A further example of health and safety being given a bad press has recently come to light at the University of East Anglia in Norwich. Students have been told that they are banned from throwing hats in the air at their graduation ceremony after reports of injuries by flying headwear in past years. It does appear that a commercial opportunity is linked to the ban, as graduates can pay £8 for a mortarboard to be photo-shopped into their souvenir photographs.
A University spokesperson confirmed that the ban had been imposed after previous issues and the practise is seen as “an unacceptable risk” with management keen to “ensure no student’s graduation day is ruined by the potential for avoidable injury”. It is understood that the hire company has also complained about damaged mortarboards.
A student commented that “UEA are ruining the experience of what should be a really brilliant day. They make pathetic rules without consulting students. It’s ridiculous. Those who made the decision haven’t just finished a degree, yet they’re tainting the experience for everyone.”