organising and selling tickets for college bar events, Commercial Services provide the door and bar staff. If an event is cancelled due to low ticket sales, Greenwood explained that Commercial Services are left to pick up the bill.
However, he added that this will not mean the ruling out of future late license event nights: “We should be sharing costs and ticket sales and doing these events as a joint venture; shared risk and reward is a model the Courtyard adopted.”
Matt Jenkins, Derwent JCRC Chair, stated: “We have never cancelled a Club D.” He stressed that each Club D has “an average attendance of around 350-400 students, which is a third of Derwent’s entire student population.”
Countering Greenwood’s financial concerns he argued: “If the JCRC and the University are still struggling to make money from such well-attended, regular events…this says more about the University infrastructure than the events themselves.”
Continued suggestions have been made for the University to take charge of equipment costs while the college pays for bar and door staff instead. Jenkins maintains that this would be “extremely profitable as they would have no additional costs to a normal night.”
Bertie Baker-Smith, Langwith Events rep, cited the possibility of “doing [events] in the Courtyard instead” but stated that the college popularity and the assurances of Greenwood’s statement would not mean a future reduction of events.
Tim Ngwena, YUSU President, said that Commercial Services “just moan”, commenting that they “have to realise that this is about the student experience not profit and loss balance sheets. They should translate their business accumin to help turn around the situation much like any struggling business would.”