Cambridge removes ‘gendered’ dress code requirement for graduation ceremonies

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

The University of Cambridge has announced that it has changed its policy and now now longer includes gendered requirements in the dress code of graduation ceremonies.

The change means that men will no longer be required to wear trousers suits and women will no longer be made to wear skirts, dresses or suits, for graduation.

Charlie Bell, the president of the CUSU LGBT+, welcomed the change.

Speaking to Varsity, Bell said: “The ease with which we were able to pass this through Council shows how sensible the University is, and how much on the side of students the administration is. This is clearly a sensible decision and one which is well overdue.”

He added: “I think LGBT+ people are generally treated equally within the University, and we are fighting to fight inequality where it exists; for the new group of freshers coming up, I would say this is very encouraging. For those of us who represent LGBT people, there is always more work to do.”

Sarah Gibson, the CUSU LGBT+ trans representative alos agreed that more needs to be done.

Gibson said: “Much more is needed throughout the University to support and include transgender students. The vast majority of staff lack all but the most basic knowledge about trans* people and with no guidance available they continue to make the same mistakes year after year.

“Every part of the University must begin to engage with and listen to the trans* community as well as striving to create an environment that is truly welcoming and accepting of all. CUSU LGBT+ is working to achieve this”. Gibson added that the University must do more than pay “lip service to their equality duties.”

The online guidelines have not yet been published online, and the dress code displayed is still the same.