The Tutor for the Discipline of the Tutor for Discipline – A Letter to the Fellows and Students of Peterhouse

Anon 27 January 2020
Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

This is a response to the creation of a ‘Tutor for Discipline’ by Peterhouse at the request of its JCR committee. The position, unique to Peterhouse, entails responsibility for student discipline, which had hitherto fallen under the purview of the Senior Tutor, who is also the Dean.

Dear Petreans,

We have long had good reason to be concerned by the ruthlessness of our Dean. We know well that his veneer of personable dandyishness belies acts of quasi-Augustan constitutional skullduggery. Port is no salve for that man’s excesses, for his brutal accumulation of power, for his unfathomable appetite for control.

Thank heavens, then, for the JCR. For what other institution would stand up to that monster? A new ‘Tutor for Discipline’? The flame of democracy shall surely never dim whilst the Sexcentenary club does…whatever it does. Truly, common sense lives and dies with our student representatives.

Petreans, we can only stand in awe of such wise counsel. Not only are those pesky drinking societies in check, but we have humbled their closest ally – the Dean. There is but one policy left to pursue. We must discipline the Tutor for Discipline.

How else can we be certain that the college authorities are truly accountable? At least the Dean, for all his wickedness, is answerable to God. Until the Tutor for Discipline self-flagellates (or sits through a choral evensong) there is no other course of action available to us. The disciplinarian must be disciplined.

In fact, his discipliner needs someone to check on him too. The Discipliner of the Discipliner of the Tutor for Discipline (who disciplines the members of Peterhouse). But how are we to keep this unaccountable bigwig from abusing their powers? Same problem, same solution. The Discipliner of the Discipliner of the Discipliner of the Tutor for Discipline (who disciplines the members of Peterhouse).

It may be objected that we shall encounter a more significant problem once we have exhausted the entire fellowship and student body. Whilst I am sure this won’t prove beyond the wisdom of the JCR, I offer a tentative solution. We need to raze Peterhouse to the ground and construct a panopticon from its ashes. There must be surveillance devices in every room of college, to which all members should have access. A ‘points system’ will determine each member’s social standing. Only then will we be able to sleep easy and thank the JCR that Peterhouse is a truly accountable college.


Pleased in Peterhouse