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Chemistry Research, Durham University
Durham University
Durham
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What on earth is matriculation?

I've just been reading about it (in the FAQ too). It seems like some ancient initiation ritual. What does it involve? How long does it last? What happens if somebody does not want to go?

It sounds really freaky!

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Reply 1
It's boring. You line up in your gown along with the rest of your college's Freshers and go to the cathedral, sit down, hear about the history of the uni and the cathedral and then file out again and go back to college. I can't even remember if a register was taken and I think it lasted about half an hour. People have missed it before without anyone even noticing!
Chemistry Research, Durham University
Durham University
Durham
pikaboo
It's boring. You line up in your gown along with the rest of your college's Freshers and go to the cathedral, sit down, hear about the history of the uni and the cathedral and then file out again and go back to college. I can't even remember if a register was taken and I think it lasted about half an hour. People have missed it before without anyone even noticing!

Are you suggesting that we skip it then?
Reply 3
I suppose it's worth it for the glory of the thing, and the opportunity to wear your gown again, but it's really nothing special. They should liven it up a bit more! Have some decent organ music for a start, and wine and stuff.
pikaboo
I suppose it's worth it for the glory of the thing, and the opportunity to wear your gown again, but it's really nothing special. They should liven it up a bit more! Have some decent organ music for a start, and wine and stuff.

I might have to smuggle a glass of it in, failing that a hipflask of something. My MP3 player can provide me some organ music... Dont some colleges not have gowns anyway?
Reply 5
im not buying a gown just for matriculation
Reply 6
If you don't wear gowns for formals then my advice is not to bother buying one at all. They're ridiculously expensive for a bit of polyester!
Reply 7
Do you have to have them a these formal dinners, even if the college insists? Or can you get away with not wearing them (or even not going ;-))?
Reply 8
Okay, so as far as I know JB college doesn't have gowns for formals, so I get to wear this gown once, is that right ?

If so, can they be hired or, I notice odd ones come up secondhand, so do I just need to beg steal or borrow a plain black gown, or is there something special about it that makes it a Durham Gown ?
Reply 9
If you are at a college that doesn't do gowns for formals then no one goes to matriculation in a gown, well thats the case with Collingwood.
And yeah they should make it more interesting, at least get the students involved a bit more, spose getting everyone to sign some registration book might prolong it too far.

Our college had two early morning fire alarms to get us up in time. One of which was apparently real, caused by someone putting a prothstetic arm (?) into a microwave. Thats usually cos eveyones out the night before. One of my friends nearly threw up inside the cathedral as he was so on the edge, all the way through matriculation.
Reply 10
Matriculation is quite good for feeling part of your college, certain colleges cheer etc. when their freshers leave the cathedral. It is not compulsory, but it is encouraged. All your friends will be there so what else are you going to do!?

Gowns: see the FAQ for college rules etc, but generally the colleges will sell them to you when you first arrive and usually they have second hand ones as well if you get there quickly. If you only want to go to a formal with a gown (either your college or someone elses) then you can usually borrow one off a friend.

The design of the gowns is specific to Durham (and Chads gowns to Chads(?))

from wikipedia:

This gown is basically the same as the Oxford Scholars' gown - a knee-length gown gathered at the yoke with elbow-length bell sleeves - but with the forearm seam opened about four inches from the bottom. These are worn in most colleges (but not all) to formal halls (dinners) and to matriculation. Some colleges also insist on their being worn to Junior Common Room meetings. Regulations on the wearing of undergraduate gowns are technically set by the colleges, but in many colleges the regulations are decided by the JCRs.

The Durham Scholars' gown (rarely seen outside college chapels) is longer and has the forearm seam sewn up, e.g. identical to the Oxford Scholars'. The Hild and Bede college gown, retained from before the college became a constituent college of the University, differs from other Durham gowns in being made of brocaded fabric and being shorter. The St Chad's gown (rarely seen outside of Matriculation) is based on the Oxford Scholars' gown, but adds two black buttons at the lower end of the forearm, joined across the (open) seam by 5 inches of twisted green cord.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academic_dress_of_Durham_University#Undergraduates
If you go to a gown-wearing college, matriculation is worth it just because gowns + Durham cathedral = feeling like you're in Harry Potter :biggrin:
Reply 12
I got my gown from St Chad's but it's exactly the same as all the other colleges' gowns :s-smilie: I've never seen a special Chad's matriculation gown with green stuff on before.
The harry potter feeling is AWESOME.
Reply 14
At Hild Bede, we borrowed the gowns. Mine wasn't hot - it didn't have any sleeves and thus looked like a massive waistcoat. Actually, I think we were charged £4 or so for "gown hire", but it was on our college bill so we had to pay it anyway. HB doesn't have gowns at formals though.

My advice: skip matriculation and register instead. The only time when there won't be HUMUNGOUS queues.
Reply 15
lol, someone took "hell" out of the thread title.
Reply 16
sarbruis
lol, someone took "hell" out of the thread title.

lol, it doesn't so bad now that I understand what it is. Well noticed!
Reply 17
andrewm
lol, it doesn't so bad now that I understand what it is. Well noticed!


I think you're missing an important word in that sentence, and I'm not sure which one is missing.
Reply 18
Everyone in college gets naked and has a mass orgy.
Reply 19
ssmoose
Everyone in college gets naked and has a mass orgy.

Ah so the gowns are just so you don't have to remove loads of items of clothes?