he marquees are measured, the wine bought and the sums done. As the stakes hot up for this year's Ball Committee to make 24th June a night to remember, ghosts of Balls past are a spur to bigger and better things...
And you don't get much bigger than Cliveden, stately home of the Astor family. This was the venue Sir Peter Morrison ('63) chose for the 1965 Drag Hunt Ball which dominated Oxford's social scene that summer.
There was, however, more than mere size behind this Ball's big splash.The swimming pool around which Ball-goers thronged was the very place in which John Profumo, then Minister for War, met Christine Keeler, consort of a Russian spy, wearing only a smile.
The ultimate publicity coup? Without doubt: Christ Church and the other commems were left in Sir Peter's wake as the Keble man scooped the cream of the ticket sales.
Call us traditional. We're sticking to posters, fliers and lots of free booze for the 1995 publicity campaign. But even if we can't promise political scandal, we can guarantee an immense night of fun.
All Old Members are welcome to attend this year's College Ball on 24th June. Tickets may be obtained by writing to the Ball Committee at Keble or by telephoning (01865) 272770. Double dining tickets are £140.
ariously descibed as "elitist", "old - fashioned" and "unfair", the examination mode of entry was blackballed in the final proposals of the university "Crouch" report published in February.
Dr Simon Hunt, Keble's Tutor for Admissions, said that Governing Body had supported the move strongly, but not without some voices of dissent. On the opposition benches, the maths and music faculties defended the exam as a gauge for the pooling system. This allows tutors to pass surplus good candidates on to other colleges who may have room.
Against this, the Engineering Department highlighted the 13,000 A-level candidates who achieve superb grades yet are not attracted to apply to Oxford and pointed to the exam as a possible deterrent.
The new interview-only system provoked a flood of letters of opposition from state schools. Although the exam mode was thought to favour private schools with their emphasis on exam training, state sector concerns reflect a widespread belief that some candidates, regardless of preparation, only do themselves full justice on paper.
The new system will be introduced in 1996, and will be accompanied by short written tests in some subjects. Now the emphasis is on reducing the pressure of the interview itself and allowing candidates to show themselves in their best light.
the brick issue 3 - Hilary Term 1995
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