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University proposes options to keep Dissertation Dash tradition

Crowds cheered as students dashed towards Falmer House to hand in their dissertations in May 2011.

Discussions between the University and the Students’ Union have generated a number of positive ideas for ways to keep alive a unique Sussex tradition, the ‘Dissertation Dash’.

Every year since the 1990s, hundreds of cheering students have lined the route between Library Square and Falmer House as finalists from some schools race to hand in their dissertations before the submission deadline.

However, the practicalities for the submission of written work have changed – making redundant the single collection point for arts and some social sciences schools - and will continue to change in future.

The school offices have been responsible for the collection of academic work since they were created in 2009. The original reason for a single collection point in Falmer House – administrative convenience for arts and some social science subjects – has long since gone.

Over the last few weeks, University staff have therefore been holding discussions with the Students’ Union, with the aim of creating a ‘dash’ event for all finalists around the handing in of work to school offices.

They have suggested a number of possibilities to sabbatical officers in the Students’ Union. The event suggestions include:

  • A countdown clock in Library Square, where live web feeds would show the hand-ins at each of the school offices
  • A dash by finalists from school offices to Falmer House, where they would place a token in the box of a good cause they would like to support – with £1,500 going to the charity that receives the most tokens
  • A certificate of hand-in at each school office, and a dash to Falmer House for a free photo, saying “I completed the Dissertation Dash”.

Sharon Jones, Academic Registrar, says: “In practice, the vast majority of students have already handed in their work before the Dissertation Dash itself takes place. Many of those who do take part in the Dash are not in reality handing in work, but are entering into the spirit of celebration and satisfaction at completing this important part of their study.

“We hope that the Students’ Union will continue to work with us to put on an event that will preserve both the spirit and the nature of the Dash.

“It can involve all finalists, and not just those from the arts and some social sciences. And it can be sustained even with anticipated moves to electronic submission.”


Posted on behalf of: University of Sussex
Last updated: Thursday, 14 March 2013

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