Worcester College
© Alamy Stock Photo
Worcester College's (pictured) provost is now facing a furious backlash after trying to abolish the centuries-old customs of standing for dons and saying grace before meals
We're used to militant campaigns by ultra-PC students - but at one Oxford campus, the shoe is on the other foot.

Worcester College's provost is now facing a furious backlash after trying to abolish the centuries-old customs of standing for dons and saying grace before meals.

Students said they had been told by catering staff that they were no longer required to get up when senior academics entered and left the dining hall.

They have also been informed about proposals to axe the Anglican Grace, which is read before meals in Latin, and replace it with a 'range of set texts of thanksgiving from any world culture, religious or not'.

Professor Kate Tunstall's plans have infuriated students from the junior common room, who held a vote on the issue.

The majority were in favour of preserving the traditional practices and have decided to petition the governing body to reinstate the standing policy.

Professor Kate Tunstall

Professor Kate Tunstall's (pictured) plans have infuriated students from the junior common room, who held a vote on the issue
Damon Falck, the JCR vice president, said students are 'passionate about keeping the theatre that reminds them of this place's history and that it's a special place to be'.

He told the Daily Telegraph it is 'significantly more awkward to sit in silence while the tutors arrive or leave than it is to stand' and said standing is 'an excellent way to signal the start of the meal, and for everyone to be silent for grace'.

Professor Tunstall, the college's interim provost, said the changes would boost 'inclusivity' and prevent students from feeling alienated.

A senior academic said the protest showed that 'some of the governing body are more woke [politically correct] than the student community... and the students are not as woke as they thought'.

Worcester College, which was founded in 1714, boasts supermarket chain founder John Sainsbury, media tycoon Rupert Murdoch and Harry Potter actress Emma Watson among its alumni.

The college confirmed its governing body voted in June that students 'would no longer be required to stand when tutors come into the hall at formal dinners'.

A university spokesman said: 'The vote was taken following consultation with students and staff representatives who welcomed this as progressive change. Nobody has banned anyone from standing if they wish to do so.'

The row follows a clash at Sheffield University, when students banned Mexican sombreros at Halloween parties because they were deemed racist.

Posters were put up warning 'my culture is not your costume'.