Somerville students this week attempted to create a JCR “upper house” of PPEists. The proposal anticipated that all motions put forward at JCR meetings would have to be passed by the PPEists present.
Proposer Eve McQuillan argued that Somerville has a “fantastic resource – 30ish students of Philosophy, Politics and Economics”. She stated that “everyone would be happier, more free, more satisfied and more fulfilled if JCR motions could be checked by the competent members of the JCR”.
It was pointed out in the motion that “direct democracy isn’t that great” and that there could be “dire consequences” as a result of the JCR committee being “down a PPEist on last year”.
Supporters of the constitutional change drew on Marx and Rousseau to justify their claims, telling the JCR that they had “nothing to lose” but their “chains”.
Notable PPE alumni of the college would be able to be made “honorary PPEists”, with Indira Gandhi put forward as a possible recipient of this honour.
Students studying other subjects, however, would not be applicable for membership of the PPE ‘house’, a proposal that was especially contested by the Somerville Lawyers.
The motion could not be moved to a vote, as it had been incorrectly structured, and did not propose an amendment to the constitution.
JCR vice-president Leo Bentley said that “the failure of the motion to pass, if nothing else, demonstrates exactly the narrow-mindedness that blinkers the JCR as a whole; ironically, exactly the folly that this initiative aimed to prevent.”
Another Somerville second year student pointed out that “the inability of PPEists to propose the motion the right way shows that they’re not nearly as competent as they claim.”
Third Year lawyer JY Hoh disagreed, “After graduating, Oxford PPEists have gone on to prove their intellectual, strategic, and especially moral superiority as compared to the rest of us mere humans. I would have fully supported and welcomed our new PPE overlords.”
Fresher Medic Becki MacDuff also weighed in. “An upper house of PPEists? What’s next? How about a supreme court run by law students and operations performed by the medics?”
It has been suggested that the proposer and seconder of the motion, PPEists Eve McQuillan and ex-JCR Vice President Zoe Fannon are intending to bring the motion again later this term, with a new clause inserted proposing a change to the JCR constitution.