A University of Sydney Union (USU) spokesman has defended claims that the re-branding of annual Manning party Beachball as a ‘thrift shop party’ is more than just a belated attempt to capture campus zeitgeist.
Sporting a decidedly unprofessional leopard mink and garish green alligator shoes, USU CEO Andrew Wayward downplayed suggestions that the name change had come about as a result of disappointing student attendance at recent Union events.
“Although our critics may have billed last year’s Beach-, and Snow-, balls as colossal failures, I would point out that as we did little to no preparation or marketing they should be viewed as successes,” Wayward explained.
“The real problem in recent years has not been USU ineptitude but rather the thematic shortcomings of our marquee events,” Wayward said.
“What people fail to understand is that this theme will continue to resonate with students not just for the next few weeks but for years to come,” Wayward said. “The USU has a proud tradition of popping tags and while we may have 20 million dollars in our pocket we do not believe that such money should be allocated towards improved event management or securing more prominent musical acts”.
“Our closing night O-Week party, ‘The Final Act’, was a triumph,” Wayward said. “It may have been the first sold-out USU event in recorded history but that was not down to getting big-name acts – Ball Park Music were our headliners for God’s sake – but due to the uniqueness of our theme. I mean, when was the last time you went to an Alice in Wonderland-themed event?”
In an attempt to bolster his assertions Wayward announced that the USU would be working in conjunction with the university time tabling unit to ensure high attendance rates are maintained.
“I admit that some of our new tactics are a little unorthodox,” Wayward explained. “As soon as we discovered that St. Andrews [College] was also planning to hold a thrift shop party the night before our event we knew we had to kick it up a gear.“
“We couldn’t risk those bastards stealing our, frankly, pioneering party theme and losing students in the process,” Wayward said. “Changing all the tutorial rooms to Manning and scheduling all the classes to coincide with the time of the party was a bit of a logistical nightmare but a necessary one.”
“Ultimately the Union is here to make sure that students have fun on campus,” Wayward said. “If we have to threaten students with academic penalties to achieve that then so be it. We want you all to have fun – good old, compulsory fun.”