Milkshake Fights and Fainting: What Happened at Graduation 2016?


In the last two weeks, over 4800 students graduated from the University of Southampton. From Wednesday 13th July to Thursday 21st July, there were a whopping 42 graduation ceremonies in total. Unlike last year, there were no proposals. However, no Southampton graduation would be complete without a little bit of drama. Here’s a round up of everything that went down and some of your fantastic posts on Twitter and Instagram.Β 

The week of ceremonies seemed to be defined by the heat. In addition to the very warm robes, there was no air conditioning in the Nuffield – where half of all graduation ceremonies were taking place. You couldn’t count your lucky stars that you were in Turner Sims either – the air conditioning was actually switched off due to noise. Tuesday 19th July was the hottest day of the year so far and probably more insufferable if you were lucky enough to graduate on that day. Throughout the week, it was inevitable that little things would go wrong – names were often mispronounced, the wrong hands were shaken, minor chaos ensued.

Michael Oliver, a graduate who also worked at the university over graduation, told Wessex Scene:

“Graduation was a great event overall and everything went relatively smoothly, despite a few people turning up really late! It’s a shame the weather decided to be so hot when everyone was in heavy robes, but at least it wasn’t raining”

So what actually happened?

“Oh no! I’ve got the wrong day!”

Sources tell us that some students missed their graduation – made clear by the awkward silence when a name was read out during a ceremony, but no one stood up. One poor student brought his family all the way from China, only to realise he wasn’t to be graduating at all. Another student turned up to collect her robes, only to realise their graduation was the day before.

The heat really got to people

On the hottest day of the year, a fight was reported to have broken out in the Arlott Bar. It allegedly involved chocolate milkshake that was mistaken for blood. Sources told us that the two guests involved were from different parts of China – milkshake and ice cream was thrown but the ruckus was swiftly dealt with before anymore dairy produce was at risk. Those involved were escorted off campus and the broken glass outside Building 38 is thought to be a result of the fight.

The effect of the heat didn’t stop there. Students fainted at ceremonies and threw up during photos – could be from the heat or a particularly awful hangover.

Reflecting on the events of graduation, VP Sports Tom Provan had some particularly profound thoughts:

Graduation was a fantastic experience as a Sabb. It was intimidating sitting up the front with the professors. However noticing the students who were graduating, something that I released was that so many of them I recognised. By either name or face, a lot of graduates were familiar to me for the contributions they had made to the students union. The vast number of students that given so much of their time to something that was union related, be it sport or otherwise, was staggering and made me feel validated that someone from the union should be present at their graduations.

Here’s what the other Sabbatical officers had to say!

“It’s been a fab couple of weeks, and such an honour to get to sit in on everyone’s ceremonies! Congrats to everyone who graduated and all of the luck for the future!” – Flora Noble, VP Communities

“Graduation was a really enjoyable experience for all of the full time officers. Aside from the opportunity to see many of our friends graduate, we also enjoyed campus being so busy again as graduates celebrated with their families. On behalf of everyone at the Union I want to congratulate all of the students who are graduating, and wish everyone all the best for the future.” – Alex Hovden, President

“It was really amazing to be a part of the celebration of so much success, well done to everyone that graduated (and withstood the heat)!” – Dan Varley, VP Engagement

“The last two weeks of graduations have been fantastic, despite the heat! It’s been great seeing so many graduates, families and friends enjoying a truly memorable occasion. I’d say if I had one highlight it would be the student who, when asked what he was going to do next, replied, ‘get drunk,’ then proceeded to turn to the front row and loudly say ‘I’ve already started on it.'” – Elliot Grater, VP Education

And finally, here are some our favourite graduation posts from Twitter and Instagram! Did you make the cut?

Fikri's Big Day πŸŽ“πŸ”₯ #uosgraduation

A photo posted by Jed (@zaidjamaludin) on

Degree βœ” adulthood… not quite there yet

A photo posted by chlllloeeee (@chlllloeeee) on


A photo posted by Pete Leryotchaipong (@mrpetee) on

Dab in celebration β€οΈπŸ˜‚

A photo posted by Connor Ross (@connorross23) on

I tried…really tried. 😩 Photo cred: @caramichaelaa πŸ˜‚

A photo posted by Nathania Jules (@nathania_ellejay) on

Save money at your graduation by drinking from the bins #thrifty

A photo posted by Luke Stewart (@lunchtimeluke) on

Celebrating graduation with susu the cat was an honour #susu #catsofinstagram

A photo posted by Gaby (@gabycostanzo1) on



Wessex Scene Editor 2016-17 and Features Editor 2015-2016. History Student, Blog writer ( and traveller. Student Brand Ambassador for the i Paper 2015-2016. Tea lover, cat enthusiast. @Alicetotheskies

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