Oxford rewrites gender specific dress code


The chapel in Liddon Quad of Keble College on March 22, 2012 in Oxford, England.


Oli Scarff

Oxford University has rewritten its strict academic dress code making them less gender specific following concerns that they were unfair toward transgender students.

According to the new rules, students sitting for exams or attending formal occasions will no longer have to wear the ceremonial clothing specific to their gender-- men can take tests wearing skirts, and women can wear bow-ties and suits to their formal occasions.

"The regulations have been amended to remove any reference to gender, in response to concerns raised by Oxford University Student Union that the existing regulations did not serve the interests of transgender students," said a University spokesperson, The Telegraph reported

The new rules, which go into affect next week, come after a motion by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer society (LGBTQ Soc) was passed by the students' union earlier this year, BBC reported.

Under the old rules, male students had wear a dark suit, dark shoes, and a white shirt and bow tie under all black gowns. Female student shad to wear a dark skirt or trousers, a white blouse, black stockings and shoes, and a black ribbon tied in a bow at the neck.

Transgender students looking to wear the opposite sex's dress code would have to seek special permission from the university, who could punish students from breaking the dress code. 

"This is an extremely positive step, and indeed long overdue," said Simone Webb, the president of LGBTQ Soc.