New students have complained the price of a freshers’ week wristband is unfair.
The students’ union defended the price of their week one wristband after facing online criticism.
The wristband costs £85 for entry to eight LCR events.
The band was advertised as “the key to the best week of your life”, but many students voiced concerns the price is too expensive for just one week.
Guys I'm starting a GoFundMe for my freshers wristbands because UEA think I can afford £85 just for week 1 🙃
— Sannah (@Sannah_R) August 22, 2017
Lewis Pawsey, who will start studying Politics at UEA in a few weeks, told Concrete: “The wristband is a bit of a poor deal considering how some of the events don’t seem that special.
“It is being pushed way too much with the whole ‘likely to sell out’ marketing gimmick they are using,” he added.
The wristband includes entry to the LCR’s annual Welcome Ball, a panda-themed Damn Good night and a stand-up comedy night, featuring TV comedian Joe Lycett.
For an extra £20 students can also receive an NUS card and a UEA hoodie and T-Shirt.
Last year’s wristbands cost ten pounds less at £75, (£99 for the hoodie and NUS card bundle).
How can the UEA charge £85 for events like Norwich Elvis and a panda dress up party
— lewis (@lewlewbae) August 21, 2017
SU Campaigns and Democracy Officer Jack Robinson defended the cost.
He said: “Pricing is a real tough one. Whilst there’s a huge demand from some for a wristband that saves on booking fees and guarantees entry, feedback from students means we’ve increased the amount of single tickets available too – and put them out earlier.”
Hayley North is a mature student who will undertake her second degree this month.
Ms. North said she thought “the wristbands are a great idea for cash strapped students”, but was disappointed the SU did not inform students on the cost of individual events before selling the wristband.
She said: “As I probably won’t attend all the events, I had expected a much bigger saving on the wristband.”
Freshers wristband for Central is £20. For UEA it's £85. The only time in all of existence when something is cheaper in London than Norwich
— Ruth Anna Phillips (@ruthphillips100) August 30, 2017
Mr Robinson said the SU believed this year’s freshers’ week programme features UEA’s “best ever line up”.
However, Esther Macaulay, who will study at the Norwich Business School, told Concrete she felt the price was still unfair compared to prices at other universities.
She said many of her friends at different universities paid no more than £40 for a week one wristband, less than half the price of UEA’s.
Ms Macaulay added: “The students’ union should understand as students we won’t have a lot of disposable income to spare, and paying £85 for a week of activities not including buying drinks is quite steep.
“Surely they should have our best interests at heart and charge a lower price so we can then spend on our refreshments when we are at the events?”
The uea freshers wristband is actually ridiculously expensive. £85!!! They realise we're students right?! 🙃🙃🙃
— Esther (@essie_244) August 29, 2017
In response, the SU’s Mr Robinson said: “Unlike previous years, we’ve also kept drinks prices frozen over the summer, there are more free freshers events this year than ever before, and we’re still cheaper than Essex.
“However we are taking the feedback from students seriously and will be feeding concerns and comments into the student committee that oversees the LCR when it next meets.”