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Students at Sussex University unite to save tradition

Sussex University students are campaigning to save an annual tradition where third year students race to hand in their work, an event which is becoming difficult to manage.

Sussex University students are campaigning to save the 'dissertation dash', an annual tradition where last-year students run through the campus to submit their final university assignments at one central point. For the past 20 years, humanities and social science students have submitted their dissertation at the same time and place, with many gathering to cheer on those making a last-minute dash from the library. This year however, there is no longer a single location to submit work, leaving the parade tradition in danger of abolition. A spokesman for the university says the number of students has become too large to manage the parade. "Student numbers are growing, by 2018 we expect to have 18,000 students – and a large number of those students will require a convenient and expedient way of submitting work and getting results. Naturally, the university would want to adapt its systems accordingly. For these reasons, handing in to one central point is no longer feasible.” However, "we'd love to see our students keep up their traditions, so we're talking with students about how they might adapt to this different way of handing in." The university adds that a replacement ceremony may be more inclusive, since it could involve science as well as arts students.

For some students the dissertation dash is a panic-fuelled run along the 250 metre path from library to submission hall, others find time to indulge in fancy dress and celebrate the occasion. Once someone wrapped themselves in bubble wrap and rolled to the finish line, while other students tie their legs to one another and have a three-legged race. There are the fun-loving students who take all their clothes off!

Source: Guardian, Rebecca Ratcliffe