A précis of why I support the Save Subfusc Campaign

posted in: Uncategorised | 0

As a working-class student and the first of my family to attend university at all, the traditions of Oxford were one of main reasons I applied here rather than elsewhere. There are many academically rigorous universities in the world. What distinguishes Oxford is its profound sense of history, and the wonderful academic traditions that have been passed down to us. I have no familial connection to Oxford, but as a student here I feel that I have been given a responsibility to preserve these traditions and customs that make Oxford distinct. Oxford is special, in large part due to its traditions. We should all continue to work for inclusiveness, particularly for members of traditionally marginalised groups. But that is no reason for us to throw away these unique traditions. Many students – including, and perhaps even especially – working class students like me feel a profound sense of pride on our traditions. I concede that a tiny handful of students might dislike wearing sub-fusc, but is that reason enough to dispense with centuries of honoured traditions? What about those handful of students that dislike formal hall? Should we end that too? Or having porters? Or scouts? We are the custodians of Oxford’s customs that make it so special, and it would be almost sacrilegious to smash these icons in the name of faux equality.

 

Subfusc