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Students slam professors over 'ban' on cap throwing.

Byline: Emma McKinney Education Correspondent

STUDENTS at the University of Birmingham have hit out at "joyless professors" after claiming they have been banned from throwing their graduation caps into the air - because of health and safety fears.

Those studying classics, ancient history and archeology allege they were sent an email before a special graduation celebration to tell them to keep their mortarboards on to avoid injuries.

The email, from an administration worker, details a photo opportunity taking place at the event being held at Chancellor's Court in the university's grounds at noon today.

It says: "Throwing of caps is not permitted, due to health and safety."

Writing about the issue in student newspaper The Tab, chief reporter Jack Cummings said: "Joyless professors have spoiled the fun by banning mortarboard throwing from a graduation ceremony.

"Students graduating in classics at the University of Birmingham will no longer be able to celebrate throwing their caps into the air because of petty health and safety fears. So those graduating in the department won't even be able to enter the carpe diem spirit they studied so hard for."

University of Birmingham student Hannah Walker told The Tab: "It's just surprising that the university is actively taking action against something that's traditional. I personality don't see the harm in it, and honestly don't think anyone will take the ban seriously."

However, the university insisted the event was a private drinks reception, and not a formal graduation ceremony. A spokeswoman told the Birmingham Mail: "The university does not have a policy or ban on cap throwing during degree congregations.

"We recognise that this is a time of celebration for our students and their families after years of hard work and dedication and want to ensure everyone has an enjoyable time. "The email in question does not refer to our formal graduation ceremonies but concerned a specific private event where space was restricted."

Graduation attire suppliers Ede and Ravenscroft said students had previously been injured by falling mortarboards.

A statement on its website says: "It is requested that graduates do not throw the hat up into the air, as this not only caused damage to the hats but can also cause injury if the corner of the hat hits the graduate or others who may be nearby."

In Chicago last year, an entire class was denied diplomas after students ignored warnings not to throw their graduation caps into the air.

Yale University in the USA, meanwhile, was sued in 1984 over a mortarboard injury.

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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Jul 14, 2015
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