Students were outraged to find out that the administration was proposing to remove grace before meals and other traditions.
This decision was an ill-conceived attempt at inclusivity that backfired on administration. The students of Worcester college at Oxford did not support this move spearheaded by the interim provost Professor Kate Tunstall.
The college would typically read the Anglican Grace in Latin, but the administration proposed a range of texts that represented thanks from any culture with no religious foundation required.
Professor Tunstall had also proposed removing the need for students to stand when a tutor arrives at formal dinners in the hopes of not isolating any students with mobility difficulties.
Professor Tunstall had made these changes to the college to be more "progressive". Although, well-meaning the students were not on board. They held a referendum lead by the Worcester College junior common room (JCR). The "majority of students expressed the view that they did not feel uncomfortable standing for tutors," JCR President Ellen Flower says to BBC.
They were heard loud and clear, these customs were loved and longed-for. The administration was unaware of the importance of these rituals. "The governing body didn't realize just how much the students cared about this," Damon Falck, JCR vice president says to Daily Telegraph.
"They did not wish to require something of the students that they themselves no longer believed to be in keeping with a progressive institution," Flower says.
However, the students want "the theatre that reminds them of this place's history and that it's a special place to be," Damon Falck, JCR vice president says.
Many other Oxford colleges still uphold the traditions at their Formal halls which include a weekly three-course meal and formal gowns.