University bans students from throwing graduation caps

By Joe Mellor, Deputy Editor

Half the reason I got a degree was to throw the cap into the air afterwards, I knew my degree wasn’t going to get me a job, so the thrill of watching a oddly shaped cap fly into the sky seemed to make up for it…a bit.

Well some students at the UEA (University of East Anglia) are not allowed that morsel of use from their degree.

A class of law students at the Uni have been told to pretend to launch their caps, instead of doing it for real, due to health and safety concerns.

This summer, when they graduate, will mimic the action of throwing the hats, a tradition that has gone back hundreds of years.

They are worried that someone might be injured by the pointy caps, which in theory could hurt someone in the crowd.

An email, was sent to all third and fourth year Law students set to graduate on July 21, requests they mime the act instead – and then the caps will be photoshopped back in.

Organisers defended the move due to health and safety reasons and also to prevent hats covering some graduates’ faces.

The email said: ‘As well as being safer, this will have the added advantage that even more of the students’ faces will be seen in this photograph.’

Norwich’s Law Society President Louisa Baldwin told the Tab: ‘If I’ve paid £45 to hire a bit of cloth and card for the day I should be able to chuck my hat in the air.

‘It’s nothing worse than the weekly ritual of dodging VKs as they’re lobbed across the LCR dance floor.’

A University spokesperson told ‘The decision to not have the traditional hat throwing photo opportunity for all students this year follows a number of injuries over recent years to graduates hurt by falling mortarboards. This is an unacceptable risk and we want to ensure no student’s graduation day is ruined by the potential for avoidable injury.

‘This has been agreed by our academic dress suppliers who often receive back damaged mortarboards, and our photographers.’

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