By Max Kendix
The summer ball of seven of Durham’s colleges has been cancelled after the host venue pulled out over Covid-19 uncertainties.
Trevelyan, St. Mary’s, Grey, Collingwood, St. Cuthbert’s, Van Mildert, and Josephine Butler Colleges had all planned to host their ball at Derwent Manor. The venue informed colleges this morning that the events could not go ahead.
Derwent Manor told Palatinate that the decision was taken due to uncertainty over the lifting of Covid-19 restrictions on 21st June. The venue had asked that colleges provide deposits and other guarantees, which could not be agreed, and this was confirmed by Vice-Chancellor Prof. Stuart Corbridge in a Town Hall event held on the morning of Wednesday 9th June.
The colleges are now working with senior University staff to find alternative options for the events.
Jeremy Cook OBE, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Colleges and Student Experience, Durham University, said: “We’re both delivering and supporting students to deliver a comprehensive set of managed, in-person and online Wider Student Experience activities during Easter Term, with in-person activities carried out in Covid-secure ways in accordance with the relevant UK Government guidance.
“As part of this, seven College Common Rooms had hoped to be able to stage College balls at the Derwent Manor Hotel, dependent on the further easing of restrictions on Monday 21 June under Step Four of the UK government’s roadmap out of Lockdown.
“Due to current uncertainties about the further easing of restrictions, it has been impossible to plan these events with sufficient lead-in time for the venue and various suppliers to make necessary arrangements.
“University staff are assisting the Common Rooms in the development a range of alternative options and, once the UK Government confirms its intentions, we will update students on these options and the impact on other University-run activities as soon as possible.”
It comes under increasing uncertainty about the planned lifting of Covid-19 restrictions on 21st June as cases rise across the country. The Times reported today that the current restrictions are set to be delayed by a fortnight or more. The Government will update plans on social distancing on Monday 14th June.
Durham University has extended Easter Term this year to allow for colleges to provide events that add to the “wider student experience”. The term will end on 2nd July, rather than 25th June.
Image: dlanor smada via CreativeCommons