Jesus College bops face new restrictions

Alex Cooke – Deputy News Editor 18 February 2010

A curfew has been enforced for Jesus College bops, which will now end at midnight instead of 1am.

This restriction follows a review of buildings by the college, in which it was noted that the planning permission for the Forum bar contains a restriction on its use for entertainment purposes after midnight. This information was passed onto Jesus College Students Union (JCSU).

The fact that the midnight curfew has not been enforced for the five years in which bops have been held at the Forum means that the terms contained in the planning permission have been breached by the college.

Joshua Blanchard Lewis, fourth year linguist at Jesus, told The Cambridge Student (TCS) that he is disgruntled by the new curfew, saying “the decision to end our college bops earlier is enshrining long held stereotypes about Cambridge being a small-minded and small-town location, where students do not experience the normal student lifestyle.”

The Council are not involved in the enforcement of the new midnight curfew, but Lewis does not understand why it exists in the first place.

 “There is no reason for the restriction. I think the Council sees Cambridge as only for tourists, and forget that students are an integral part of the city. This restriction is reminiscent of our May Ball, when the ceilidh was forced to end early by the Council in response to external complaints about noise.”

Katrina Hewitt,  JCSU president, told The Cambridge Student (TCS): “Bops at Jesus held in the Forum are now ending at midnight, in order to comply with planning permission to protect neighbours from noise. While this does mean bops will be shorter, we’re working to make them better.

“For example, before the next bop we’re having a fancy dress formal, and we’re hiring a professional DJ with better light and sound equipment. Bops in the Coleridge room can still be held until 1am, and we will also investigate events being held outside college, if students feel these would be beneficial.”

At an Ordinary General Meeting (OGM) on Monday 15th February Harry Taylor, vice-president of JCSU, seemed to want to negotiate the decision, asking “can we propose to mandate the Dean to extending bop times?”

However Hewitt pointed out that “we can’t make the Dean do anything, so this is pointless”.

The decision to end bops at midnight has attracted unwanted speculation about a secret ‘super committee.’ In a JCSU committee meeting on 9th February, Hewitt stated: “if anyone from the press contacts you about bops, give them no comment and send them to KH (Hewitt). There is no super secret committee to discuss bop. Don’t give them their ridiculous demands.”

Harry Tayler (JCSU Vice president) told TCS: “The current JCSU have never been involved in a ‘super committee’. The demands are referred to as ‘ridiculous’, not because we have anything against them, but just that someone, somewhere, did get a very, very wrong end of the stick.”

The earlier ending time of 12am will be enforced at the next bop, to be held tomorrow with the theme of ‘anything but clothes’. Hewitt advised that students “will be able to wear fancy dress to formal but there are disclaimers on the theme; students must be covered from the neck to the knee, wear shoes no face paints.”

Alex Cooke – Deputy News Editor