Birmingham Freshers' Event
Mandatory guidelines for all events
For your event to be registered and supported by the Collegiate University, it must meet all the guidelines below.
- Alumni and volunteers attending the event must sign-post attendees to their respective College, Department or Faculty for information about what the forthcoming year will look like during the coronavirus pandemic. Please do not attempt to provide such information yourselves, due to the high-risk of misinformation being communicated to attendees.
- If your Group intends to keep in touch with attendees after the event, in accordance with data protection legislation, you must provide each attendee with the Group's data protection statement (or a link to the statement online) and obtain each attendee's written consent before you can do so.
- Your event must be structured and should last no longer than 1.5 hours. Please familiarise yourself with the suggested itinerary for a 1-hour online event.
- You must not charge students to attend your event.
- There must be at least one (but ideally more) current student or recent graduate volunteers in attendance at your event.
- Please familiarise yourself with the resources for online events.
- An abridged version of the guidelines for in-person events is published below. The full version is available to download as a pdf.
- Please follow the safety measures for in-person events.
- Please complete a risk assessment and proactively reduce the risks of COVID-19 transmission. You are welcome to use the template risk assessment form for this purpose.
- Please familiarise yourself with the resources for in-person events.
The Collegiate University supports Freshers’ Events that demonstrate their accessibility and inclusivity to incoming students. Certain private venues, and venues promoting an impression of grandeur, risk compounding a misconception that Cambridge events are lavish, exclusive and expensive. Despite best intentions, such venues can be off-putting to some students, and at worst, can make some individuals in attendance, or considering their attendance, feel ostracised, discouraged and doubtful that Cambridge is for them.
The Collegiate University supports Freshers’ Events that prioritise the safeguarding of students, adults and Groups and demonstrate steps have been taken to mitigate risks to all parties that are associated with minors and vulnerable adults being in the company of adults.
- Suitable venues for Freshers’ Events are public, neutral and accessible. Examples of such venues are listed below:
- café in a public space, such as a leisure centre, theatre, cinema, garden centre, botanic garden or farm
- café at a place of historic interest, such as a National Trust property
- café or room in a sports club or sports centre
- room in a community centre
- room in a local government building
- room belonging to a faith group that is available for public use, such as a church hall
- lounge or conference room in a hotel
- reserved area or room in a pub, bar, bistro or restaurant
- room in a local state school, college, university or students' union
- room in a conference or business centre
- park or public garden
- Group member's workplace (with the exception of workplaces that are also private residences).
- Certain private venues are best avoided, but will be considered in exceptional circumstances, such as when a suitable alternative venue cannot be found, provided there is no dress code and that it is made clear to attendees that they are not required to become members of the club, or to pay a fee over and above any small charge associated with attending the event. Examples of such venues are listed below:
- private members’ club (such as the Oxford and Cambridge Club, London)
- private school
- private sports club
- private library.
- Unsuitable venues for Freshers’ Events are listed below. The Collegiate University does not support events in such venues.
- private residence, such as a Group representative’s home
- private or commercial rental property
- Group member’s workplace, if it is also a private residence (such as a bed and breakfast).
- The suitability of other venues that are not mentioned in this section will be determined by the Collegiate University on a case-by-case basis.
The Collegiate University supports Freshers’ Events that are informal and inclusive. An effective way to convey informality and inclusivity to incoming students is to permit them to wear whatever they feel comfortable in. Dress codes are problematic because they can exclude students who do not own the required garments, or who feel uncomfortable wearing them.
- Events with a dress code are not supported by the Collegiate University.
- If a venue operates a dress code, it is suggested that the Group representative seeks to arrange with the venue a concession to the code for the duration of the event, or finds an alternative venue without a dress code.
Serving and drinking alcohol
There are risks associated with serving and drinking alcohol and, for this reason, it is recommended that events are alcohol-free. Furthermore, alcohol-free events offer inclusivity to individuals whose religious, cultural or societal practices and beliefs prohibit or discourage the consumption of alcohol and to individuals abstaining from alcohol. Groups considering providing alcohol at their events should bear in mind that students in attendance could be under the legal drinking age for their area and that safeguarding measures are to be observed.
- Groups offering alcoholic drinks are requested to do so in line with local licensing laws and to observe the minimum legal drinking age for their country or region.
- Where alcohol is offered, Group representatives are asked to ensure that attendees drink responsibly, which includes safeguarding attendees from alcohol misuse and pressure to drink alcohol.
- Group representatives are asked to drink responsibly.
- It is essential that non-alcoholic drinks are readily available.
The Collegiate University supports Freshers’ Events that are accessible to students on all budgets. Students on tight budgets could be deterred from attending an event if they are to be charged an entrance or ticket fee, or for refreshments, thus Groups are encouraged to waive all costs for attendees. Where this is not possible, any fees are to be capped, as outlined below.
- Group representatives are encouraged to organise events that are entirely free for students to attend. Groups can achieve this by holding their events in free venues and using any profits generated from other alumni events to fund refreshments. Alternatively, Groups can seek sponsorship to cover costs, apply to the Alumni Groups Award Scheme (terms and conditions apply) or split costs among members.
- If charging is unavoidable, in order for the event to be supported by Collegiate Cambridge:
- entrance/ticket fees are to be capped at £5, or local equivalent, per attendee and can only be used for the purpose of recouping the Group its costs for running the event, such as for venue hire, or refreshments; Freshers’ Events are not to generate a profit for the Group
- entrance/ticket fees must enable attendees to fully participate in the event
- where a venue charges on a consumption basis, it is acceptable that attendees be required to pay for their own refreshments. However, the venue cannot charge more for refreshments than it would in its normal course of business
- all fees, including where it is required that attendees pay for their own refreshments, are to be advertised up front to prospective attendees.