…I'd introduce personality tests
Remember how at interviews there was that boasty dick that let everyone know their ancestry guaranteed them a place here and how the people who came to your school to chat about Oxford said that guys like that never got in, it was always the down to earth ones? Well, your cool interview friends got a big fat rejection and that dick is in college right now bragging about spending last night being sick on the chaplain’s cat. Inane prologue at an end, I am brought to my point: if I were vice chancellor, I would require applicants to pass a personality test to get an offer.
The University prides itself on being so academically focused, but surely a little rule bending would do a world of good. After all, Philip Pullman got a third, Lawrence of Arabia was a vandal and Jesus Christ didn’t even go here. It’s the interesting people, not those with scary module marks, who make a splash in the world and further this great institution’s good name. In addition to meeting an exacting academic standard, I would require students to have a certain level of intrigue, looks and general lack of annoying features.
Now obviously the Fellows aren’t really qualified to decide who’s cool enough to get in, so I think the choice would have to be made by the young and the beautiful. Interviewees would have to stand on a podium and sell themselves to the JCR. Knock knock jokes, acrobatics, penis puppetry – all those things that the process currently, insensibly, ignores – could be pulled out of the bag to convince the current students that one would make the college a more exciting place. Or even better, the whole thing could be televised and the event decided by public vote: ‘Brain Academy.’ The money raised from the calls could put to rest all these funding issues and, since your average Billy loves a maverick, Oxford would certainly be a more exciting place.
Instead of rugby drinks every Thursday, non-scripted fun would be had as there wouldn’t be the conversationless void that needs filling with chants. The ingratiating hacking would disappear as well, since the people who would be ‘in’ don’t suck up to no shit, man. There’s nothing like reality TV to show when someone is trying to blag their way into somewhere, so only people with a genuine interest in their subject would get in. This would rid Oxford of those who had just enough force-fed interview technique and ritalin-induced revision to gain a place here they’re now happily squandering.
It might seem that I am presuming myself among the elite; one of the cool kids. But please, gentle reader, do not attach to me such conceit. If I were vice chancellor I would be in by default, and whether I satisfied the criteria I laid down would be by the by. Without a hint of guilt, I would be fully abusing my power, ordering the finest freshers I could find to sit on my lap and jiggle their ladylumps. If all this seems a little superficial then remember: brains may build bridges, but only beauty can cross over them.by Jack Marley-Payne