Union employees hit freshers’ Facebook groups yesterday urging them to buy the freshers’ week Master Pass, warning that it might sell out with 500 remaining.
With around 1500 said to have been sold since the 23rd and less than a fortnight until freshers’ week events get underway, there are still question marks over the pricing, with students concerned that SUSU appears to be overcharging freshers for the “one pass to rule them all.”
The freshers band for Southampton is £95 ???????????? Do they think we're made of money?!
— Ashleigh Evans ()
Keen-eyed students noticed early on that picking events that didn’t clash couldn’t add up to the £151 RRP the Union claimed. Now that some events including the Bournemouth trip and the Freshers’ Ball Pre-Party have been fully booked, the £95 cost of the Master Pass looks even worse value, before taking into account other events with strictly limited capacity. Depending on JCR and also on international or home student status, even the keenest fresher should consider buying individual tickets, despite assurances by Union President David Gilani:
RRP (i.e. what it would cost for a student to go to an event individually each night) is £151. So this makes them a big saving.
The Soton Tab contacted David, who told us:
The Master Pass is the perfect ticket for students to immerse themselves in the Freshers experience – allowing you to choose all the events you want to attend. As a cherry on top, we’ll also be giving away some free drinks across the week itself. For anyone who wants to create their own schedule, individual tickets for events will be on sale on Monday 16th September.
While the promise of some free drinks will sweeten the deal, this certainly won’t appease everyone. New students suffering with a fear of missing out aren’t realising that the Master Pass is realistically not going to be the best ticket for everyone, particularly if spending the majority of two weeks in pubs and clubs isn’t your idea of a good time.
i live a small distance from campus, i don't like binge drinking, i rarely drink self, so why should I pay £95 for freshers week? move man.
— – ()
For me, while glad that David Gilani and the Union are responding to students’ concerns, I’d like to see them putting less emphasis on selling the Master Pass to as many students as possible and making it much clearer what your money gets you. Overpaying for freshers’ week events will only leave a sour taste in the mouth for new students and the last thing I want to see is people having a distrust for SUSU before they’ve even started lectures.
I’m a strong believer in SUSU, being a union councillor and as involved as I have the time to be, so I would hate to see people put off our Union. I personally like to eat in the café and drink in the bars not only because I like spending time there, but also because it keeps students employed. It also enables SUSU to provide invaluable resources such as the Advice Centre which many, including myself, rely on when they find themselves in difficult situations during their time at university. Many also depend on SUSU to represent them to the University in academic matters – crucial work which all students should appreciate.
The Union needs to urgently get its act together with freshers’ week, making it clear what the Master Pass includes and not trying to panic freshers into buying the expensive ticket when for many it will be poor value, otherwise SUSU risk doing the standing of the union irrevocable harm in the eyes of new students.