So what are the rules then?

Across the University, rules and regulations bite students when they least expect it. This is C+’s run through of some of the major laws which govern our student lives.

At New College, “The Dean may impose penalties which may include the recovery of the cost of repairs to College property; discretionary fines of up to £390 per offence; and the giving of compensatory assistance to College Staff. The Dean may also deprive Junior Members of the opportunity to reside in College.” New College is also staunch about one fact, that, “Financial hardship is not grounds for appeal against the imposition of a disciplinary fine.”

Magdalen takes care to remind students of the fact that they can withdraw college residence from students. “Junior members are reminded that living in College premises is a privilege which can be removed with immediate effect as a consequence of uncivilised and/or anti-social activity.”

At Teddy Hall, the College makes clear that any rules they do impose are for the students’ own good. “We aim to enforce only such regulations as are necessary to keep the College a secure, safe and pleasant environment in which all its members may live and study without undue disturbance. The Dean prefers to do this informally in the first instance, relying on your goodwill, but some formal regulations are desirable, firstly to inform you in more detail of the sorts of behaviour which do cause concern, and secondly to act as a reference point for stronger disciplinary action if this becomes necessary. ”

Christ Church’s rules explain exactly how much power the arbiters of law have. “The Junior Censor is empowered to levy fines up to £500 and to limit the use of College facilities including the deprivation of rooms in College. If, on investigation, the Junior Censor considers that a case might warrant the imposition of a more serious sanction (the levying of a fine in excess of £500), rustication (temporary suspension) or sending down (permanent expulsion) the matter will be referred by the Junior Censor in writing to a Disciplinary Panel.”

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Elsewhere, Exeter College reminds its students that they are, well, students. A section of its ‘Red Book’ of regulations states, “The College is, first and foremost, an academic institution concerned with higher learning. All College members are expected to conduct themselves in a manner that is commensurate with this, and is respectful of the role and reputation of the College in the wider University and City communities. The Sub-Rector, Junior Dean and Assistant Junior Dean may apply fines, rustication and/or other sanctions on those bringing the College into disrepute by their conduct either inside or outside of College.”

What about the University’s central regulations then? The first item on the University’s ‘Code of Discipline’ is telling. “No member of the University shall in a university context intentionally or recklessly disrupt or attempt to disrupt teaching or study or research or the administrative, sporting, social, cultural, or other activities of the University.” Luckily for C+ though, no-one can “disrupt freedom of speech” either.

(The bigger the word, the more frequent it’s occurrence in our survey of 213 students.)