Wadham’s sports teams have been accused of a “lad-led filibuster” in order to push through the abolition of ‘meat-free-Mondays’ at this weeks SU meeting.
After an hour-long debate Wadham Student Union SU voted to abolish meat free Mondays by 44 votes to 39.
The motion was put forward by David Primmer who said when proposing the motion that it was not a “lad attack” on Wadham, but was due to the falsehood of the assumed environmental impact of eating meat.
Prior to the meeting an email was circulated amongst the college football team reading thus:
“Lads: TODAY AT 4 PM, I’m afraid to say, the vegan rainbow cake-loving wankers are gonna be out in force!! We need EVERYONE to come to the meeting today, as if it doesn’t pass now we’re gonna stuck playing find-the-cashew-nut in our shit veggie meals every monday! (and I never seem to find it…) […] And tell all your non-football playing mates to come down too. […]One love meat x […] P.S. its man u – arsenal anyway so no excuse for not being in JCR.”
Second year Wadhamite Rosa Bennathan responded to the email saying: “This is an unpleasant and cowardly comment directed at a specific person (who once made a vegan rainbow cake) behind their back. By bringing the rainbow symbol into a motion about whether or not to have meat on Mondays and associating it with people being ‘wankers’ is implicitly homophobic.
“It’s a shame that members of the college decided to be so pathetic and nasty, and that people think they can get away with acting in a hateful way under the guise of ‘lad culture’, even in what is normally an inclusive and lovely environment.”
One member of the football team who wished to remain annonymous said: “Emails sent out about Meat Free Mondays to members of Wadham Football Team were not done in an official capacity. These emails were an abuse of the mailing list.”
The sender of the email, who The Oxford Student, has chosen not to name, failed to comment on the matter.
One Wadhamite said that the debate was “absolutely tragic” and that the “proposition of the motion had literally no statistics whatsoever to do with the environmental impact”.
She continued: “it was obvious that it wasn’t really a motion, more of a shove”
They described how a number of the motion’s supporters spent the majority of the debate watching the football, only becoming involved to shout down an amendment that would have delayed the abolition.
One student described the meeting as “a lad-led filibuster”.
LGBTQ officer Sarah Pine said that the motion had been proposed “simply because some people did not like eating food labeled ‘vegetarian’”.
She continued: “The argument that people have a right to meat at every meal is such a first-world conception of what our freedom of choice means.”
“Having so much meat (…) is bad for those in food poverty because it reduces the amount of land available for crops that would go to food stores; effects that we never see because of our privileged position. Neither the motion, nor those in support of it took these factors into consideration in debate.”
Wadham SU President Jacob Haddad said “Passionate arguments were brought from both sides and there was a high turnout of 90.”
“The debate lasted just over an hour, allowing everyone to speak and raising many different considerations including the environment, our health, collective action and the quality of the food.”
“The SU already work closely with College to increase the sustainability of our kitchens. This includes ingredients being sourced as locally as possible, only using free range eggs, using sustainably sourced fish and minimising wastage with a strict sign-on system. We will continue to look at finding new ways to reduce the environmental impact of our food, as well as new alternative ethical initiatives for Monday.”