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By Ben Goldstein
Students were forced to queue outside in the cold, with no guarantee of entry, after the College Bar rigidly enforced its 200-person capacity on Saturday of 0th Week.
The Entz team have advised party-goers to “get to the bop earlier” as the same problem is expected to occur at the next bop, on Saturday of 4th Week, which is also scheduled to be held in the bar.
In a later email, students were encouraged to use an online form to sign up in advance for the next bop.
Even fewer students will soon be able to attend the bop as the bar is set to close later this year. Bops will then be held in the Long Room, which, according to the College, only has a capacity of 100.
The Entz team told students: “The restriction is a legal fire safety requirement that is based on factors like the number of exits rather than just the amount of floor space which is why it may not have felt that busy inside when the one-in one-out policy began.”
They added: “For future bops you can’t expect to be able to bring guests who aren’t members of New College, especially when there is a queue. If you are a New College member, remember to bring your Bod card with you.”
David Wigley, a first-year PPEist, said: “It really sucks that we can’t fit everybody into our bops, with people freezing, waiting outside in the cold. But I guess I also appreciate the need to abide by fire regulations.”
The New College Clerk of Works said: “I carry out the College fire risk assessments but, as I recall, the number of persons permitted as a maximum [in the bar] was set by the College’s Fire Advisor and should have taken into account not only the physical space in the bar areas, but also, for example, the number, design and location of escape routes.
“Any enforcement would be for good reason – safe exit for those in the rooms in case of fire. To exceed agreed limits could lead to situations where an orderly escape is not possible, with awful consequences that have been seen in fires in places of entertainment.”
The Entz committee said: “We are sorry to everyone who had to queue outside in the cold, or wasn’t able to enter the bar at all. We hope that this won’t happen again because the first bop of the term is always the most popular. That said, we won’t have any idea of numbers until the actual night.”