A fitting fanfare to finished exams or a deadly weapon?

Cambridge University's board of examiners has drawn up a new rule to apply to next year's exam period, curtailing "excessive or over-exuberant celebrations" by students leaving the exam hall.

In the past, there has been a worry that the post-exam celebrations of students can disturb others including the general public. The new rule says that "Candidates shall have regard for the welfare of others, including the general public, at the end of examination sessions (both their own sessions and those of others). In particular, they should avoid: noise that might disturb active examinations or other work nearby; littering or damage, especially with food or drink; and obstructing highways or thoroughfares."

However, as has been pointed out by a third-year student at King's College (who wished to remain anonymous), "It's a tradition to open a bottle of wine or champagne as you leave your exams. After weeks of revising, students want to celebrate at the first opportunity so I think they will have trouble accepting this rule. I can understand why the university has brought it in though."

Moreover, not all post-exam celebrations go off with a pop. Since it's a rare thing to do, many students do not know how to spray fizzy wine from the bottle effectively, resulting in more than one student being a bit disappointed on leaving their exam to find their friends stood around a puddle of wine on the floor.

Some celebrations can go slightly wrong - spraying someone in the eye with gin from a tiny water pistol is one example. But it is the potential negative effects of more overt celebrations that the University's new rule hopes to soften, so that students celebrate without having a detrimental effect on those around them.

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