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6.4 Student behaviour at dinners and alcohol guidelines


The College and the JCR have agreed various documents to clarify mutual expectations regarding students’ behaviour, and especially for circumstances that have given rise to problems in the past.

There is an agreed Code of Conduct for behaviour at formal dinners:

The code is drafted with Formal Hall in mind. However, the same principles apply to all formal dinner and discourteous, rowdy an anti-social behaviour is no more tolerable there than at a Formal Hall dinner.

  1. Those dining are expected to behave in a considerate and well-mannered fashion, to be courteous to the staff at all times and not to indulge in raucous or otherwise anti-social behaviour, which may affect others.
  2. Gowns should be worn at all times and dress should be formal in keeping with the occasion, i.e. jacket and tie, or equivalent. For example, jeans, shorts, cropped tops and trainers are not permitted. If the Hall is too hot, the Presiding Fellow may give permission for jackets to be removed.
  3. During the meal, there is to be no shouting, singing or speech-making, toasting. Unless needs must, those dining should remain seated at all times to avoid accidents involving those who are serving. At no point in a formal dinner are any drinking games permitted. Nor are challenges which encourage the excessive or accelerated consumption of alcohol. Anyone caught breaching these rules will be reported to the Deans. Mobile phones should be switched off and photographs are not allowed whilst Fellows and College guests are in the Hall.
  4. When High Table rises, a short concluding grace is said (the response is ‘Laus Deo’) and the Fellows and their guests leave. This is normally about 8.30 pm.
  5. Once those dining on the High Table have left, the Butler’s permission may be sought for photographs to be taken provided that the photography does not adversely affect the experience of other diners.
  6. On special occasions, such as a 21st birthday, permission may be sought, via the Butler, from the Presiding Fellow prior to the Fellows’ departure for a toast to be made. Very occasionally permission might be granted for a song of congratulation to be sung. Note that the Presiding Fellow will not normally give permission for more than one such toast or song per evening. None of these activities must interfere with the clearing of Hall.
  7. Diners will normally be expected to leave the Hall by 9:00 pm.
  8. Members of College are responsible for the behaviour of their guests.

The Butler and his staff have authority to ensure that these rules are obeyed, and they are authorised to require anyone breaking them to leave the Hall. Any person so required to leave will be asked for his or her name (or the name of the host) and may be reported to the Deans.

More generally and relating to alcohol consumption, as well as the further details in the relevant section of this guide, please see the alcohol policy guidelines.