The party’s not over yet

first_imgAn overwhelming majority of Oxford students do not want OUSU to endorse the new “Code of Conduct” restricting behaviour at post-exam celebrations, a Cherwell opinion poll today reveals. 87% of students oppose the University’s plans. The poll of 331 people from eight colleges also showed that a significant number of students are aware of the feelings of local residents and consider some restriction necessary, but think that current suggestions go too far. There was particular disappointment at the ban on “fluid spraying,” which will mean the end of foaming bottles of Champagne being sprayed by elated students. An Oxford spokeswoman said, “Students need to realise that local residents may not enjoy walking down a street smelling of alcohol for weeks on end.” But Robert Lane, a Geography student at Jesus who is due to take his first public examinations this term, said, “I can understand people not liking food littering the streets, but liquids dry quickly and cause minimal mess. Champagne is part of the Oxford tradition and has never caused any problems before.” Few were concerned at the plans to ban pig offal, or even flour and eggs, from the proceedings. Alex Holbourn, a Brasenose Law student told Cherwell, “Flour and eggs are a bit unnecessary but Champagne is par for the course. If that’s banned, no one will take any notice of the regulations.” The University was eager to point out that alcohol is banned from Oxford’s streets. However, the police say that the relevant bylaw does not extend to Merton Street, where exam celebrations are traditionally held. They also said that they “would only become involved [in policing the event] in very extreme circumstances.” Although they are concerned about “the views of those living in and around the Merton street area, who may not appreciate buckets of pig offal on the street”, they are adamant that “it is all about creating a balance, not penalizing students who have worked extremely hard and want to let off some steam in the traditional Oxford fashion.” The University was keen to point out that “the Code of Conduct does not constitute a change in rules and regulations, it simply spells out in more detail what is in the University regulations.” However, the proactive attempt to bring student inputs to the proposals suggests the University is keen that it should hold credibility in students’ eyes. Ben Baulf, a first year classics student at Univ, pointed out that “if Champagne had not been banned, there may have been a chance of people adhering to these regulations. But as it stands, few will pay attention to rules they see simply as designed to spoil their well earned fun.” Breaking the code could result in a £70 fine from the university proctors. Rosie Buckland, OUSU Welfare Officer, said she would be encouraging support for the code which she believes is a good compromise. The code does not ban glitter or confetti. It is to be put to OUSU Council today at 2.15pm and, if passed, will have the backing of the student union, which is constitutionally bound to represent student opinion. If the council votes not to approve the code as it stands, the student union will attempt to renegotiate the contents with the University. There is a chance that the University will instead impose the code anyway, or even introduce a total ban on celebrations outside the exam schools.ARCHIVE: 0th week TT 2004last_img

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