Oxford

Oxford University rewrites gender dress code

  • 29 July 2012
  • From the section Oxford
Oxford students
The new rules on academic clothing will come into force next week

Oxford University students will no longer have to wear gender-specific academic clothing after concerns it was unfair to the transgender community.

It will mean men can attend formal occasions in skirts and stockings and women in suits and bow ties.

The new rules come after a motion by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer society (LGBTQ Soc) was passed by the students' union earlier this year.

The changes, to start from 4 August, have now been agreed by the university.

Jess Pumphrey, LGBTQ officer, said the change would make a number of students' exam experience significantly less stressful.

Under the old laws on academic clothing - known as subfusc - male students were required to wear a dark suit and socks, black shoes, a white bow tie and a plain white shirt and collar under their black gowns.

Female students had to wear a dark skirt or trousers, a white blouse, black stockings and shoes and a black ribbon tied in a bow at the neck.

If a transgender student wanted to wear subfusc of the opposite sex they had to seek special dispensation from university proctors, who had the power to punish those who breached the rules.

An Oxford University spokesman said: "The regulations have been amended to remove any reference to gender, in response to concerns raised by Oxford University Student Union that the existing regulations did not serve the interests of transgender students."

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