The Spike or Victoria University College Review, June 1927
To the Editor.
Although by the time "The Spike" comes out, capping in the library will probably have become an accomplished fact, yet sir, I would like, on behalf of the undergraduates of the V.U. College, to enter, through your kindly columns, a decided protest against such a condition of affairs.
I regard such conditions as a betrayal of the undergraduate interests in the College. Let me explain my position. We are all aware of course, that the recently passed University Act forbids the University to confer degrees in public. Degrees are now to be conferred, we understand, by the Council sitting around the afternoon tea cup, i.e. in private. But power is still left for the various colleges to have some form of congratulatory ceremony to welcome into the fold the graduates of the year.
Now Victoria College proposes to hold some such ceremony this year. The only place which is capable of holding the graduates, the undergraduates, parents and friends, the staff, and the Council, is the Town Hall. But the College Council, forsooth, in its all-seeing, benevolent wisdom, decides to hold the ceremony in the College Library. And what are its reasons for this absurd step, a step which means the exclusion of the majority of undergraduates from any participation in the proceedings? Why, simply and solely these: that the undergraduates are a noisy, rowdy, repulsive lot of mannerless children, who ought to know better than to poke ridicule at gentlemen on a public platform, and to make a certain amount of noise. Apparently the gentlemen responsible consider that undergraduates would be far better chasing the almighty pound-note than enjoying themselves at the Town Hall.
Moreover the Professorial Board decides to forbid the students holding a capping procession. This is another unjustifiable invasion of students' rights. The procession last year was conducted in a fashion that could give offence to none, but those who take offence at everything. Now, Sir, the capping celebrations are found in every university the world over. They are a traditional part of the undergraduates' year; he has a hard enough row to hoe without the College authorities interfering with his harmless amusements. If some of our College councillors saw the capping carnivals at Glasgow or Oxford or London they would probably die of shame or epilipsy, after the performance.
Admittedly, the Professorial Board has very kindly left us our undergraduates supper. Yes, but for how long? They will probably decide in the near future that undergraduates are ruining their delicate digestions by eating between meals, or ruining their constitutions by staying up after 9 p.m. and then—away goes the undergraduates supper. From this it is a step to the page 30 Capping Ball being swept away. And by this time we will all be a soulless lot of grab and grafting commercial men. May I, for one, be spared this fate!
I am, etc.,
Laudator Temporis Acti