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Re:

Postby Al on Thu Nov 30, 2006 12:00 am

Quoting Lid from 19:29, 28th Nov 2006
Legend amongst a few has it that, over time, the slogans have gone

Gowns
Gowns Preferred
Gowns Encouraged
Gowns Welcome


There was also 'Gowns Please'.
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Re:

Postby Guest on Thu Nov 30, 2006 12:41 am

Perhaps instead we should state that gowns are 'welcome', in the same way that those preferring a less formal mode of dress are also welcome. The last thing the society (as a sub-committee of the Union) should do, however inadvertantly, is to foster an image of exclusivity, which may be perceived from the 'gowns encouraged' idea.
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Re:

Postby Steveo on Thu Nov 30, 2006 12:52 am

Quoting from 19:12, 28th Nov 2006
Perhaps instead we should state that gowns are 'welcome', in the same way that those preferring a less formal mode of dress are also welcome. The last thing the society (as a sub-committee of the Union) should do, however inadvertantly, is to foster an image of exclusivity, which may be perceived from the 'gowns encouraged' idea.


Firstly, I don't believe that saying 'Gowns Encouraged' would foster any sense of exclusivity.

Secondly, the fact it's a sub-committee makes no difference as open access policies apply to societies to be affiliated. However, I'd also say that the idea that mentioning gowns at a university where everyone is entitled to wear one somehow makes a group look too exclusive is ridiculous.

Finally, the Association Impartiality argument is taken so out of context these days. It's a gown, not a condition that only white middle class males can attend.

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Re:

Postby Jono on Thu Nov 30, 2006 1:38 am

Does it really make the slightest bit of difference? No ones suggesting that we should bar access to those not wearing gowns. It makes little difference therefore what the official stance is. If people have and want to wear a gown, they will. Otherwise they won't, whether the stance is gowns encouraged, gowns please, or gowns exist!

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Re:

Postby Al on Thu Nov 30, 2006 8:41 am

Quoting from 19:12, 28th Nov 2006
Perhaps instead we should state that gowns are 'welcome', in the same way that those preferring a less formal mode of dress are also welcome. The last thing the society (as a sub-committee of the Union) should do, however inadvertantly, is to foster an image of exclusivity, which may be perceived from the 'gowns encouraged' idea.


What you say might have some legitimacy if people without gowns were somehow being discouraged from attending or if people were being cajoled into buying a gown. I don't think either of them are true. Where then is there a problem in the UDS encouraging people who already own a gown to wear it?
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Re:

Postby Mr Comedy on Thu Nov 30, 2006 9:47 am

Bear in mind that in living memory, no-one could stand up to make a floor speech without several people loudly shouting "Gown!" and heckling them, so you can see where the complaints come from. I do like 'Gowns Welcome' however.

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Re:

Postby Guest on Thu Nov 30, 2006 2:11 pm

Quoting Lid from 19:29, 28th Nov 2006
the only official stance is the dress code preferred is 'smart casual upwards'.


No one told me!

In all seriousness, UDS' stance on gowns does make a difference to students who haven't been to LPH Debates but were perhaps planning to go. Whenever I encourage people to attend, one of the main responses I get is "But I don't have a gown!", and then I have to try and explain to them that not only are gowns not compulsory, but in fact some people don't wear them at all. And the same with formal dress.

I myself would prefer the slogan "Gowns Unnecessary".

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Re:

Postby Mr Comedy on Thu Nov 30, 2006 3:38 pm

I'm not sure that I agree with that - debating in St Andrews is one of the key places gowns are still worn. And it would be a shame to lose a tradition that is centuries old.

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Re:

Postby exnihilo on Fri Dec 01, 2006 12:01 am

Gowns welcome or gowns encouraged would me my preferred position. Why should one not wear the gown of the university to speak? Indeed, I donated my red gown to the Society so that anyone without one could be given it - wonder what unscrupulous, robbing bastard made off with that?
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Re:

Postby Lid on Fri Dec 01, 2006 12:09 am

Quoting from 13:58, 30th Nov 2006
No one told me!


Don't feel too bad. You're one of the 99.97% of the Students' Association not on Board of Ten that doesn't regularly and routinely attend Board of Ten meetings.

Gowns Un-necessary makes the gown sound something of a frivolity that has no place, purpose or reason within the University and LPH. It's one small step away from 'Gowns Discouraged'

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Re:

Postby Al on Fri Dec 01, 2006 12:20 am

Quoting Mr Comedy from 09:47, 30th Nov 2006
Bear in mind that in living memory, no-one could stand up to make a floor speech without several people loudly shouting "Gown!" and heckling them, so you can see where the complaints come from.


But is that because the hecklers really object to gownless people speaking or is it because they think that shouting "Gown!" is a tradition of the house?
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Re:

Postby RJ Covino on Fri Dec 01, 2006 12:06 pm

Quoting Al from 00:20, 1st Dec 2006
But is that because the hecklers really object to gownless people speaking or is it because they think that shouting "Gown!" is a tradition of the house?


My 2p on this: I've watched debates in LPH for nearing on 10 years now, and the shouting of "Gown!" at a certain gownless element has been fairly constant during that time.

I can't think of a time where a newcomer to the society got heckled in this fashion, as everybody knows that would be off-putting which is nobody's goal, but I've always failed to see the objection to heckling LPH "regulars" for having been too lazy to slap one on for the night.

Additionally, when the cry went up in the past, a gown was always good-naturedly offered by a member of the House sitting close by in such instances - it can be a friendly thing, and I think that it's disappearance has led to a lack of joviality in the chamber.
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Re:

Postby Unknown on Fri Dec 01, 2006 4:21 pm

What about 'gowns optional'?
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Re:

Postby exnihilo on Sat Dec 02, 2006 12:40 pm

We've had this argument endlessly for years. No forumla satisfies everyone. That said, gowns encouraged is the best option - people should know that they can (and should, according to the Standing Orders) wear their gown. Gowns welcome suggests that you can wear one if you absolutely have to, which is wrong.

There is, or should be a gown or two in the possession of the Society should they be needed - and if not, someone has stolen them. The heckling, as Dr Covino, points out is aimed at regular gown-wearers, not as a method of mocking newbies. I see no harm in it whatever - and, again as Dr Covino says, someone would always lend a gown adding a touch of camaraderie and amusement to the proceedings.

Those who oppose gowns, sadly, often fail to stop at simply not wearing one themselves and seek rather to prevent everyone from doing so. It's petty, and it's sad.
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Re:

Postby Guest on Sun Dec 03, 2006 1:57 pm

Quoting Mr Comedy from 15:38, 30th Nov 2006
I'm not sure that I agree with that - debating in St Andrews is one of the key places gowns are still worn. And it would be a shame to lose a tradition that is centuries old.


That's not going to happen regardless of UDS' stance on the issue: people like that LPH is one of the few places where people wear their gowns, hence, most people in LPH do wear them. It is, if you like, an "excuse" to wear the gown. That simply isn't going to change.

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Re:

Postby Lid on Sun Dec 03, 2006 3:57 pm

But surely, Daniel, it is the place of the UDS to foster its traditions. Just in the way the Speaker pauses after announcing voting (as always) will be by oral acclamation.

By telling the ammassed crowds that gowns are 'un-necessary' it portrays them as a frivolity, when it is these frivolities that make LPH what it is, great.

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Re:

Postby TC on Sun Dec 03, 2006 10:32 pm

I had no idea the society was meant to have a couple of its own gowns. As far as I am aware the UDS no longer has them. I will endevour to find them if possible. If anyone has any idea where they are please tell me.

The Serjeant

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Re:

Postby Kizzy on Mon Dec 04, 2006 9:24 am

Quoting TC from 22:32, 3rd Dec 2006
I had no idea the society was meant to have a couple of its own gowns. As far as I am aware the UDS no longer has them. I will endevour to find them if possible. If anyone has any idea where they are please tell me.

The Serjeant


Ooh, do find them - they would be really handy for Courier rounds, and would mean we could give Ewan his old gown back, which is my current 'someone forgot a gown' standby.
I'd heard of them before, but don't remember ever seeing them, though. You might, however, like to look in the societies office - it used to have loads of debates stuff in it.
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Re:

Postby RJ Covino on Mon Dec 04, 2006 5:13 pm

I should think that they've migrated to the much sanctified "gown cupboard" in the Union if they've gone anywhere. Good luck getting at them, though, without 3 writs verifying that you're an authorized user, retinal scan etc.

The plus side is, though, that you can just consult the "sign-out" sheet and find out where the spare UG gowns that used to lurk therein have migrated. Or any other missing gowns for that matter. Presuming, of course, that said sheet is assiduously maintained, as I have no doubt that it is.
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Re:

Postby Mr Comedy on Mon Dec 04, 2006 6:52 pm

Can you no longer do what I previously did and sign the gown out for the whole year?

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