Worcester dressed down

first_imgCherwell were told, “It came as a great shock to most of the college…and scenes in the Lower Library that day were those of confusion and disarray.” The Breakfast Club have since experimented with a “toned down Tie-less Ten Minutes” which has received no complaints, but according to high members of The Club, they still mourn the top-less environment they formerly enjoyed.An anonymous member commented, “I am a big fan of Half Naked Half Hour and a very keen participant. I’ve been taking part for a couple of years now without there being any issues. Contrary to the Librarian’s claims, it is simply a harmless piece of fun where a small group of cracking looking fellas try to add a bit of light to what would otherwise be a dull day of revision… Half Naked Half Hour is not a distraction for people unless they want it to be.”Chloe Cesar, a fresher at Worcester, told Cherwell she was not at all in shock about the new rules, saying, “I can see why the college decided to ban [half naked half hour]. For visitors to the library I expect it must have seemed a bit weird and I’m not surprised college took the action they did. It was just a bit of fun though for people who were revising so the restrictions are annoying, if not entirely unexpected.”A female Medicine finalist us, “I fully support the Breakfast Club. I think having a bit of fun during finals is a great way to boost morale…I personally have participated- other girls have as well- and this was purely my own choice, no pressure from the boys.”“I equally understand that if the library has received complaints, they should act upon them but if they’re from the student body, some people need to lighten up…a few topless bodies really shouldn’t be distracting at our age, and if it helps people work, then why ever not?” Several students interviewed on the subject by Cherwell claimed that temperatures in the Lower Library necessitated bare chests as it frequently became, “hotter than the Sun” due to a lack of air conditioning and sunshine “beaming through the tall windows and actuating the greenhouse effect for a good few hours.”Furthermore, members of The Breakfast Club have asserted that half naked half hours have never been more than the name suggests, for although, “There was once held a Three Quarters Naked Three Quarters of an Hour by a small rebellious offshoot of the Half Naked Half Hour followers,” this was soon “quashed by its founders.”While the email asserts half naked half hour, “may have seemed like a piece of harmless fun,” it goes on to say, “we ask you please to stop this kind of behaviour in the Library…If inappropriate behaviour continues, Library staff will refer the matter to the Dean.”When subsequently contacted, the Library staff at Worcester did not wish to comment further on the issue.The Breakfast Club are far from beaten however, and tell Cherwell that their other clothing conventions, “Beachwear Wednesdays, Suit Up Thursdays and Hat Saturdays have all had remarkable success and an amended motion is expected to pass through the next Worcester College JCR Meeting to cover the expenses of a business lunch for finalists who are dressed in appropriate attire on Thursdays.”A previous motion regarding an expenses account for anyone who “suited-up” to eat on a Thursday at Fire and Stone failed to pass at a JCR Meeting last week with a vote of 23 for, 32 against, and 16 abstentions. Unperturbed, The Club, very active in the filing of JCR motions, has vowed to try again.Julien Anani-Isaac, JCR President of Worcester declined to comment in depth on the matter but did say, “I don’t think widespread nudity is a problem around college.” An email sent last Wednesday to students at Worcester revealed that the Library Committee was imposing a ban on “half naked half hours” in the college library.The Breakfast Club, an ‘infamous’ group of students at Worcester, founded Half Naked Half Hour in 2009 and it has been observed regularly by members and other studiers since then. They describe themselves as an, “inclusive society at Worcester College of thirty or so members who really like a good breakfast” and “a great group of fun loving lads who just don’t want to let the monotony of finals get them down.”The student who is “technically the President of The Club” stated that the edict “has quite literally left our college in a state of chaos.”Between 3 and 4pm daily, up to forty students in the college Lower Library would (half) strip off, continue their work, and then re-dress thirty minutes later. The social norm was to be naked from the waist up so as not to cause offense.Another member of The Club told us, “Half Naked Half Hour has long been a tradition at Worcester College as a way of breaking up the monotony of a long day’s revision and using the opportunity to cool down during the hottest periods of the day.”“Participation has grown over the years to include most of the males who happen to be frequenting the Lower Library during the half hour of semi-naked fashion and a good few females too.”The email from the Librarians at Worcester admonished the practice as unacceptable, a “distraction to other readers”, and cited “a number of complaints” on the issue. The Library Committee also pointed out, “It is not appropriate for groups of people to organise social or other kinds of events in the Library without the permission of the Librarian.”The message further highlighted the fact that the library is used by visiting scholars or shown in tours to groups of visitors from outside the College.last_img