Oxford College in right-wing rep row

Emily Handley - News Reporter 22 November 2012

Students at Corpus Christi College, Oxford put forward a motion last week to have a ‘right-wing rep’ on their JCR committee, for a wider representation of the opinions of college members.

The motion, proposed by Samuel Robberts, a third year history student at Corpus and former JCR Vice-President, declared that the JCR should have an “equal opportunities committee with individuals on it to represent minorities who are often perceived as being subject to prejudice from society.”

The proposition was rejected in favour of an amended motion due to widespread opposition, with 30 JCR members voting to pass it while 24 voted against, claiming those who are “politically to the right are often actively isolated, personally attacked, and made to feel unwelcome.” A revised version declared the college committee’s intention to “mandate the Equal Opportunities President to ensure that people do not discriminate or name-call on the basis of political ideology in the JCR.”

This call for a “right-wing” JCR officer representative comes after the controversial resignation of Jim Everett two years ago, who served as the college’s JCR vice-president until October 2010, when he chaired an emergency meeting to combat the growing problem of the student committee’s “leftist politics”.

One Corpus Christi student, who wishes to remain anonymous, spoke of her relief that this JCR motion had failed:

“The motion was generally seen as not being proposed in sincerity; it was more in reaction to the failure of a motion proposed by a few students the week before which had tried to reduce the size of the equal opportunities committee.

“Personally, I was slightly horrified by the ‘right-wing rep’ motion as I felt it belittled the roles of existing representatives for oppressed minorities.”

Zack Hall, Environment and Ethics Officer on the college’s JCR committee, added that the idea to introduce a right-wing representative “kicked off during the American presidential election.”

” got annoyed that people were calling him a race apologist, and he proposed the motion, only for it to get shot down by other members of the JCR.”

Emily Handley – News Reporter