Magdalen’s JCR elections were plunged into controversy this week after a candidate for Treasurer was barred from running.
Christian Kinnersley, a second-year PPE student, was disqualified after failing to submit a signed permission slip from a tutor within the required deadline.
He had acquired a permission slip signed by a graduate student but under the college regulations, this was not sufficient.
The election was won by Kabir Bali, a second-year History student, who received 156 votes. Supporters of Kinnersley had been encouraged to vote for RON, who received 106 votes.
Kinnersley took to social media to voice his concern at the electoral procedure, describing the disqualification as a “severe injustice” committed by “a senior element of our college committee, in a moment of tyrannical sadism”.
“If you are a believer in democracy, then I urge you to vote to re-open nominations in the election tomorrow so that I can run again in forthcoming weeks,” he posted on the Magdalen JCR Facebook page.
“This post will inevitably be deleted by the same despotic regime, but I call on you all to stand up for liberal ideas by spreading the message.”
Kinnersley then created a new hashtag, #magdalenspring.
The disqualification has caused an outcry at Magdalen. Some supporters of Kinnersley have shared a photograph of a black and white image of him above the caption “Justice For Kinnersley”.
According to an email to the JCR from Vice President Jamie Miles, Kinnersley was disqualified for contravening electoral rules.
“Nancy Cowell (College Secretary) received a form signed by a graduate student,” Miles said in his email.
“The College cannot accept this, as graduate students are not in a position to know whether holding an office would detract from a candidate’s academic work.”
Kinnersley gained support after a rousing speech at the pre-election hustings.