OUSU Presidential candidate Izzy Westbury has “offended” Trinity’s JCR by criticising their non-affiliation with the student union.
The comments were made at the OUSU Presidential hustings held after Trinity’s JCR meeting on the Sunday of 5th week. According to attendants at the husts, Westbury is reported to have criticised the Trinity JCR for declining to affiliate with OUSU this year.
Austin Wellbelove, JCR Vice-President commented: “Izzy was clearly missing the point: when we voted on our disaffiliated status last year, many members of our JCR felt that OUSU had been incompetent in the past, and irrelevant, which can be seen by the shockingly low turn out at OUSU elections.”
He added: “The JCR, as a whole, voted to disaffiliate – or, rather, remain disaffiliated – from OUSU to make an ideological statement that it was not happy with the current condition of OUSU.
“Izzy seems to have missed the point here and there was a lot of discontent with what she had said during the hustings.”
Crawford Jamieson, a first-year theologian, said: “There is a definite feeling among Trinity students that having the nerve to insult our JCR at its own hustings does not bode well for her candidacy for the OUSU Presidency.”
The OUSU elections are held between Tuesday and Thursday of 6th week. Westbury and Tom Rutland are the only two candidates standing for the position of President.
One Trinitarian, who wishes to remain anonymous, claimed the incident would affect his vote: “I wouldn’t usually care to vote in the OUSU elections at all, but I’m going to vote for Tom Rutland because I don’t want to vote for an OUSU president who has insulted her electorate.”
The Trinity College JCR is the only JCR currently disaffiliated with OUSU. Wellbelove claimed that this “reflects our member’s particular disinterest and/or issues with OUSU.”
He added: “This was evident by the fact that a number of members left before the hustings got under-way. There were at least 60 people at the General Meeting, of which probably about 20 stayed for the hustings.”
Andrew Butler, Trinity’s JCR President, denied that Westbury’s appearance prompted the walkout. He said: “People walked out before because they were busy but we still had an audience for the hustings.”
Polling opened on Tuesday at 8am and will close at 6pm today with results announced on Oxide Radio and Facebook two hours later.