The Massey College Rule of Courtesy

One of the items discussed each September when the don and committee chairs elected the previous April explained the college’s various structures and committees to the incoming group is the Rule of Courtesy. This rule, which has governed college behaviour since Robertson Davies’s day, essentially restates the Golden Rule. Here’s how it was explained on 17 September 1998: “[We] only ask that you be courteous, to think of how your actions may affect others with whom you live. [We] get a lot of mileage out of our one rule. [It] includes: not blaring loud music from your rooms, screaming across the quad (especially at night), cleaning up after yourself in the kitchen and bathrooms, not eating others’ food or using their laundry detergent, responding promptly to invitations. [It] also comes into play tonight: listen to those who have the floor, respect the opinions of others. Also included in the rule of courtesy is respect for the diversity of our community.” Breaches of the Rule of Courtesy — particularly in regard to hot plates [meals set aside in the JF fridge for Junior Fellows who cannot attend meals because of academic or other commitments] — were frequently under discussion at house committee and JCR meetings during John Fraser’s first term.

Grant, Judith Skelton. A Meeting of Minds: The Massey College Story. University of Toronto Press, 2015. p. 536–7

Note: Aside from my explanation of hot plates, the square brackets are in Grant’s text.

Author: Milan

In the spring of 2005, I graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in International Relations and a general focus in the area of environmental politics. In the fall of 2005, I began reading for an M.Phil in IR at Wadham College, Oxford. Outside school, I am very interested in photography, writing, and the outdoors. I am writing this blog to keep in touch with friends and family around the world, provide a more personal view of graduate student life in Oxford, and pass on some lessons I've learned here.

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