School of Oriental and African Studies
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“SOAS, University of London. Now that... is shit.”
“I could never stand the SOAS union, far too right-wing for my liking.”
The School of Oriental and African Studies (commonly abbreviated to "SOAS" was a constituent college of the University of London that rose to prominence on the strength of its pathbreaking course, "White Guilt for Beginners." It was merged with the Conservative Party by the UK Copyright Service in early 2007, due to the excessive similarity between the two institutions' logos.
SOAS students are best-known for their curious need to obstruct doorways and stairwells: Lifts were built at the Russell Square tube station because SOAS students would inevitably find a means of blocking them. An experiment in 1995 with an escalator led to a commuter tailback stretching from the station to King's Cross and fifteen public indency arrests and numerous drugs charges.
SOAS was founded in 1916 after a government report found that it was in fact more effective to communicate with foreigners in their own language, rather than shouting at them in English. It was decided by a committee of experts that the School should be set up to gently introduce this idea to civil servants who were to be sent to administrate in non-English speaking colonies such as South Yorkshire and the Isle of Man.
During WWII SOAS was relocated to Cambridge. It was during this period that an alleged incident involving the SOAS Principal, a bagful of hazelnuts and a tame iguana so appalled the academic elite of Cambridge University that to this day no SOAS alumnus is allowed to stay within the city limits after nightfall.
In 1969, SOAS invented Africa. Up until then the 'A' in SOAS had carried no meaning.
The bold experiment of trying to teach civil servants anything was abandoned in 1982, when the SOAS management came to the conclusion that the British Empire was entering its twilight years, and it might be more profitable to actually teach some real students. However, to the surprise of the management, the only applicants for courses at SOAS, which included "Applied Tea Ceremony" and "Zen for Beginners", were a lot of hippies, backpackers and left-wing nutters.
The Students' Union was quick to adapt to this situation, and quickly moved to declare the SOAS Bar as an autonomous Republic, in which the consumption of cannabis, illegal under UK law, was a legal requirement; and adopting Respect Party policies (of which there are currently only 2.7, at an exchange rate of 10 policies per 0.01 Pounds Sterling) as the de facto currency. In 2001 the self-styled "Dictator for Life" of the SOAS Bar declared war against the Kings College London Humanities Faculty in retaliation for the allegedly illegal takeover of the SOAS Geography Department, but aside from scattered attacks by guerilla forces, which resulted in small-scale casualties in the King's College History Department, no decisive action has been taken. It is believed by the SOAS Students' Union that several Study of Religions students remain detained in the Kings College computer lab, where they are forced to dance for drunken rugby players in order to earn their recommended daily allowance of shisha, samosas and cannabis. The SOAS Bar remains an independent state despite the 2007 merger with the Conservative Party.
edit Merger with Conservative Party
In early 2007 the UK Copyright Service merged SOAS with the UK Conservative Party. The head of the service was quoted as saying "they both have funny-looking trees as logos, and we're too lazy to tell the difference". SOAS remains semi-autonomous, although all students wishing to enroll at SOAS are now required to declare their allegiance to Sterling by shouting "Keep the pound!" at the nearest available French person, or alternatively at a branch of Pret a Manger. Attendence at one tennis party per year and a vow to name their first born child "Ptolemy" is now mandatory for all postgraduate students.
edit Barrier controversy
In late 1985 the School had electronic gates installed by a passing internet hacker collective, presumably to stop a wholesale invasion of the Russell Square Big Issue seller army which was at this time 5 persons strong. The installation neccessitated students carrying an ID card with which to gain access to the schools copious amounts of knowledge, coffee and medical grade hash. Unfortunately, given most SOAS students are almost constantly high on said knowledge, coffee and hash, this requirement proved to be difficult and subsequently a security guard was installed to show students how to use swipe cards.
edit The MI6 recruitment headquarters
After Dom Joly had run amok in the corridors of SOAS recruiting people under the codename Mugwuffin, MI6 soon began to take a note of the experience junkies this place was creating. It realised the institution was teaching people who had spent much of their parents money chundering on the planet to learn Arabic (of a kind). With this combined 'life-experience' and ability to drop out of a course after two months, they were perfect candidates to go and jump around on land mines in the A-stan on behalf of Her Majesty's British Empire.