Leave Knox alone

The ODT reports:

Far from being elitist, traditions ensure students are welcomed into a supportive family atmosphere, past and present residents say.

The Presbyterian Church’s move to ban initiation ceremonies, scrap elitist symbols and tighten rules on alcohol, as reported in yesterday’s Otago Daily Times, has been opposed by many. …

Readers voiced their support of the institution and its long-standing practices in various letters to the editor yesterday.

A young woman returning to Knox for a second year said people developed a love for the place that could not be easily explained.

Another said Knox received more returning residents than any other university hall in New Zealand; testament to its vibrant and positive culture.

Former Knox student Michael Bridgen wrote about his “fresher” experience at Knox in 1994.

“Certain of the traditions were daunting, to a person from a country town new to so many people, but none were observed in other than good faith and good fun. In fact, in the spirit of colleges everywhere, many traditions evolved to the purpose of challenging and breaking down just those initial sheer faces of bashfulness.”

I went to Carrington Hall in Dunedin and loved my time there. People at Carrington regarded Knox as the second best hall 🙂

Knox has a wonderful history and traditions, and the initiation ceremonies are a vital part of hall culture. They absolutely bond people together (sometimes literally 🙂 ) and scrapping them would be the stupidest thing you can do.

“I have never found Knox to be anything other than welcoming, nurturing and supportive and cannot think of any justification for these changes,” recent resident Rebecca Gates said.

She said the traditions and rituals to be changed were the very things which attracted and united residents “no matter our schooling, social background, gender or race”.

“These common ties and experiences are what glues us together and draws almost all of the residents back for a second year.”

More than 1000 people have joined an online group established in defence of Knox traditions.

I hope common sense prevails. Knox is one of the most sought after halls in Dunedin (arguably the most sought after), and their sense of history and traditions are part of what attracts people to go there. It certainly isn’t their location – up that bloody hill!

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