There is one opinion which unites Oxford students, bridges the divide between colleges, heals the humanities vs. STEM debate, and is so uncontroversial that not even the most edgy Union hack could make a debate out of it: the Radcliffe Camera is an architectural monstrosity of an irremediably boring colour. 

You hear this all the time in Oxford, whether from starry-eyed freshers whose idyllic image of the university is irrevocably shattered by the bland cream of the Rad Cam’s stone, or in the whispers of the tourist hordes as they sheath their selfie sticks. All agree: the magic of Oxford is dissipated by the mundane monochrome of James Gibbs’ disappointing creation.

And this is such a tragedy, since with some vision and imagination, the Rad Cam could be rather nice. With its soaring dome, arched doorways, and mullioned windows, the library has the potential to be counted among Oxford’s iconic buildings. Perhaps – though I mustn’t get carried away – it could even be spoken of alongside masterpieces like the English Faculty or St. Catz. 

However, the voices of countless generations of students and locals alike, all calling for a more vibrant colour scheme to fix the Rad Cam, have been ignored by reactionary university authorities, hell bent on preserving this Palladian eyesore.

Until now. 

I am thrilled to see the University finally taking action on this most pressing of issues by beginning the work of painting the Rad Cam orange. As anyone who saw the refurbishments underway this afternoon can attest…the building sure did look orange. 

Whilst it was slightly odd to see the two members of staff sent by the university arrested and escorted away by police, I am confident that this obvious misunderstanding will soon be resolved – after all, we know just how well the university treats its staff –- any dispute is settled so amicably and promptly that we students hardly notice anything. Perhaps they had simply forgotten their Bod cards, and been mistaken for nosy tourists by the zealous Rad Cam librarians, well-drilled for such scenarios. 

I must say also that it brings me great joy that the University is fully committing to its long-promised modernisation, avoiding distractions like opening the science library, or removing the Rhodes statue. Rather Oxford University is prioritising effectively: architecture first. 

Oxford, so long seen by outsiders (quite unjustly, I must add) as “stuffy” and “boring”, has vanquished its critics decisively today. Indeed, the authorities also allowed several lucky passers-by to have a water fight in the grounds of the Rad Cam, even supplying them with fluorescent pink and green jackets, lest they get confused as to who is on their team. 

It is rumoured that this is the start of a bold new media strategy by the university, eager to recover from being ranked behind St Andrews this year. Will TikTok sensation Bartholomew Hamish Montgomery (but you can call him Barty) be involved? Is his sizeable trust fund financing the Rad Cam repaint? Only time will tell. 

I think, then, that only one question remains. Since the university seems to have decided against orange, what comes next? What will the final decision be? Will we wake up tomorrow to a tasteful teal? Neon pink? My preference would be yellow, but the most important thing is that we can all sleep soundly now, safe in the knowledge that something will finally be done about that egregious carbuncle they call the Rad Cam which so besmirches our fine university’s reputation.