Reporter 441, 25 October 1999

Countdown clock running slow

Duncan Mara School of Civil Engineering

In his countdown to the Millennium, Chris Trayner (Letters, Reporter 440) started well, but finished badly. Of course, the 1st century started in AD 1. So the 2nd century started in AD 101, and so on; and this means the 19th century started in AD 1801, not AD 1901 as he would have us believe. We're now in the closing stages of the 20th century, but we've a bit to go as the 21st century won't start until 1 January 2001.

And it's the same with Millennia. The first started on 1 January AD 1 and ended, a thousand years later, on 31 December 1000. So the second Millennium started on 1 January 1001, and the third will start on 1 January 2001. But all this (basically, the realisation that there wasn't a year zero, i.e. we went from 31 December BC 1 straight to 1 January AD 1) is obviously too much for most of us (or so the media would have us believe) and the new Millennium is deemed to start on 1 January AD 2000.

But if the new Millennium is meant to celebrate 2000 years since the birth of Jesus Christ, then we've already missed it. Christ was most probably born in BC 4; so, if we take his date of birth as 25 December BC 4, then 2000 years on, by Julian reckoning, gives 7 January 1998 in our Gregorian calendar (see Mapping Time: The Calendar and Its History, by E.G. Richards; OUP, 1998).

Two singing up for National Anthem

Penny Robinson Centre for Joint Honours

I should like to add my voice to that of Keith Elliott, who in the last Reporter lamented the removal of the National Anthem from the University degree ceremonies.

At the end of the first ceremony which I attended this summer, I assumed that its omission was an oversight, but it soon became apparent that it was a matter of policy. I received a number of adverse comments about this from graduands and their families, and the general impression was that the absence of the National Anthem was regretted by the majority of those present. I do hope the University will reverse this policy for the December and future degree ceremonies.

Can't we keep the campus tidy?

Dorothy Leek and Jenny Smith Theology and Religious Studies

Is anybody else fed-up of the half-eaten takeaways, cans, bottles and flyers scattered around the campus? Even the bus shelters along Woodhouse Lane are full of litter.

Someone in authority in the union building told us the campus is cleaned up every day but that nobody seems to be able to stop people dropping litter.

Isn't the campus part of the planet students are trying to save?

Part-timers given full praise for efforts

Paul Atkinson Member of Convocation

There is no such thing as a 'part-time degree'. There is, of course, part-time study. Despite the comparatively recent arrangements extending the opportunities for part-time students, part-time study is, in itself, not new to the University.

Why then is the inaccurate phrase 'part-time degrees' now so often to be seen in University publicity material? A degree is a degree, whatever the route taken to achieve it.

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