Passe Notes: The Hildabeast

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So, not a graceful creature of the savannah, I’m guessing? Sadly not. Rather an inmate at Oxford’s last remaining women’s college. Disappointingly though few of the beasts grazing the banks of the Cherwell are particularly leggy or graceful, unless they happen to be an errant deer from Magdalen.
Where exactly is St Hilda’s then? Both geographically, and in terms of options for the desperate, the college is situated half- way to Brookes. It’s pleasant pastoral setting provides an oasis of peace where the only disruption is the ticking of the girls’ synchronized menstrual cycles. However, despite it’s tangible appeal for many Oxford students Hilda’s lies in the same category as Camelot, a place they have read about in books but which may or may not exist. If all else fails though you can always look at bottom of the Norrington table, as it crops up there without fail.
Really – I’d heard it is an academic powerhouse? Perhaps in comparison to the ‘University’ of Luton, but it has to be said it’s no Merton. Hilda’s perennial placing in the Vauxhall conference of Oxford’s academic league may have something to do with it scavenging the scraps that fall from the table of the admissions process, but it is mentioned less often that the Hildabeasts actually do no worse than girls elsewhere in Oxford. They just haven’t got any boys to get firsts for them. Proof indeed that curly handwriting and diligence can only get you so far.
So why don’t they admit male students? It is rumoured that the cost of mass urinal construction would be too much for the college’s fragile finances to bear. And Hilda’s also undeniably supports gender equality in the university. After all, for St Benet’s to continue to educate the cream of Oxford – the rich and thick – then there has to be somewhere for their sisters to go when they don’t get into Bristol.
Apparently the college has a particularly diverse student body? Indeed it does, although contrary to popular belief and the pictures in the alternative prospectus of drunken girl-on-girl twister action, not all St. Hilda’s students are lesbians. With such a foreign legion present many of them are bi…lingual. Others applied to proper colleges and ended up there through no fault of their own.
But aren’t the girls heavily involved in all aspects of student life? Certainly. The same alternative prospectus boasts that “Hilda’s girls are amongst the best at getting out there and finding it.” A fact which is attested to by the college’s notorious 4am fire drills, when the bewilderhildabeasts standing outside in the rain are invariably gravely outnumbered by shifty looking men in ill-fitting borrowed pink dressing gowns. If you are desperate and dateless, get on the case up Cowley Place. Just don’t wake up and smell the oestrogen.ARCHIVE: 5th week MT 2005

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