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Students defy University’s trashing clampdown

Second-year Medicine students were trashed outside Examination Schools on Thursday, despite the University launching a fresh crusade against the post-exam ritual.

The ‘What a Waste’ campaign was publicised for the first time on Monday, and reminded students that the practice can lead to disciplinary action and fines of up to £300.

However, there was one noticeable change in the University’s approach to trashing, as the gates leading out from Exam Schools onto Merton Street were locked and guarded by security staff following the Psychology for Medicine paper.

Despite the fact that students wishing to be trashed were forced to come around the side of Exam Schools onto Merton Street, the University Proctor, Cecile Fabre, told Cherwell: “The University’s policy in this area has not changed.”

She said: “Anti-social post-examination celebration, or ‘trashing’, has long been – and continues to be – against University regulations, and students breaking the rules are liable to significant fines.

“Through the What a Waste campaign, we are asking students to consider the social, environmental and personal impacts of trashing – as well as reminding them that it contravenes the University’s Code of Discipline.

“While the Proctors appreciate students want to celebrate after exams, we urge them to do so considerately and away from the exam halls.”

A student who attended the trashings and asked to remain anonymous due to the threat of fines told Cherwell: “For some reason that was not shared with anyone their to trash the medics, the gates were locked, and the medics emerged from around the corner.

“The lack of transparency from the uni as to its inconsistent policy feels pretty unprofessional and condescending to students who just want to celebrate with their friends.”

The news follows a Cherwell investigation, which revealed that the University spends over £25,000 a year on trashings between overtime for security staff, cleaning areas outside exam halls, and hiring barriers.

A University spokesperson told Cherwell: “inconsiderate, entitled behaviour passed off as ‘trashing’ can damage Oxford students in the minds of the community and the wider public.

“Getting through examinations is a milestone but we urge our students to find ways to mark this which are far less damaging, costly and – frankly – annoying to community neighbours, the City Council and fellow members of the University.”

The investigation also dispelled the myth that trashing started recently, after reports from alumni revealed that it has occurred since the mid-1970s.

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