It would be a disservice to refer to the annual DRAFP Ball as a mere “hall ball.” Subsidised by the hall fees of David Russell Apartments and Fife Park, the event far exceeds the scale of its contemporaries. No other hall ball sends non-residents clamouring for tickets, and no other hall ball is held on Lower College Lawn.
The ball’s largesse is typically attributed to the higher residence fees that DRAFP charges. Formerly held at Kinkell Byre, it is considered an event in its own right, rather than a large-scale hall social. This year’s theme has proved particularly enticing, as evidenced by the scores of wannabe attendees on the event’s Facebook page.
At first glance, Seven Deadly Sins appears too abstract a theme for a ball. The sins themselves are emotions, difficult to represent in a physical (and entertaining) format. Fortunately, the committee has constructed a creative outlet for each sin. Gluttonous guests will enjoy a food court, featuring free Jannettas ice cream, popcorn, crepes, and a hog roast. Vegetarians will have the option of purchasing wraps from Blackhorn, a familiar face to the DRAFP ball. Nearby, a seating section will be available for sloths. Lustful guests will enjoy the dancefloor, prideful guests the photo booth, greedy guests the roulette tables, and so on.
In previous years, the DRAFP has been free to residents. Last year’s ball sparked controversy by charging both residents and non-residents, a decision that has yet to be fully explained. This year, however, the committee hopes to make a donation to three charities: Frontline Fife for Homelessness, Anthony Nolan, and Women for Women International. These are the supported charities of the University’s Charities Campaign, the official charitable subcommittee of the St Andrews Students’ Association. The charities were selected by the student body, making them a logical choice on the part of DRAFP.
Despite this shift in protocol, tickets remain cheap – £5 for residents, and £10 for non-residents. The low price point and charitable goal have both contributed to the ball’s rapid sell-out. Ticket-holders can sin in the name of a good cause on Friday 17 February.