Dear University of Sussex,

I was at a graduation cermony today and have a few questions about the ceremonials.

1. Who is the mace carrier? How did they get that job? Do they work for the university full time doing something else?

2. What is the mace? What is its history and how did the university get it? Does it have any engravings or special features?

3. I noticed a bald gentleman in a black cap and black gown sitting on the far right of the front row of the group on the stage. He entered carrying a thin rod. Who is he, what is his role and what is the rod?

4. A brass band played the Sussex University Anniversary Fanfare. Please could you send me an audio recording and sheet music of this fanfare. Not a recording of the one from the actual ceremony today necessarily but of that piece of music.

Yours faithfully,

Alex Buckley

Dear University of Sussex,

Oh and please could you also send me a copy of the manual or procedure that covers the formalities at a graduation ceremony

Yours faithfully,

Alex Buckley

Freedom of Information, University of Sussex

Dear Mr Buckley,

Thank you for your below email.

Your request is being dealt with under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and will be answered within twenty working days following the date of receipt, i.e. by 6 August 2014.

Yours sincerely,

Alice Robertson

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Freedom of Information, University of Sussex

7 Attachments

Dear Mr Buckley,

I write following your request dated 9 July 2014 (below) under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Thank you for your interest in the University’s graduation ceremonies. Your questions are below - please also find the University's responses:

1. Who is the mace carrier? How did they get that job? Do they work for the university full time doing something else?

ANSWER: the mace carrier is normally a retired staff member of the University.

2. What is the mace? What is its history and how did the university get it? Does it have any engravings or special features?

ANSWER: this information is already accessible to you in the University’s archives The Keep http://www.thekeep.info/. Staff at The Keep have been informed of your request and would gladly assist with your research. We are therefore withholding this information under Section 21 of the Freedom of Information Act: Information already reasonably accessible to you.

3. I noticed a bald gentleman in a black cap and black gown sitting on the far right of the front row of the group on the stage. He entered carrying a thin rod. Who is he, what is his role and what is the rod?

ANSWER: The gentleman you refer to is the University Registrar and Secretary who leads the Chancellor’s procession. In relation to the rod, once again this information is already accessible to you in the University’s archives The Keep. We are therefore withholding this information under Section 21 of the Freedom of Information Act: Information already reasonably accessible to you.

4. A brass band played the Sussex University Anniversary Fanfare. Please could you send me an audio recording and sheet music of this fanfare. Not a recording of the one from the actual ceremony today necessarily but of that piece of music.

ANSWER: Unfortunately we do not hold an audio recording of the fanfare, however it can be found on You Tube. I attach the sheet music.

5. Oh and please could you also send me a copy of the manual or procedure that covers the formalities at a graduation ceremony.

ANSWER: Please find a link to the University’s Regulations which detail the necessary formalities at graduation ceremonies such as Academical dress (Regulation 27) and who is able to confer degrees (Regulation 7)
http://www.sussex.ac.uk/ogs/govdocuments...
I also attach an example of the order of proceedings.

If you are not satisfied with the University’s response to your request, you may ask the University to review it, but this must be within 40 working days of receiving the response. If you wish to do this, please write to the Academic Secretary at [University of Sussex request email] in the first instance. Full details of our FOI complaints procedure, including how to complain to the Information Commissioner, are at:
http://www.sussex.ac.uk/ogs/policies/inf...

Copyright in the documents you have been given belongs to the University of Sussex under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. Your use of these copyright works must be only as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 and, save where permitted under that Act, this material must not be copied, distributed, modified, reproduced, transmitted, published (including published on the Internet or an intranet), or otherwise made available in whole or in part without the prior written consent of the copyright holder. You must not re-use the disclosed documents and the information therein in a misleading context.

Yours sincerely,

Alice Robertson

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Dear University of Sussex,

Thank you for your reply. As it is not convenient for me to visit the archive centre in the near future, I do not live in Brighton and was only there for the graduation, I wonder if you could stretch a point and just answer the hopefully simple questions I asked?

If not, which I understand because you have your rules, please could you give me the file references as I see that the archive catalogue is online so I could use this information to search the contents and see whether it would be worth a trip down. It would also help other people reading these emails on the what do they know website to make sense of it all without a visit themself.

Thanks
Alex

Freedom of Information, University of Sussex

Dear Mr Buckley

Thank you for your email. There is no need for you to come to Brighton. The Keep is accessible online and there are helpful staff who are contactable via phone should you encounter any problems accessing your information. Please consider this our full response to this request.

Yours sincerely
Alice Robertson

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Dear University of Sussex,

Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.

I am writing to request an internal review of University of Sussex's handling of my FOI request 'Graduation ceremonies'.

If you want to keep information back based on the point that it is supposedly accessible by other means then you have to tell me precisely how, like with the file reference, and not just "call this person to find out more". This is just common sense.

Please let me know when you will be able to complete this internal review.

A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address: https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/g...

Yours faithfully,

Alex Buckley

Freedom of Information, University of Sussex

Dear Mr Buckley,

Thank you for your email dated 20 August 2014 (below) concerning our response to your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

The University is handling your email as a request for an internal review of our original response of 1 August 2014. In accordance with guidance from the Information Commissioner, we will respond within 20 further working days following the date of receipt of your request, i.e. by 18 September 2014.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Claire Baines
Academic Secretary

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Freedom of Information, University of Sussex

Dear Mr Buckley

Following my colleague’s initial email of 1 August 2014, and follow-up response on 20 August 2014, I have undertaken a review of the University's approach to responding to your Freedom of Information enquiry of 9 July 2014.

As I understand it, you are satisfied with the majority of the information supplied to you in our original response of 1 August 2014, however your review request focuses on the responses to two of your questions to which the University replied that the information was already available to you via The Keep. These were:

2. What is the mace? What is its history and how did the university get it? Does it have any engravings or special features?

3. I noticed a bald gentleman in a black cap and black gown sitting on the far right of the front row of the group on the stage. He entered carrying a thin rod. Who is he, what is his role and what is the rod?

I have considered whether the University has responded appropriately with the use of section 22 of the Freedom of Information Act: information already accessible to the requester, and find that it is appropriate to use this exemption, as information about the mace and the rod is available via a publicly accessible archive, The Keep (the identity of the gentleman referred to, and his role, was supplied to you). I consider that the University has additionally provided advice and guidance by signposting you to the place where you can find the information, providing a web link and making a suggestion to call the staff at The Keep for assistance, in accordance with section 45 of the Freedom of Information Act code of practice.

I therefore uphold the University's original response.

This email concludes the University's response to your Freedom of Information request. If you remain dissatisfied, you have the right of appeal to the Information Commissioner's Office. Contact details may be accessed via our website at:
http://www.sussex.ac.uk/records/1-2-10-3...

Yours sincerely
Dr Claire Baines
Academic Secretary

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