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From the Oxford Student (U.K.):
LGBSoc call for new gay gown
By Jack Shenker, Nov. 27, 2005
It has defined Oxford for 600 years and been copied the world over, but sub fusc, the archetypal image of Oxford academia, could be due for a remarkable facelift. If the university’s Lesbian Gay and Bisexual Society has its way, formal hall, finals exams and graduation ceremonies could soon become a lot more colourful.
The Society has launched a campaign to persuade Lord Patten, Oxford’s Chancellor, to allow the Society’s President to where a rainbowcoloured gown and a feather bow in place of a more traditional black cap and gown. According to the current President, the makeover is long overdue. “The LGB President is no ordinary student,” Amy Garner, who holds the post, told this newspaper. “She is a figurehead for the LGB community and it is important that she is instantly recognisable.
Sub fusc is an intrinsic part of Oxford University life and we feel that a special gown should be worn by the President to reflect her special scholarly status.” Despite no word from Lord Patten’s office as to whether formal permission for the gown will be granted, High Street retailers are already preparing to meet the anticipated demand for the new gowns.
“As with all requests from Oxford University we do our utmost to serve and provide (however odd the request may be ),” said Adrian Plafreyman of Walters and Co. on Turl Street. “We could and would make an Academic gown in a rainbow colour scheme. It think it would take about two weeks to make and cost around £190,” he added.
Now, besides the fact that a fully-colored rainbow gown might just be a little outlandish (if not just plain wierd looking), I'm really happy that the LGBT Oxford students are trying to create change.
I just doubt the effectiveness of having a rainbow gown. Why not go with somehting a little less outlandish, something that all of the LGBSoc's members could wear... maybe a sash or a pin.
Who knows if the Administration of Oxford University will allow this? I know for sure that if I tried to wear a rainbow gown to graduation at UNCG I would be told to leave and not participate in the event.