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Caveat Emptor

The opinions expressed on this page are mine alone. Any similarities to the views of my employer are completely coincidental.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010


I'm just back from Examination Schools where I had to sit  for the first 30 minutes of the Finals paper I'm responsible for. With nothing better to do I fell to wondering why we require our students to dress up in order to be examined? The get up itself is ridiculous and unflattering. The men look like a parody of  a cut-price Victorian toff - white bow tie and dark lounge suit (surely not!) while the women wouldn't be out of place as waitresses in a down at heal provincial tea shop for distressed gentility. I could understand it if it were a tourist attraction but nobody as yet has suggested installing viewing galleries in Schools so that parties of Korean visitors can get a whiff of authentic Oxford at five quid a pop. The dress regulations are absurd and serve no practical purpose. Why don't we let students decide whether to keep them? Even better, why don't we make them entirely optional? I know it is no fun to go to a fancy dress party if nobody else bothers to dress up. But going to fancy dress parties isn't compulsory while attending Exam Schools in subfusc is if you want an Oxford degree. Frankly it is all bullshit and in a world increasing full of the brown smelly stuff, bullshit is the exact opposite of what universities should be about.

1 comment:

Sven said...

I might be mistaken, but wasn't there a vote on that in 2006 or 2007 with a sweeping majority of students voting to keep sub-fusc?!?