“The increased pressure for women to prove themselves intellectually coupled with the internalisation of emotion can surely be considered a factor in the higher rate of mental health issues amongst female students.” “From a counselling service that is only open during term time to students been pushed from college to department to seek help, more needs to be done to properly support the graduate student body. It seems that the first call of action is for students to suspend rather than tackle the causes of suspension and offer proper support for students.” Oxford SU VP for Graduates, Alison D’Ambrosia told Cherwell: “It is a ticking time bomb the issue of graduate student welfare. With a huge increase in graduate numbers over the past several years, we have seen minimal investment in their welfare provision and support. “Girls and women are also taught from an early age to internalise ‘unbecoming’ emotions, such as anger, frustration and hopelessness. Cherwell understands that the disparity in the figures could be due to the length of postgraduate research degree, which are typically three years. Taught degrees can be as short as 9 months, meaning that there is less opportunity for students to suspend or withdraw from their studies. Just under 52% of enrolments in 2017/18 were in taught degrees. A spokesperson for the University told Cherwell: “These numbers are relatively low so we should be careful about drawing conclusions from them without understanding the context. We offer high levels of academic and pastoral support to our graduate students through their departments, colleges and central University services. “There are many reasons why a student’s status might be suspended, including health, maternity or paternity, personal circumstances, academic difficulties and disciplinary matters. Suspension is often a voluntary decision by a student, and in most cases students return from periods of suspension to successfully complete their course.” The data, obtained from the University by Cherwell, reveals a consistent gender disparity in suspension and withdrawal rates over the previous 8 years. The withdrawal rate has remained consistent at about 1.5%, peaking in 2013/14 at 1.82%. According to the SU’s recently published counselling report, postgraduate students were proportionally less likely to seek help than undergraduates, with 10.8% of postgraduate researchers and 9.2% of taught students receiving counselling to 12.3% of undergraduates. There was also a marked contrast between those on research and taught postgraduate degrees, with the former having consistently higher levels of suspension and withdrawal. In 2016/17 just under 10% of research graduates suspended their studies compared to 6% of taught graduates. This figure decreased slightly to 9% last year. The overall suspension rate for all postgraduate students has also increased year on year from 2013/14 to 2016/17 from 5.98% to 7.93%, although there was a slight decrease last year to 7.5%. New data shows that 8.7% of female postgraduates suspended their studies in 2016/17, one-third higher than the rate for men (6.5%). The gender discrepancy was mirrored in withdrawal rates, which were 1.37% for men compared to 1.64% for women. “Considering the historic argument against women’s right to education that they do not hold the mental rigour to undertake study, there is a double pressure to overcome this stigma and maintain a facade of capability when, for a variety of personal reasons not linked to their intellect, this may not be the case. A History Masters student at St Catherine’s, Hannah Grange-Sales, told Cherwell: “Women are conditioned to believe they are less intelligent than men, therefore there is both a real and imagined need to work harder to be considered men’s intellectual equals. Suspensions are when a single student pauses their study during a given year, with one student potentially accruing multiple suspension ‘counts’, in the rare event that they do so more than once. Withdrawals are when a student completely withdraws from their programme of study. This does not include those that have been transferred to a different programme of study. The report added that the lower take up of provision could be due to cultural differences. In 2016/17, 64% of graduates were non-UK students.
A number of annual summer events have been cancelled in the past week, with organizers citing the COVID-19 pandemic as the primary reason.The Wilton Lions Club has made a tough decision to cancel the following events: The Memorial Day Service (May 25) and The Annual Yard Sale (June 26 – June 28)The annual reunion of the New Sharon High School alumni, scheduled for June 20, 2020, is cancelled.In the Jay/Livermore Falls area, the Memorial Day Parade has been cancelled, as have the associated services at nearby monuments. Organizers said that the decision was made due to COVID-19 social distancing requirements and after conversations with town offices in Fayette, Jay, Livermore Falls and Livermore. Assistance is being sought to place 1,700 flags at the graves of veterans in 49 local cemeteries.The annual Tri-Town July 3 Parade, put on by organizers in Jay, Livermore and Livermore Falls has also been cancelled.Farmington’s traditional July 4 parade, organized by the Farmington Rotary, has also been cancelled. The Rotary remains active and intends to find a way to creatively engage with the community to recognize the day, Rotary spokesperson Lisa Laflin said. The Rotary’s annual June yard sale has also been postponed, with the organization hoping to host a similar event in the fall.The Farmington Falls Fire Co. has cancelled the 2020 Annual Yard Sale and Chicken BBQ to err on the side of caution in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers said Thursday. A “bigger and better celebration” is planned for 2021.The Wilton Blueberry Festival committee already announced last week that it would be postponing the 38th iteration of the town’s August festival until 2021. Another major regional draw, the Kingfield POPS Festival held in late June, has also been postponed until the following summer.The 62nd Phillips Old Home Days 2020 has also been cancelled. Organizers intend to hold the planned 200th birthday celebration of Maine in 2021 from Aug. 14 through Aug. 22. Similarly, this year’s Memorial Day Horse Pulls have also been cancelled.