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IrinusBRONZE Member
222 posts
Location: London, United Kingdom

As you may, or may not know, I'm the former president of Balls! which is the University College London (UCL) juggling society that TinyPixie currently runs.

For the last two years (since the society grew greatly) we have been practicing in a room in UCL. It's a great venue with high ceilings, lots of space and good lighting which, as it turns out, is the ONLY suitable venue in the whole of UCL that we can meet in.

Over the summer, a big UCL cheese (who shall remain nameless for all our safety) decided that we, exclusively and solely amonst all UCL union societies, would no longer be allowed to use the room.

This person has since backed down a little and said that we can book the room, but only after 8pm (which is a c**p time for all involved).

This is a clearly discriminatory policy as no other group (let alone society) is being treated this way.

I'm guessing you all want to know his reasons which are (to the best of my knowledge):

1) That someone walking through the room (it doubles as a corridor) was hit by some poi (amazingly this person cannot be found, ditto the incident form which should report this) and the poier didn't apologise ubbcrying (we have never heard of this incident)

2) That it would bother people that were passing through UCL to go to other events (not true)

3) That it would be embarassing for He Who Shall Remain Nameless (HWSRN) to have us juggling when he is showing important people round the University (at 5.30pm to 7.30pm when we used to practice)

Unfortunately, our Union don't have much clout and don't seem to have any power to change this clearly discrimninatory policy.

I was looking for help on how we (especially TinyPixie) could go about changing things so that, at least, everyone has equal opportunities in booking these UCL rooms.


1) What's a good petition website in your experiences?
2) Who to target for their support i.e. I was thinking of trying to get as many professors as possible on our side, though I'd quite like to get people from other universities to give their opinion (though I don't want to scare HWSRN so much that he really puts his foot down)
3) How else would you recommend that we campaign without getting into too much trouble?

I'm open to all suggestions and happy to clarify any of the above.


IrinusBRONZE Member
222 posts
Location: London, United Kingdom

The thing at the moment is that Nat wants to accept an offer for us to use the Cloisters at 7pm onwards. I don't think she really should because even though we are getting a compromise, and I'm sure that'd be the adult thing to do, it's still a defeat.

I heard that they recently banned another society from booking the cloisters, so you can see how our problem not being solved has already opened up the floodgates for them to start arbitrarily stopping societies from using the space.


If you think we shouldn't accept the offer, please say so, or PM Tinypixie to let her know.

If we choose not to accept the offer, then I think we'll have an all-out assault until we do (petitions, letters etc. etc.). And I think we'll address it all to the provost.

Thanks guys


LazyAngelLazyAngelGOLD Member
Carpal \'Tunnel
2,895 posts
Location: Cambridge UK

I just sent an e-mail to the Alumni organisation asking them to contact former members of Balls!: see how it oges I guess

This is such a disappointment, especially after the unbelievably cheesy powepoint presentation I (and my family) sat through at my graduation, saying how UCL was such a forerunner in freethinking, and equal opportunities. I think maybe you should get a written statement from HWSN detailing his concerns (especially the bit about image) and why he feels it is necessary to take such drastic action.

a little of subject: I have seen the numerous corporate functions that take place in the cloisters in the past: I know that Balls! has surrendered the space when required, but I think it is really ridiculous that that part of the university should be considered to be part of the 'public image' of UCL. How many people identify the cloisters with UCL? maybe a survey to prove otherwise would be a solution.

I would accept the 7pm thing with a proviso that in one month the situation will be reviewed, in a meeting where the parties concerned can voice their grievances/concerns. This way you get a slight improvement, and it gives you some time to organise a proper argument. Also lets you point out Carols in the Quad as a recent example of good work by Balls!

Because ActiveAngel sounds like a feminine deodorant

Like sex, I'm much more interesting in real life than online.

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IrinusBRONZE Member
222 posts
Location: London, United Kingdom

Cheers Guy, I like the 'conditional acceptance' idea. It's just that TinyPixies's so busy and tired frown We've also got to start planning the show!

I hope she doesn't give up on this, but I'd understand if she did. I'd also be happy to take the issue on myself if she lets me ubbcrying

lilith_in_londonSILVER Member
149 posts
Location: floating about, United Kingdom


first, i really want to thank Irinus, TinyPixie, and hte rest of the Balls! people. you guys've been working so hard to sort out this situation. it's lame, unprovoked and out of order - and for these reasons i'd be tempted not to compromise. at the same time, i see the practical side and think there are a few people who might benefit from this 7pm start. considering that ucl are (in my opinion) dragging their feet, any action is an improvement on the current situation.

what to do? i'll have to get back to you on that one...

(completely off-topic: LazyAngel, hope china's amazing!)

c'est pas nous qui sommes la rue, c'est la rue ktanou!

1st official camden town (uk) meet 21st october! see the events bit

55 posts
Location: Geographic Location


Wow, i can really sympathise with what is happening to you over there.. As a former secretary and now final year student of University College Dublin, we started having the same problem a couple of years ago. The cause may have in part been due to some aggravated rule breaking sometimes on our behalf.. (Its illegal to drink outside pretty much anywhere in Ireland!)

What has happened sadly though by this stage is that our juggling was moved from a central part of campus to a far away place.. We had a membership two years ago of 200+ with maybe 40 - 60 attending each week. This year we got around 150 members and a weekly attendance of 6 - 10!! We have had the hall irregularly for the last year so people didnt know whe or where it was on until the last minute, and that became the main reason why the numbers dropped. Other societies around dublin are regular so we all usually thy to go to one of these as the big meet of the week but its not the same without your own Jug Soc!!!

Ill be checking up on how you are doing and best of luck!!!!!!!!!

Rob smile

robnunchucksrobnunchucksBRONZE Member
363 posts
Location: manchester uk

Stick to your guns i might have missed this someware in the thread but have they given you an offical reason why you can't use the room. If they haven't i'ed demand an offical reason for not been aloud to use the room.

My nunchucks vital statictics biggrin

weight: 500g
handle lenght: 16 inches
chain length: 2 inches


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