The University Proctors have announced that students attending the Varsity trip in Val Thorens this year must not leave College until the end of full term- Saturday 1st December without express permission to do so.
In a message sent to Senior Tutors across the University, the Proctors stipulated that students travelling on a commercially (or privately) organised ski holiday may not leave Oxford before the end of full term without the agreement of their College whilst students competing in the Varsity ski race against Cambridge must seek the agreement of their Tutors, Senior Tutor and the Proctors to leave early.
Teddy Hall Senior Tutor, Stuart Ferguson, said [in an email to students]: “This large and heavily promoted trip has caused problems in previous years, not only in St Edmund Hall but also in the University at large.
“I am writing to let you know in good time that nobody from St Edmund Hall is permitted to go on this trip without the explicit permission of both their subject tutors and the Senior Tutor.”
In an email to St John’s students, Ian Sobey the Senior Tutor, added: “The Proctors have the agreement of the commercial organisers that no coaching transport will leave Oxford before 6pm on the 30th.
“If you are planning to attend the ski competition as a spectator…you should not book travel which would require you to leave Oxford before 6pm on the 30th November.”
The decision has caused outrage in Oxford, with students reacting angrily to this “unnecessary bureaucracy”.
Edward Higson, a member of the University skiing team, said: “The need to get written permission from your tutor and senior tutor and then send it to the proctors is unnecessary bureaucracy and a waste of time for everyone involved.
“The whole university system is set up around students being independent and personally responsible for their own work, so it seems strange that they feel the need to force us to jump
A student from Somerville College [who did not wish to be named] added: “It’s not like anyone does any work on the Thursday and Friday of 8th week anyway!”
Students at Cambridge attending the trip have no similar restraints, with a ‘Cambridge Only’ upgrade allowing students to leave at midday on Friday 30th November and get an extra day’s skiing.