Exams: Celebrate Sustainably

Exams: Celebrate Sustainably

We want you to celebrate after your exams, and there are lots of ways you can choose to do so without impacting our environment or local community.  

Celebrate your achievements responsibly, just as many students have chosen to do so in recent years, by avoiding ‘trashing’. It’s not an Oxford tradition, it’s anti-social behaviour, and whatever you use, it still needs clearing up.  

Littering as a result of ‘trashing’ is illegal, and if you throw, pour or spray substances after your exams, you are liable to a £150 fine, which will be strictly enforced, as a breach of the University’s Code of Discipline.  

Please be considerate to other students still taking their exams by celebrating in ways that won’t disturb them, or our wider University and city communities. Please keep all noise to an absolute minimum when leaving your exam, do not congregate around exam venues, or noisily greet finalists. Read how you can be considerate and respectful to other students this exam season

You will damage the environment  

  • There’s no such thing as ‘eco-trashing’: whatever you use still leaves an impact 

  • Materials used in this way can find their way into local waterways 

  • Wasted materials, particularly plastic, are harmful to animal life  

  • Broken glass and discarded BBQs kill and injure animals every year  

You will waste money and resources 

  • You will be contributing to the needless waste of food and other resources when many are struggling with ongoing high costs of living 

  • Money you waste on food and other materials could be donated to those most in need in Oxford, e.g., through food banks or charities* 

  • Post-exam celebrations have in the past cost the University around £45,000 in staffing and clear-up costs, which could be spent on student services and facilities  

You will cause difficulties for our community  

  • Littering, and damaging the local environment disrupts the whole Oxford community and affects the University’s relationship with our wider community**

  • Wasting food and other resources reinforces negative stereotypes about Oxford students   

  • In previous years post-exam celebrations have resulted in students and residents being admitted to hospital through slipping on materials  

  • You aren’t allowed in local pubs or restaurants if you are covered in waste materials 

If you do it, you will be fined 

  • Littering is illegal. You are liable to a £150 fine if you are caught littering by throwing, pouring or spraying substances after your exams 
  • It is against the University’s Code of Discipline 
  • Fines will be strictly enforced and issued. If you don’t pay them, you will be liable for further disciplinary action 

You must not congregate around the Exam Schools, other exam venues, and student and residential accommodation after your exams, as even if you’ve finished, other students will still be taking their exams. Please be considerate by keeping noise to a minimum, not congregating when leaving, or arriving to noisily greet finalists  

Find more responsible ways to celebrate 

Have a night out, celebrate with your college community, plan a celebratory day out or enjoy Oxford’s outdoor spaces (taking your litter home with you).  

Proctors Officers will be present around Exam Schools and Police in the city centre. 
Littering is against the University’s Student Code of Discipline. It could lead to disciplinary action and a £150 fine. 

Please think carefully when celebrating after your exams, and follow the dos and don’ts: 



-Think about the impact your actions will have on the Oxford community

-Celebrate responsibly in Oxford’s green spaces, pubs, and restaurants

-Think about the money you could save yourself and the University by not ‘trashing’

-Throw, pour or spray substances after your exams (even if they’re biodegradable)

-Waste food, drink or other items on your celebrations, donate to charities instead

-Put yourself at risk of a £150 fine


Why are fines being issued this year?

We hope that students will choose not to take part in antisocial behaviour or littering after their exams, as this will eliminate the need to issue fines. However, in light of the impact of irresponsible celebrations on the local community, the University will issue fines for breaches of the University’s statutes on Behaviour after Examinations, as it has in previous years.

Why are the fines £150, and where will the money go? 

The fines have been set to match the Council and Thames Valley Police fixed penalty notice fines for littering. All monies from fines are provided to the student hardship fund. 

Who will issue the fines, and will they be enforced?  

The Proctors' Office staff will issue immediate fines to any student found engaging in behaviour that contravenes the University’s statutes. Non-payment of fines will result in further disciplinary action under the University Code of Discipline.   

What happens if I am struggling financially? Will I still have to pay? 

Fines are imposed for a breach of the University Code of Discipline. They are a reasonable and proportionate penalty for a student whose actions and behaviour are contrary to what is expected of them. Fines can be appealed to the Student Disciplinary Panel where they will take into account the students’ own actions in committing this breach. 

*Some of the Oxford-based charities you can donate food and toiletries to:

** Take part in a student community litter pick with OxClean and find tips on keeping green spaces tidy

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