OXFORD University is steeped in tradition and the messy ritual of “trashing” is one that is clearly here to stay.

All week final year students have been dousing each other in confetti, flour, champagne and silly string to mark the end of exams.

“Trashing” began in the 90s and has endured as a way for youngsters to let off steam after years of hard work.

The finals started on Monday at Oxford Examination Schools, High Street.

Some of the 100 who poured out to Merton College, Merton Street, got doused and couldn’t be happier.

In 2011, it was reported proctors told students “no flour, no eggs, no beans, ketchup, let alone rotting worse”.

An email said: “Rotting food, vomit, broken glass and other items causing litter are simply not what any of us wants to see.”

The Oxford Times:

  • Sam Bordan, 21, takes it all in his stride

But Cambridge’s Mimi Goodall, 21, of Magdalen College, who celebrated after her English literature finals, said: “It is just really good fun. There is nothing wrong with celebrating lots of hard work.”

Ugandan Frederick Bowerman, 23, a philosophy, politics and economics (PPE) student at Merton College, said: “It is about striking a balance.

“As long as it’s not dangerous and no one gets hurt, I don’t think there is anything wrong with trashing.’’ Cambridge’s Jessica Norris, 21, of Keble College, finished her biology exams and was greeted by friends who covered her in silly string and foam.

She said: “It is great to have finished my degree and be free. As you can see, there is nothing wrong with trashing. It is a tradition that must be upheld.”

The Oxford Times:

  • Alistair Marjot, 21, and Isobel Routledge, 20

Oxford’s Sam Moore, 21, who studied biology at Worcester College, said: “It is great fun if it is in a confined area like this.

“It feels good to have finished university and there is nothing wrong with a bit of fun.”

In 2008 we reported The Bear Inn, Alfred Street, had stopped serving students who had been subject to a trashing.

But bar manager Marcus Webb, 39, said yesterday: “Things used to be quite bad but now the students seem to have calmed down.”

University spokesman Matt Pickles said: “We urge students to celebrate responsibly and to show consideration for local residents and other students still taking exams.”

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