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The Spike or Victoria University College Review June 1925

Gowns For Undergraduates

Gowns For Undergraduates

This entrancing suggestion, the impracticability of which has hitherto been so taken for granted that the Debating page 53 Society (of pre-war days, needless to say) could actually discuss it without provoking adverse comment, was considered at the 1925 Annual Meeting of the Students' Association and solemnly adopted as a recommendation to the Professorial Board. The Professorial Board, wisely recognising that the fulness of time had yet to arrive for the distinctive habiliment of V.U.C. students, smiled politely (we hope) and said No; so that the "Spike" need have no fear of being kept awake during office hours by urgent applications from drapery firms for advertising space in its pages. The following account of the discussion at the Annual Meeting is contributed by a student who admits a strong antipathy to ceremonial attire:—

"The prime instigator of the innovation was Mr. G. O. Cooper, who invited us to urge the College Council to make compulsory the wearing of gowns by all undergraduates. The proposition was shown to rest upon a number of grounds. First, the cost would not be great, at any rate not after the thing got so thoroughly in swing that second-hand garments would be purchasable; secondly, there was ample precedent; thirdly, prolonged discussion seemed likely and he would not detain the meeting. The seconder, Mr. Coningham, naturally felt that the mover's exhaustive and powerful treatment of the subject absolved him from the necessity of making a lengthy speech. He did, however, make the excellent point that gowns would enable us to wear our dress suits in lectures, with immunity from unkind gibes, if at a late hour we were due to attend a function at Government House or the Victoria University College gymnasium, in which case we would, of course, be obliged to appear in that decorous garb. Another speaker reminded us, with unanswerable logic, that even if gowns cost five guineas apiece, no undue hardship need ensue, since 'nobody is compelled to attend a University unless he can afford to.' The motion was carried!"