4th October 2023

Medwards Senior Tutor uses rent survey to ask for fashion advice


Murray Edwards’ Senior Tutor, Dr Kate Peters, has been criticised after circulating a survey which was supposed to be about college accommodation – but instead focused more on the contents of her own wardrobe.

Students who participated in the survey were surprised to discover that, after a few perfunctory questions on rent and student satisfaction, the topic of the survey changed dramatically.

“I was really confused,” said Marcella Atherton, a second-year NatSci. “All of a sudden I was being asked how much I spend on clothes and cosmetics each term, and to explain how I manage to look fashionable while keeping my costs down. One question even asked if I knew any good discount codes.”

The survey was criticised for its lack of focus on the issue of college rent.

Several subsequent questions asked students to give opinions on particular items in Dr Peters’ wardrobe, ranging from a plain purple blouse to a S/S 19 grey Slazenger fleece.

Many students at Murray Edwards expressed anger that the issue of rent was not being given enough attention by the college’s senior management:

“I’m happy to explain to Dr Peters that no, your light blue summer dress just doesn’t work with Uggs,” said MECSU President Tara Lamp. “But it’s just not right to treat our rent survey like your very own episode of Queer Eye. This survey is a kick in the teeth for those in our college facing real difficulties paying their rent.”

Meanwhile, Dr Peters hit back at the criticism. Wearing a Supreme hoodie, she told us over Skype: “I take the issue of rent very seriously – but what’s the harm in asking for a little sartorial advice while I’m at it?”

“Haters gonna hate,” she added. “I just shake it off.”

This isn’t the first time a college survey has caused controversy at Murray Edwards. Last term, a College Bar feedback questionnaire asked students if they were “single” and “free next Thursday evening for a drink”. The bar manager eventually removed the questions from the survey following pressure from undergraduates, who offered to pay for him to take part in a RAG Blind Date.