The Ambassadors Ball is the latest in the 600th anniversary events calendar. Darya Smirnova caught up with ball director Amisha Vadalia to get the latest.
The Saint: Amisha, are you excited about the ball?
Amisha: Yeah! We’re so excited – when I came into the social affairs position on the Foreign Affairs Society I found out we were going to have this ball, and that’s what made me want to run for the position itself. My team and I have been working all throughout the summer and during term as well – making sure that all the logistics are planned out, that we have the venue, the music and all that. And everyone has worked so hard! So I am very excited to see how it all culminates in one night.
TS: How did you find planning the ball from scratch?
A: It was very difficult in a sense as we were starting from scratch – it’s like not Opening Ball or Bongo Ball, both of which already have a fanbase. We didn’t even know that this event had taken place before; apparently there was an Ambassadors Ball in 2004, from the era of Will and Kate. But obviously, it was a different group hosting it. So we really had to work hard with the marketing concept and create the brand. We had our marketing officer who was great and created the graphic designs and made the AB logo. Then we were spamming Facebook, we handed out all those invitations. It was a long process of making sure people know about the ball. And honestly, until the first day of ticket sales, we didn’t even know if people had heard about it, and I was very pleased with how it all turned out.
TS: What is the plan for the event?
A: So we are the 600th anniversary event on the basis that we are connecting the faculty and students. The IR Department especially isn’t very sociable. Medics have the Bute Ball, but we don’t have anything like that going on. We never had the opportunity to hang out with our professors in a non-academic setting. I think it is very important to get to know the lectures on personal level and with something like this, it’s not as scary as them being behind the podium. The reception with the IR staff will be from 20:00 till 21:30, and then we’ll have performances by The Hummingbirds and The Other Guys, and the Jazz society will be playing some live music while we serve drinks. Then we’ll move into DJ reception; that’ll be from 22:00 till 02:00. DJ SAUNIT will be in the main room, and downstairs by the second bar we will have another DJ from the HipHop Society.
TS: Why did you think that this ball should be brought back?
A: The whole aim of the Foreign Affairs Society is to create a social platform for the IR Department. The event is what we make it – we have no idea what it used to be like.
TS: So it’s not just for IR students?
Not at all – in the beginning it was just IR faculty and students, but we’ve started to extend this to other faculties. But even if you’re not really into the reception, it only lasts till 21:30! So from 22:00 it is all students, from all different departments, getting together and having a good night! The IR department is large, but students in St Andrews are intelligent and have interests in other areas, not just their subjects.
TS: You say that you want to bring the social platform back to the Faculty of International Relations. Do you think we need more communication? We have class reps, we see our professors during lectures!
A: All that communication is great, and necessary for academics, but it is not informal. If there is something you want to bring up, it is quite intimidating, even if you are talking to your class reps. Informal communication is also about learning the professors’ stories, not just what they teach.
TS: Your personal associations with the decorations for the ball?
A: Impressive and elegant yet fun! Accessible elegance.
TS: If you had a chance to read minds during the ball, what would be the best compliment you would want to hear?
A: This is everything I was expecting, and even more! I just want people to have a really good time with their friends without it feeling too formal or too stuffy. And also I’d want to hear that they would be coming back next year!
Be sure to check out our Facebook page for a chance to win a pair of tickets to the Ball!
Photo credit: The Ambassadors Ball