The University College JCR was not officially affiliated with Oxford University Student Union until Sunday of 3rd week – and the error almost went unnoticed by the student union.
The administrative mishap occurred when last year’s JCR Exec simply forgot to introduce the necessary motions at the end of the Trinity Term, leaving 21st October as the earliest re-affiliation date.
This technically left the University JCR as an independent student union for two full weeks of Michaelmas.
Furthermore, it was claimed by Leon Musolff, the JCR Affairs Rep, in the first JCR meeting of term, that “OUSU don’t know we’re not affiliated with them at the moment.”
University College JCR’s constitution requires that two identical motions be passed at consecutive meetings in order to re-affiliate. When the error was identified, there was only one meeting left in Trinity. The JCR Executive Committee therefore decided to postpone re-affiliation until Michaelmas.
Rob Natzler, the current University College JCR Treasurer, said: “It’s an easy mistake to make. Our new JCR Affairs Rep has now sorted it, and the passage of the motion on Sunday means that after three weeks in the wilderness, we return, lost and confused, to the warm mustiness of our sheepfold.”
A Univ student who wished to remain anonymous was not impressed with the blunder. He said: “I think the failure of Univ’s JCR to re-afillate with OUSU smacks of incompetence and it signals that the JCR isn’t taking its duties seriously enough.”
The re-affiliation motions passed on the Sundays of 1st and 3rd week with no objections, and the University College JCR is now again officially affiliated with OUSU.
OUSU President David J. Townsend said: “All Oxford students are personally affiliated to OUSU, for free. In addition, almost every since College common room is affiliated to OUSU, for free. While the internal constitutional mechanisms for affiliation are a matter for each common room, there has been a wave of common room re-affiliations over the last year.”
He added: “We’re very happy to have Univ JCR re-engage with broader University-wide student issues through re-affiliation with OUSU, as this empowers Univ undergraduates, through their common room officers, to set the direction of OUSU policy.”