Even though the University Court is the single largest meeting of the University, readers may still be confused as to why subtext would make such a big deal over the closure of what is often seen as just a ceremonial gathering. In the simplest terms, the Court is not just an assembly of members of the Senate, Council, and officers of the Students’ Union. It also has places for alumni, MPs, the clergy, the dignitaries, the scientific bodies, etc. A lot of its attendees are lay-members, and since we’re a university that (when it suits a particular scheme) values an ‘outside perspective’, it would seem obvious that the Court would be an ideal forum to, er, ‘court’ the opinions of those who aren’t involved in our day to day operations. It has also traditionally served as an opportunity for disinterested bodies, unfettered by concerns over promotion and how much favour they are currying, to give both barrels to the more fanciful / destructive notions of senior management, as well as an opportunity to engage with alumni who like to make a day of coming ‘home’ to Lancaster. To do away with such a body, which is already lacking in teeth, seems an inordinately petty and isolationist move.

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