Cambridge University ditches traditional end of year fireworks and increases vegan food to be more 'inclusive'

Cambridge University ditches traditional end of year fireworks and increases vegan food to be more 'inclusive'

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GB NEWS
Jack Walters

By Jack Walters


Published: 14/05/2024

- 08:37

Updated: 14/05/2024

- 08:41

Event organisers are now awarded bronze, silver, gold or platinum credentials depending on how accessible they make their events

Cambridge University has ditched its traditional end of year fireworks and instead opted to increase its vegan food options in an inclusivity drive.

Students have for years flocked to the River Cam every year for traditional celebrations marking the end of the exams.


However, the latest set of students will have a much-changed experience for the historic event.

Ball organisers have sought to focus on sustainability, widen participation by offering facilities including prayer rooms and provide more vegan food and soft drinks options.

Cambridge University ditches traditional end of year fireworks and increases vegan food to be more 'inclusive'

Cambridge University ditches traditional end of year fireworks and increases vegan food to be more 'inclusive'

PA

Homerton College joined a number of other colleges by signing up to the Access-a-Ball pledge.

The initiative was set up by the Cambridge Student Union Disabled Student’s Campaign.

Event organisers are now awarded bronze, silver, gold or platinum credentials depending on how accessible they make their events.

A staggering 80 per cent of food offered at the ball will be either vegetarian or vegan and served in recyclable packaging, 20-year-old students Lizzie Banner and Lauren Welsby-Riley told The Times.

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Bonfire night fireworks display

Fireworks are usually a staple of Cambridge University celebrations

PA

Addressing concerns about sustainabilty increasing costs, the pair said: “For us as a committee, it wouldn’t feel right putting it on if we didn’t consider those things.

“We’d rather have a more sustainable ball than have a ball with one more piece of entertainment.”

Tickets for the event will range from £150 to £110 depending on whether students are on bursaries.

However, fireworks will not feature as organisers also worry about the need to give people a “sensory break” by providing two dark and quiet rooms.

Students walk through Cambridge University in Cambridge

Event organisers are now awarded bronze, silver, gold or platinum credentials depending on how accessible they make their events

GETTY

“We have prayer rooms around the college that are always in operation and will be in operation throughout the ball as well,” they said.

Emmanuel College also scrapped its firework display and will instead make students aware if strobe lighting is to be included in any stage performances.

However, not all students at one of the UK’s most prestigious universities are overly impressed.

Gloria Zeqaj, 20, a third year engineering student at Peterhouse, said: “I am a bit upset at the decision to remove fireworks.

“I do understand that some people have sensory issues [but] I feel like there’s surely other mitigation strategies.”

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