Oxford University students vote to keep 'sub fusc'

Students queuing to enter exams
Image caption Students are required to wear smart clothes underneath their gowns while taking exams

Students at Oxford University have voted to retain wearing formal clothes while sitting their exams.

A vote was held by the Oxford University Student Union on maintaining the tradition known as "sub fusc".

The turnout was 40%, which the returning officer said was the highest known turnout for the union.

The compulsory clothing includes a dark suit, black shoes, a plain white shirt or blouse with a bow tie, long tie or ribbon.

First-year history student Harrison Edmonds, leader of the "Save Subfusc" campaign, said after the vote: "People have seen that sub fusc is a leveller and is egalitarian."

Xav Cohen, a second-year student of philosophy, politics and economics, who led the "no" campaign, said he thought it was "quite alienating".

What is sub fusc?

Sub fusc comes from the Latin for dark brown.

The first reference to the term is in the university statutes from 1636.

The University of Oxford defines it as:

1. one of: dark suit with dark socks; or dark skirt with black tights or stockings; or dark trousers with dark socks

2. dark coat if required

3. black shoes

4. plain white-collared shirt or blouse

5. white bow tie, black bow tie, black full-length tie, or black ribbon.

Source: http://www.ox.ac.uk/students/academic_dress

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