‘Disrespectful, unacceptable’: Oxford student who ‘dressed up’ as Stephen Hawking disciplined

'Disrespectful, unacceptable': Oxford student who 'dressed up' as Stephen Hawking disciplined
A student who dressed disrespectfully as Stephen Hawking has been referred to the dean. Source: Shutterstock

Suffice to stay, other students were furious and reported him to the college dean.

The Telegraph reported that said student has been disciplined for his “costume” as 76-year old scientist Stephen Hawking at the “dress as your degree” party at Lady Margaret Hall (LMH) last Saturday.

“This behaviour breaches our clearly expressed expectations for bop costumes,” LMH’s Junior Common Room president Lana Purcell said.

“We are angry and disappointed that this has happened and have referred the person to the dean,” Purcell said.

An Oxford Student Union spokesman said: “Oxford SU has passed policy on Bop and Entz themes which believes that bops should be inclusive.

“If the intention was to offend, then this contradicts that belief and the spirit of the policy.”

Miranda Reilly, chair of the Oxford University Students’ Union’s disability campaign, called the stunt “disrespectful” and “unacceptable”.

Reilly said:

“While it is not impossible to dress respectfully as Stephen Hawking, as a world-renowned physicist, this seems to have not been the case or intention.”

“Mobility aids are an important tool in many disabled people’s daily lives, and so it is disrespectful for them to be parodied in this way.”

More awareness about disability issues is needed, according to Reilly, who added that students should think deeper about how disability is portrayed respectfully.

“The majority of the very few disabled roles in film, stage and television go to non-disabled actors with no criticism outside of the disabled community,” Reilly said.

“Ableism comes in many forms far more subtle than this incident at the bop.”

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