Dr Barbara Blackwalls, Newnham vice principal, said students had committed ‘misrepresentation and fraud’Louis Ashworth/Varsity

Anonymous Newnham students have spoken out about the College’s recent threats of expulsion after students reportedly resold tickets to their recent ‘halfway hall’ event.

Last Wednesday (16/02) Newnham students received an email from the College’s Vice Principal Dr Barbara Blackwalls. The email suggested that some Newnham students had been selling their formal hall tickets for profit to members of other colleges.

Students from outside of College reportedly attended Newnham’s ‘halfway hall’, a “private event” reserved for members only. The email from the Vice Principal states that in order to enter, non-members “must have been given the names of Newnham students to impersonate.”

The email says that this amounted to “misrepresentation and fraud”. It also warned that students who sold their tickets could be “subject to an investigation” and potentially be “removed from their course”. 

An anonymous Newnham student told Varsity: “I think College's reaction is pretty harsh, but I do understand where they're coming from. Halfway Hall is a special event for just the undergraduates in a certain year, and it's free, so it seems a bit morally dubious to sell your tickets for profit to someone outside college.”

However, they admitted: “Threatening people with expulsion is far too harsh in my opinion. Of course I don't think the practice should be encouraged, but I really don't think people should be removed from their course just for selling on their tickets!” 

When asked about the extent of reselling formal tickets, they said: “A lot of reselling does go on within Newnham. Things come up and people can't go to formals anymore, so they post on one of our Facebook groups (we have a buy/sell one, a food sharing one, and a JCR one) about selling formal tickets.”


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The student said that they have never resold their formal tickets, but that they knew a lot of people who have: “It seems fairly normal for ticket exchanges to happen between Newnham students. I don't know about beyond Newnham; sometimes I'll visit the formal marketplace on Facebook, but I've never bought or sold any or seen any Newnham tickets sold myself.”

Other students have anonymously poked fun at the situation, taking to Camfess to weigh in on the issue: one Camfessor joked about the “strong illegal resale value” of Newnham formal tickets, while another praised the College’s “public shaming email”, suggesting that the Latin prayer read at the beginning of formals be replaced with a chant of “Gaslight, Gatekeep, Girlboss.” 

Newnham College has been approached for comment.