Fifty shades of the Grey Book

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SAM_1667OUSU has launched a Twitter campaign to demonstrate the absurdity of printing 10,000 copies of the University’s Examination Regulations each year.

The campaign is asking Twitter users to “take photos of you using the Grey Books for creative ends” to indicate to the University how ridiculous it is to print copies of the book, which is also available online.

Students have been asked to upload photos with the hashtag #fiftyshadesofthegreybook, featuring the 1125-page monolith being used for all purposes apart from reading.

Uses for the ‘Grey Book’ so far have included the building of an “examsreg” equivalent of Stonehenge, making the pages into “tiny origami envelopes for Secret Santa organising” and using the book as a basketball.

Another Twitter user, Matt (@botothy) commented: “I’d take part in this if I could remember where the thing is. Maybe I’ve sold it? idk [I don’t know].”

The book is currently printed and distributed to every matriculating student in the University, but the OUSU Council passed a motion last term to lobby the University to abolish the printed copy.

The motion stated that “most of the content of the book is not applicable to each student” and that “the environmental and financial costs of the printing and distribution… are unacceptable given the book’s limited use”.

It also resolved to “condemn the waste of mass printing” by the University.

A second-year Queen’s student was supportive of the campaign: “It’s pure farce that the University continues to print this shit, particularly given it doesn’t even fit the clichéd function as a doorstop well.

“The dreaded ‘Grey Book’ certainly isn’t spiritual enough to form an ‘examsreg’ Stonehenge. It isn’t spiritual enough for me to use as a coaster for my morning cup of tea.”

A student from St Catz, however, questioned whether this was good use of OUSU’s time, saying: “Whilst I appreciate that printing of the Exam Regulations is an excessive waste, don’t the OUSU executive have better things to do with their time?

“I can’t see how getting people to tear copies of it up and take photos will help their lobbying in any way. Surely the University already realises the absurdity; they don’t need to be pandered to by such a ludicrous stunt.”

David MesslingThe tome is available for purchase for £47.50 on Amazon. One reviewer on Amazon, ‘An Enlightened PPEist’, said: “University of Oxford Examination Regulations 2012 is without a doubt the greatest work of modern times; most probably of all times.”

Meanwhile, ‘Hrisheekesh’ suggested that the literary quality of the work has got worse since 2004: “Chapters [are] simple and fluffy, missing the elegant prose and fine detail Oxford’s Exam Regulations series is renowned for. While this all may go unnoticed by the ungrateful undergraduates who every year leave these masterpieces, for a collector it is quite frankly an insult.”

The University was unavailable for comment.