For centuries, students at Britain's Oxford University had to stick to a dress code regarding who wore suits and who wore skirts. This will all change on August 4 after the university amended its rules related to formal academic clothing. Students will soon be allowed to wear what they like. This means that women can attend formal events and exams in a suit and bow tie and men can wear a skirt, blouse and stockings.
The new rules are in response to concerns that the old ones were unfair to the transgender society. They come after a motion by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Queer Society (LGBTQ Soc.) was passed by the students' union earlier this year.
LGBTQ Soc. official Jess Pumphrey said the rule amendment would make quite a few students feel, "significantly less stressful by eliminating the need for trans students to cross-dress to avoid being... disciplined during their exam". The old rules meant students who broke the dress code would be punished. Any student who wanted to wear clothing that was designated for the opposite sex previously needed to get special permission from their college.
One student commented in the university newspaper: "This seems a bit unnecessary. It only applies to a tiny percentage of the student population and it seems unlikely that a trans student would really be confronted about what they are wearing."