Students at Worcester College, Oxford have rallied against tradition-bucking policies being pushed through by their provost, who wants to end the centuries-old customs of standing for dons and saying a Latin Grace before meals.
According to media reports, students have been informed that the college is aiming to replace the Anglican Grace, which is read before meals in Latin, with various texts from around the world – some not even religious in nature.
The college, founded in 1714, is also looking to end the practice of standing for dons, members of the university’s teaching staff, as they walk into the dining hall. The proposals are purportedly designed to boost “inclusivity” at Worcester – but furious students clearly saw the changes differently. In a referendum on the issue of standing for tutors, students voted 130 to 20 to keep the practice. Students are now petitioning the college’s governing body to restore the tradition.
Student leader Damon Falck said that his fellow young scholars are “passionate about keeping the theatre that reminds them of this place’s history and that it’s a special place to be.” Worcester is one of the few Oxford colleges that still retains most formal traditions in its dining hall.
A senior academic at Oxford told the Daily Telegraph that the culture clash shows that “some of the governing body are more woke than the student community. And the students are not quite as woke as they thought.”
Considered one of the most prestigious academic institutions in the world, Oxford has taken extreme steps to ensure that its campus is as inclusive as possible. Last month, the university’s Students’ Union officers passed a motion that encouraged “jazz hands” over clapping, in an attempt to make student union events “more accessible and inclusive for all, including people who suffer from anxiety.”
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