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musicbloke
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#21
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(Original post by Radagasty)
By the way, I think there is more of a difference between black and white tie than simple the colour of the tie and cummerbund. I think white ties call for tails, top-hat, cane, etc.
...silly moustache,...?
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Ralfskini
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#22
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The rent costs can be found on this website. If you click on a college it will be at the top of the page.

http://www.cusu.cam.ac.uk/publications/altpro/colleges/


They all appear to be around 55-60 pounds, with churchill being quite cheap (40 something) and Cauis, Magdalene, Trinity hall and st Johns are pretty expensive (Homerton is extortionate). Whether or not this is actually reflected in the quuality of the accomodation...
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MadNatSci
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#23
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(Original post by Radagasty)
Someone mentioned black tie for formal halls, but it's not required, is it? After all, doesn't one usually wear academic gowns to formal halls, in which case black tie would look a lilttle silly under it.

No, it's not black tie for formals - just a suit and tie - although some people do go in black tie if it's a special occasion. And yeah, in most colleges you have to wear a gown to formals in your own college (though not when you're a guest to another college).
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Mentally Ill
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#24
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(Original post by MadNatSci)
No, it's not black tie for formals - just a suit and tie - although some people do go in black tie if it's a special occasion. And yeah, in most colleges you have to wear a gown to formals in your own college (though not when you're a guest to another college).
Why should someone go to another college's formal? And if they do, why shouldnt they wear a gown? esp if they will be the only gown-less person there.

And if white tie and black tie are only occasional things, are we expected to fork out an arm and a leg for them? I heard people buy second hand.....is it true? Dont they look grubby? Or are the sleeves too big on some people?
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KaiserSoze
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(Original post by Mentally Ill)
Why should someone go to another college's formal? And if they do, why shouldnt they wear a gown? esp if they will be the only gown-less person there.

And if white tie and black tie are only occasional things, are we expected to fork out an arm and a leg for them? I heard people buy second hand.....is it true? Dont they look grubby? Or are the sleeves too big on some people?
Lots of reasons to go to other colleges, you could have friends there or you could go as part of the wonderful cambridge institution of hall swaps - where one group vistits another college and buys the wine, while the people at the college buy hall tickets, its a really good way of meeting people in your subject in other colleges or other boats from rowing etc.

Gowns are not essential to visit other peoples colleges but they don't hurt, and they're not that expensive considering you use them a fair bit, 40 pounds for ours though 2nd hand are available.
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MadNatSci
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(Original post by Mentally Ill)
Why should someone go to another college's formal? And if they do, why shouldnt they wear a gown? esp if they will be the only gown-less person there.

And if white tie and black tie are only occasional things, are we expected to fork out an arm and a leg for them? I heard people buy second hand.....is it true? Dont they look grubby? Or are the sleeves too big on some people?

People often invite friends from other colleges to formal - for birthdays or just for the hell of it really. It's a nice gesture and it's nice to get to see how the other people live And you can wear a gown if you want to - but you'll get funny looks. Once you've tried eating soup in a gown with long flowing sleeves you'll maybe appreciate why people are quite happy not to have to wear them Oh and you'll never - or hugely rarely anyway - be the only person not wearing a gown: there are always several guests in formal, at least at Sidney.

You can hire black tie if you'd rather.
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Mentally Ill
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(Original post by KaiserSoze)
Lots of reasons to go to other colleges, you could have friends there or you could go as part of the wonderful cambridge institution of hall swaps - where one group vistits another college and buys the wine, while the people at the college buy hall tickets, its a really good way of meeting people in your subject in other colleges or other boats from rowing etc.

Gowns are not essential to visit other peoples colleges but they don't hurt, and they're not that expensive considering you use them a fair bit, 40 pounds for ours though 2nd hand are available.
How often do formals occur? and who pays for them? Does the student pay? if so, how much do they tend to cost?
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Mentally Ill
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(Original post by MadNatSci)
People often invite friends from other colleges to formal - for birthdays or just for the hell of it really. It's a nice gesture and it's nice to get to see how the other people live And you can wear a gown if you want to - but you'll get funny looks. Once you've tried eating soup in a gown with long flowing sleeves you'll maybe appreciate why people are quite happy not to have to wear them Oh and you'll never - or hugely rarely anyway - be the only person not wearing a gown: there are always several guests in formal, at least at Sidney.

You can hire black tie if you'd rather.
Oh I think that sounds quite good, especially as people are telling me that formals at my college will be 'modern affairs' and it should be good to experience a 'traditional one'. Does the food get any better at formals? I heard the food is pretty horrible at dinner and lunch. In fact when I visited I was given a free lunch ticket and the next day I was diagnosed with mild food poisoning by my doctor.
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Alex_R
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#29
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It's quite common for people to go to other college's formals. It's good if you have friends at another college. Also the rule is there as a few colleges don't have formal or are gownless institutions so if people from those colleges come to yours they can still join in. There are a lot of people in formal who are not wearing gowns usually. Also for sports formals where for example eight male rowers have formal with eight female rowers from another colleges are a great way to meet people of the opposite sex :-) and gowns can *cough* cramp your style. Also at university wide society formals, gowns don't have to be warn which makes them quite friendly events.

As for black tie it's probably cheaper to buy them rather than rent them out every time you need them. Generally I use mine two or three times per term. You will need black tie for any balls you go to or end of term/year society dinners EG rowing/medsoc. I'm sure you can get second hand ones but I'm not sure where froms. Although if you search around you can buy them for about £100 which is cheap considering you have to pay £30-40 a time to rent them out.
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MadNatSci
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(Original post by Mentally Ill)
Oh I think that sounds quite good, especially as people are telling me that formals at my college will be 'modern affairs' and it should be good to experience a 'traditional one'. Does the food get any better at formals? I heard the food is pretty horrible at dinner and lunch. In fact when I visited I was given a free lunch ticket and the next day I was diagnosed with mild food poisoning by my doctor.

Hmm, I can only really speak from Sidney experience since I don't know what normal food is like at the other colleges I've been to! At Sidney the food at formal is a bit better than normal food, though it's still not dazzlingly good - though it does vary, on the odd occasion I have had a really good formal (and the puddings are usually very good at Sid). You do have to pay though it isn't expensive - £4.50 for a three course meal and coffee (waiter service) is not at all bad. The price of formal does vary from college to college, however, and it's also slightly more expensive for guests usually.

The number of formals per week also varies from college to college. Sidney have three a week; the big colleges - notably Trinity - have formal virtually every day. Some colleges also have 'superhalls' though I don't know what those are like as I've never been: we abandoned those because of the cost.
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Mentally Ill
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(Original post by MadNatSci)
Hmm, I can only really speak from Sidney experience since I don't know what normal food is like at the other colleges I've been to! At Sidney the food at formal is a bit better than normal food, though it's still not dazzlingly good - though it does vary, on the odd occasion I have had a really good formal (and the puddings are usually very good at Sid). You do have to pay though it isn't expensive - £4.50 for a three course meal and coffee (waiter service) is not at all bad. The price of formal does vary from college to college, however, and it's also slightly more expensive for guests usually.

The number of formals per week also varies from college to college. Sidney have three a week; the big colleges - notably Trinity - have formal virtually every day. Some colleges also have 'superhalls' though I don't know what those are like as I've never been: we abandoned those because of the cost.
Presumably, formals are not compulsory then? I was getting a bit worried. So, it could happen that I never attend any formals?
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MadNatSci
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(Original post by Mentally Ill)
Presumably, formals are not compulsory then? I was getting a bit worried. So, it could happen that I never attend any formals?
Oh, nonono, not compulsory at all! Though they do play a good game sometimes... for example we were all supposed to go to a 'Parents and Children' formal hall right at the start of the year (brief explanation in case you weren't aware: undergrads tend to have college parents, second and third years who look after you) and it emerged at the end of the term that we were charged and it was more expensive... cheeky... though it was a good laugh so well worth it! Not sure if you'll have that at a grad college though. Also some societies seem to have special formals - for example the boaties - but I doubt they'd force you to go. So no, I can't imagine you'd have to attend any formals. Though I would recommend you go to one - they're a good experience, lots of fun - and it would be wrong to go to Cambridge without taking part in a bit of the pomp and nonsense
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Mentally Ill
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(Original post by MadNatSci)
Oh, nonono, not compulsory at all! Though they do play a good game sometimes... for example we were all supposed to go to a 'Parents and Children' formal hall right at the start of the year (brief explanation in case you weren't aware: undergrads tend to have college parents, second and third years who look after you) and it emerged at the end of the term that we were charged and it was more expensive... cheeky... though it was a good laugh so well worth it! Not sure if you'll have that at a grad college though. Also some societies seem to have special formals - for example the boaties - but I doubt they'd force you to go. So no, I can't imagine you'd have to attend any formals. Though I would recommend you go to one - they're a good experience, lots of fun - and it would be wrong to go to Cambridge without taking part in a bit of the pomp and nonsense
Yes, I agree. It would be a complete travesty for me not to experience and enjoy these pompousities (sp). Initially it was something that put me off, but now I am liking the idea of them more and more.

Anymore pompous things I should be aware of, or prepare for?
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Helenia
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#34
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(Original post by Ralfskini)
The rent costs can be found on this website. If you click on a college it will be at the top of the page.

http://www.cusu.cam.ac.uk/publications/altpro/colleges/


They all appear to be around 55-60 pounds, with churchill being quite cheap (40 something) and Cauis, Magdalene, Trinity hall and st Johns are pretty expensive (Homerton is extortionate). Whether or not this is actually reflected in the quuality of the accomodation...
These figures are from the 2001-03 Alternative prospectus. They are out of date now, and quite a lot of colleges have seen significant rises in the last few years. I pay £660 a term for mine (£82.50 a week) which is, I think, the most expensive in Clare, but it's mostly worth it.

As for formals, it's quite common for people to want to try and go to formal at every other college in the university, and even if you don't do that it's a cheap way to have a nice dinner. Clare's food is normally marginally better than buttery, and is quite cheap, but other places are much more expensive for guest tickets. It's not compulsory to wear gowns at Clare, but quite a lot of people do, and at other colleges it tends to depend on what your hosts will be wearing.

The boatie formals that Alex mentions are notorious carnage. Most societies at Cambridge end up with their secondary (if not primary ) function as a dating agency, and boatie formals seem to be the prime example of random-pull-fests. I'm not a rower, so I don't go to these events, but they seem to be rather popular :rolleyes:
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Mentally Ill
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(Original post by Helenia)
These figures are from the 2001-03 Alternative prospectus. They are out of date now, and quite a lot of colleges have seen significant rises in the last few years. I pay £660 a term for mine (£82.50 a week) which is, I think, the most expensive in Clare, but it's mostly worth it.

As for formals, it's quite common for people to want to try and go to formal at every other college in the university, and even if you don't do that it's a cheap way to have a nice dinner. Clare's food is normally marginally better than buttery, and is quite cheap, but other places are much more expensive for guest tickets. It's not compulsory to wear gowns at Clare, but quite a lot of people do, and at other colleges it tends to depend on what your hosts will be wearing.

The boatie formals that Alex mentions are notorious carnage. Most societies at Cambridge end up with their secondary (if not primary ) function as a dating agency, and boatie formals seem to be the prime example of random-pull-fests. I'm not a rower, so I don't go to these events, but they seem to be rather popular :rolleyes:
Deviating off the topic for a moment, but as you speak of rowers, I was wondering how many ethnic minority faces you'd see at a rowing soc formal.....not being a rower yourself I guess you wouldn't know for def. But you can guess if you like.
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Alex_R
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I'd think it was probably about the same percentage wise as the percentage of ethnic students in Cambridge. To be honest this isn't great anyway and more needs to be done to attract such students, but you'll find wherever you go background/race/religion is not an issue and you can get along with anybody.
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Helenia
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(Original post by Mentally Ill)
Deviating off the topic for a moment, but as you speak of rowers, I was wondering how many ethnic minority faces you'd see at a rowing soc formal.....not being a rower yourself I guess you wouldn't know for def. But you can guess if you like.
I'm not sure to be honest. There are no ethnic minorities in the Clare Men's First Boat, I know that. I think a couple row for the girls' though. If you're a good rower, I shouldn't think that ethnic background should be an issue. Whether you want to join in all the hearty alkie arrogance (no offence, lovely boaties ) is another matter entirely.
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Alex_R
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In our first boat our best rower is of Indian origin but to be honest there are not that many ethnic faces in the lower boats at the minute. However, there is no discrimination really at all in Cambridge and all societies/people(in general) welcome anybody. We'd love to strengthen our boats with anybody at all.
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musicbloke
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(Original post by Alex_R)
In our first boat our best rower is of Indian origin but to be honest there are not that many ethnic faces in the lower boats at the minute. However, there is no discrimination really at all in Cambridge and all societies/people(in general) welcome anybody. We'd love to strengthen our boats with anybody at all.
Can someone here explain the point of rowing. does the cam lead to anything exciting?

Musicboy
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Alaric
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(Original post by Mentally Ill)
Presumably, formals are not compulsory then? I was getting a bit worried. So, it could happen that I never attend any formals?
There will normally be a compulsory matriculation formal, and possibly also a graduation one. Most places will also require gowns for those, though lots of people borrow them just for that.

Formals are fun and you'll certainly want to go to some before you decide you don't like them. Some people seem to think they're nothing but an excuse to get paralytic though, pennying is ubiquitous.
I like proper silver service formals, it isn't the same when you have to serve yourself. There tends to be all the proper etiquette crap to deal with but it's just a load of easy to follow rules, that people tend to judge you by. A lot of people don't even try to do it 'right', so you're unlikely to be frowned upon if you don't eat your soup in the 'correct' manner. I never eat the bread 'properly' as I think that's just silly, so I rip it open .

You'll enjoy formals once you've sampled them though, I'm sure.

Alaric.
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