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Saturday, 4 December 2010

Temporary Event Notice for Christmas masquerade ball Friday 10th December

There will be some restrictions on guests, music policy, sound levels, and alcohol during our Christmas masquerade ball on Friday. The following letter that I wrote to the Licensing Authority when applying for Friday's temporary event notice explains the changes that you will see.

Addressing difficulties arising at our temporary event on 9 October 2010

At our last temporary event at Connaught Hall, a welcome party on 9-10 October 2010, five non-resident, signed-in guests were responsible for minor assaults on two of our residents. The guests were removed from the premises with no difficulty, but then gathered outside the Hall on Tavistock Square and refused to disperse and go home. I called the police as I was concerned these guests posed a threat of causing disorder.

In the 13 years I have been at Connaught Hall, there have been no previous similar incidents. We have held at least five temporary events every academic year since The Licensing Act 2003 came into effect and several late parties per year under the old magistrates system.

The guests who caused problems have been permanently banned from Connaught Hall; where appropriate, their colleges or student unions have been informed. The residents who signed in those guests have been subject to internal disciplinary proceedings.

I am confident that we can make our parties safer whilst remaining every bit as enjoyable for the majority who I know had a great time and weren't involved in any trouble at all.

From now on, residents may only sign in two guests each during a temporary event. A special sign-in book and more personnel at reception will help monitor this. Residents will be required to show Hall ID when entering the building and guests will be issued with wrist bands.

There will be some changes to the music policy - moving away from any drum & bass towards more disco / pop / uplifting dance music and a clear 30-minute wind-down period with slower music at the end of the event.

Our Christmas party will follow on from a formal Christmas dinner; both events will have a smart dress code with optional (but encouraged) black tie.

Licensed hours will be shorter than at recent Connaught Hall events and there will be a champagne & (long) cocktails theme. We will not run any reduced price drinks promotions.

I hope these measures will prevent any difficulties arising at this or future temporary events at Connaught Hall.