Specific rules also stipulate that a different onesie must be worn to every meeting, and that an accompanier, also known as a “onesie guard,” can be chosen by the president every week to protect against the embarrassment of walking to Cowley and back.
Emmanuel indicated that the proposer of said motion, Joe Williamson, was motivated by “reading about St. Hugh’s motion that their JCR president [must] wear a mitre at every SU meeting.” Williamson’s motion emphasises that the onesie is to be worn to express the solidarity of the College: “ONE people, ONE SU, ONE-sie.”
It also claims that “there has been a consistent issue with SU involvement, and attendance in meetings- Jahni is the ONE person to resolve this”. In a perhaps less persuasive preamble to the motion, the Wadham College SU notes that “Time machines don’t exist- ONEsies do.”
Emmanuel, who has been SU president since the second half of Trinity term last year, says that she will continue to follow this policy until it is forgotten. And while there are no penalties regarding a transgression of this rule, she has asserted that she will not break her promise, as she has pledged to do it for the SU.
Dave Watson, Wadham LGBTQ Officer, believed the motion to be a positive one: “It represents Wadham SU’s strong unity – we are one student body with one voice. Although onesies have become rather overused, Jahni’s impressive collection has injected new life into this form of fashion expression. The panda onesie at the last meeting was particularly inspired – not only highlighting the need for collective action to help that and those in need, much like the endangered panda, but also looking kind of funny.”
Overall, Emmanuel believes that people found it moderately entertaining and touches upon some of the politics concerning the role of a SU president. “Although slightly humiliating walking from Cowley to college in a onesie, I think it’s pretty funny overall. I know at least that my friends appreciated the sight of me looking ridiculous. If Wadham students want this to happen…then I’m happy to do it for the SU. The only potential problem I can see with it is people not taking the SU president seriously. At the last SU meeting we were discussing the controversial BDS movement whilst [I was] dressed in a panda onesie. But personally, I think it’s good that SU presidents don’t take themselves too seriously and remain approachable and friendly.”
The reaction of SU Vice President Alexander Cibulskis was in a similar vein: “I think it’s always great to see a fun motion come to the SU to punctuate our more serious discussions. One might one-der if the debate was too one-sided, but Jahni’s accepting grace was second-to-one.”
Emmanuel, however, is unsure whether this motion will set any sort of precedent for the other JCRs at the University: “All the JCRs are quite different, but there are similar examples of things done in the past already.”