Gradugate prompted by US exchange student ‘sent to A&E’ after being hit by mortarboard last year

Union is ‘not one hundred percent convinced’ the ban is necessary


UEA Student Union has issued a statement on the ban on hat throwing at this year’s graduation. 

Yesterday, The Tab revealed that the University has put a ban on graduates throwing their hats due to health and safe fears.

The University has slammed hat throwing as an “unacceptable risk” in a statement, requested by The Tab after law students were emailed being asked to “mime” throwing their mortarboards.

Following the news of the ban, is has emerged that one student was allegedly sent to A&E last year after being hit by a mortarboard. The UEA press office has stated it will be withholding the identity of the student, however confirms they were on exchange from the US.

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However, the Union has since admitted that they are “not one hundred percent convinced” that a ban is necessary.

In a statement, Union Officer Liam McCafferty said: “Given that last year a student ended up in A&E after a serious injury from the mortarboard throw, it’s understandable that the university and their photography company have taken steps to make the event safer.

“However we’re not one hundred percent convinced that an outright ban on throwing the hats is the answer, and we’re asking everyone to work together to combine safety with celebration to see if there’s another way to ensure students can enjoy their moment.”

Penguin Photography has offered to photoshop hats into the graduation photo for an extra £8.

However, many students are still very unhappy about the ban on the traditional hat toss.

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Third-year History and Politics student, Will Harragan, said: “Hat throwing is a staple part of graduation and it seems ridiculous to photoshop it in.

“I’m tempted to ask if I could turn up in my pyjamas and get them to photoshop me a suit and gown.”

“It may be that we’re all unaware of huge number of mortar board related injuries, but my gut tell me that it’s a rare event and this is an overreaction.”

This comes following UEA’s sombrerogate scandal earlier on in the year, in which sombreros – given out by a Mexican restaurant at Freshers’ Fair – were banned amongst accusations of cultural appropriation.