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Formal Halls are an important part of College life and have been an enjoyable, communal event since Churchill was founded. They provide the opportunity for senior and junior members to dine together and bring guests from outside the College to share a meal with friends and colleagues in a pleasant and relaxed environment. The following outlines expected procedure and behaviour
A gong will be sounded to indicate the Hall opening and diners should be in their places in good time. When no seating plan has been prepared, please avoid leaving gaps. The tables will be marked with the name of the group and number of people booked.
Dinner begins and ends with Latin prayers known as graces. At the beginning of the dinner, diners stand until the opening grace has been said, and rise at the end of the meal when the gong is sounded. Diners should avoid leaving their seats between the two Latin graces. Any toasts or announcements should be reserved for once the High Table party has left the room.
It should be self-evident that no diner should indulge in any practice that might be offensive to any other diner. It ought also to be self-evident what practices might be so offensive but they include drunkenness, undress (including lack of footwear), throwing anything, singing or shouting, forcing people to drink or eat and any abuse whatsoever towards the Hall staff
Diners are expected to wear formal attire. It is normal for Fellows at High Table to wear gowns, but not for students to do so.
Some people may deliberately breach this code of conduct. If you are unhappy with the behaviour of another diner, you should speak to the Hall Manager. If an individual's behaviour is considered unacceptable, they will be warned before being asked to leave.
If Hall staff are forced to ask you to leave you will be reported to the Dean who may impose a fine. Any diner is required to reveal his or her full name and College to the Hall Manager. Fines are charged to Churchill College accounts and members of College pay the fines of their guests. Graver punishments will result if you either (a) fail to give your real name or (b) repeat your offences.
Any University or College clubs and societies making block bookings for Hall must give the Catering Manager, twenty-four hours in advance of the dinner, the name of a responsible officer who will be present at the dinner. For the purpose of discipline, the senior student officer of a College club or society is deemed to be the host of any offender who is not a member of Churchill College.
Acceptable behaviour should correlate with acceptable levels of alcohol consumption. The following rules cover the consumption of alcohol at regular formal halls and private dinners: