Brasenose students were surprised by reports in the national media of a year-old notice from their Senior Dean.
The notice warned students not to wear pyjamas to breakfast in hall. The BBC Oxford website, the Daily Mail, The Telegraph and Radio 4’s Today programme have all reported on the issue.
The story first appeared on BBC Oxford and contained details of a notice entitled ‘Hall Manners’, warning students, “There is a clear distinction between night wear (private) and day wear (public)”. It also mentioned that students had been reminded that “formal gowns” should be worn to dinner. It accompanied the article with an image of three people in floor length graduation gowns.
Although the BBC Oxford article said that the dean had “raised concerns about pyjamas last year”, the Today programme, which aired yesterday, did not make this distinction, and said that formal gowns were expected at every evening meal at the college. However, Brasenose offers informal hall every night in addition to formal hall three times a week.
The Daily Mail wrote, “Apparently, the signs have been put up by fellow undergraduates offended by declining standards.” Both the student body and the college have been baffled by the sudden emergence of the story. Mel Parrott, Brasenose’s Domestic Bursar told Cherwell, “There is no official college policy, we don’t know where the story has come from.”
James Norman, a student at Brasenose, said, “The entire pyjama issue has been ridiculously misreported.” Jack Moore, another student at Brasenose, told Cherwell that a lot of people did not realise the sign even existed.
A spokesperson for BBC Oxford, when asked why the story had suddenly been lifted even though it was a year old, conceded that Cherwell had a “fair point”, but explained that one of the reporters had seen a Tweet about the story “a couple of days ago and had decided to follow it up”.