Cash-strapped newspaper The Cambridge Student has launched its own alternative to the Varsity Trip in December.
Announcing the event, Editor Timothy Bainbridge said: “It is time TCS retook some ground in student journalism. For years all we’ve heard about is the so-called ‘Varsity Trip’, so we are finally taking on our biggest rivals this winter.”
Deputy Ski Trip Editor Tara Lamp said: “We believe the French Alps have been done to death and students are hungry for something new. That’s why we’ll be whisking our guests off to an indoor ski slope in Royston, just 30 minutes from Cambridge. The snow is gorgeous at this time of year and they’ve just installed a brand new ramp to which, we’ve been told, our guests will have exclusive access, between 6 and 6.30am.
“Then, after a long day on the slopes, we’ve secured half-price guest-list entry to Royston’s hottest nightclub, Emission, with a 2-for-1 deal on ginger beers. Our very own deputy photographer will be on hand to upload and tag photos of you on Facebook without you even needing to ask.”
Tickets are on sale from midnight tonight and several packages will be on offer. Lamp said: “For the bargain price of just £500, students will have access to our exciting online-only experience. In the comfort of their Travelodge rooms, we will equip skiers with the latest in Virtual Reality technology to give them an experience which is indistinguishable from the real thing.”
Sidney Sussex student Marcus Atherton was one of the first to test the TCS virtual-skiing experience. “They strapped an iPhone to my eyes which showed a GoPro video of someone skiing and then they threw ice at me. They asked me to contribute to the cost of the ice. For a few minutes a TCS sub-editor was whispering ‘whoosh’ behind me, but then he got bored and left.”
In recent years, TCS has received less funding from CUSU which is facing financial difficulties itself. CUSU Finance Officer Stephen Parsley, who was recently brought in to save the student union from financial collapse, said: “I’m happy to say that this ski trip is 100% financially sound. I’ve run the numbers and TCS should make a profit as long as 45,000 Cambridge students buy tickets.”
TCS has also hinted that it will be running a series of sporting events in an attempt to boost readership. Deputy Sport Editor Emily Milton said: “Enough talk about the Varsity rugby match, TCS Shuffleboard will be the one to watch this year.”