The end of term is drawing ever closer, but SUSU is going to make sure it goes out with a bang. There’s plenty to look forward to before the holidays are upon us so make sure you stay in the loop on Facebook and don’t miss anything!

As usual the outlets on campus are going to stock up on your Christmas favourites, so if that’s a full-blown Christmas Dinner at the Bridge or a casual Christmas Lunch at the Café here are the Opening and Closing Times for you to keep in mind if you fancy venturing to campus with your housemates and friends for a festive feast. Last year The Bridge also played host to some student groups and committees so if you’re part of a society and are planning a Christmas social why not start the celebrations with a tasty meal on campus?

Freshers can look forward to the follow-up to their Freshers’ Ball with the equally fancy Freshers’ Christmas Ball to be held at the Cube on 6 December. The theme this year has been named “Step into New York” – so take from that what you will, but the dress code will still be smart/ black tie as with the Freshers’ Ball. The event will be running from 9pm till 2am and will include a Silent Disco, Santa’s Grotto (complete with Christmas elves!), snow cones and champagne: and if that’s not enough you’ll also get candy floss and mince pies and mulled wine. What’s more, we can guarantee a white Christmas with a sprinkling of fake snow. Early Bird tickets are now on sale at the Box Office for a slightly discounted price of £6 (standard price £8), so make sure you book early (last year the Christmas Ball sold out in 6 days!) to end the year in style.

Last but not least, make sure you join us as we Switch on the University Christmas Lights at Highfield Campus on 27 November. This event unites the University staff, students and wider Southampton community and is always a big hit, so make sure you turn up even if only for a short while. There will be a Christmas market, Christmas music and (if you register and show up early!) a complimentary drink of your choice (alcoholic and non-alcoholic options available). To claim your free drink, simply register for the event here.

The proceedings will begin at 4pm from which you can visit the Christmas market. Shop for gifts and festive foods whilst enjoying the performance of Christmas carols by a live brass band.

From 5pm you’re welcome to head to the Bridge Bar (located in the heart of the Students’ Union, Building 42) to hear an acoustic performance by the singer and guitarist Tom Crouch.

Then at 6pm – the moment you’ve all been waiting for! – the Christmas lights will be switched on by the CEO of the Ministry of Sound (and University of Southampton alumnus) Lohan Presencer and the members from our winning student team from the  recent Yachting World Cup. After the lights have been switched on you’ll be treated to a performance by The Big Town Boppers, firstly on our outdoor stage and then in the Stag’s Head Pub throughout the evening.

If you are planning to register for a free drink, don’t forget to print off your ticket or have the QR code available to view on your smartphone or tablet. You can exchange your ticket or code from 4pm on the day at one of our drinks outlets (The Bridge Bar and The Stag’s Head) or at one of the two outdoor bars. Students may be required to show their student IDs as proof of age so don’t forget those either!

Finally, the event is open to everyone; invite your friends and family and enjoy everything the University and Students’ Union has to offer. The market will be open until 8pm so you can stock up on your festive favourites! The one thing we can’t be certain of is the weather, so make sure you wrap up warmly and are wearing appropriate footwear.