Sam Banks, Chair of Council, explained that this motion was coming back to Council following an All-Student Consultation. The results of which were:
As this motion is following an All-Student Consultation it requires a simple majority to pass.
Speech in proposition
Michael Aguis, Hertford: When this motion was first brought it was in reference to various gaps in relation to race, gender and class. Also mentioned was stereotype threat. In first year exam results there's a gap between those who went to public schools and those who didn't which mean that tose wearing scholars gowns are more likely to have gone to a better school. If it is the case that the wearing of scholars gowns affects the performance of students in exams this should be deemed unfair and more important than tradition.
Short factual questions
Curtis Crowley, St Hugh's: What was the result of the consultation?
Sam Banks, Merton: For 1214, Against 2126, Abstain 33
Edward Love, St John's: Straw poll: how many people here have mandates to vote on this motion a certain way
???: How many people could have voted in the consulation? What percentage did?
Sam Banks, Merton: All Student members could vote so 22,000. The turnout was 13%-14% then.
Conleth Burns, New: Is there a precendent for Council rejecting the outcome of a consultation?
Sam Banks, Merton: This is the first consultation so no.
Speech in opposition
Alistair Hankey, St John's: The primary function of council is to represent the opinions of the student body. We just had a one person one vote consultation and the result is clear. The students of Oxford opposed the motion and that is a clear message to this council to strike this motion down.
Ava Scott, Hertford: Couple of years ago we voted to keep subfusc mainly because it creates a level playing field. This means people can't power-dress. Scholars gowns unbalance the playing field. Also, there's nothing stopping students just buying a scholars gown even if they're not a scholar.
Dane Rogers, Merton: To respond, seems to me that if anyone can buy a scholar's gown rich people are more likely to buy them therefore you're arguing for something which makes the inequality worse and is therefore an arguement for banning the gowns in exams.
Catherine Canning, Oxford SU: To clarify this motion the wearing of scholars gowns in exams not banning gowns all together.
Alex Curtis, St Catz: There was a lot of confusion about what the consultation was about. I therefore think we should consider the consultation as just one piece of evidence of what the student body thinks. I think we should support this motion on the grounds of the likely affects that seeing others wearing a scholars gown can have on performance.
Will Prescott, Univ: I'm a post grad so technically this doesn't affect me. I'm not convienced how much of a big issue this is considering the turnout in the consultations. Also, the numbers of votes was low but the outcome was clear that the motion should fall.
Move to vote heard
Speech in proposition: Alex Rostron, Wadham: We've had the consultation and this debate already. Most people have a mandate so we should just vote now.
Speech in opposition: Danny Hatem, New: Alot of people aren't mandate to vote and I'd like to get my question answered.
Move to vote passed
Motion Vote Result