Oriel College’s governing body has voted in favour of flying the Rainbow Flag this year.
Oriel, having flown the flag once last year, joins the ranks of pioneers Wadham, as well as other colleges such as Mansfield, who have flown the flag previously. It is yet to be determined which colleges will participate in the flag flying this year.
Joey Dunlop, Oriel’s LGBTQ JCR representative, applauded Oriel’s decision: “As a college with a misconception of being behind the times due to being the last to accept women, I am glad to see the governing body of college is reaffirming its determination to be at the front of promoting equality within college.”
Dunlop helped promote the motion: a document which presented the case for flying the flag, and which he credits the University’s LGBTQ Society for their help in its drafting.
After approval from both Oriel’s JCR and a joint common room committee, the college’s governing body ratified it. Dunlop went on to say: “I believe taking positive action such as this is of vital importance, as people who identify as LGBTQ are an invisible minority and we must ensure to make our colleges as welcoming to all as possible.”
He also advocates the flying of the flag across the University: “In my opinion, all colleges should follow the example of Oriel and move to fly the flag in their colleges, as many other colleges also do.”
Oriel’s current JCR President Ianthe Greenwood also praised the college’s decision: “The governing body’s decision to fly the rainbow flag is an overwhelmingly positive step for Oriel. Given that last year they were tied (leading to the Provost at the time having the casting vote in favour of flying the flag) this is a historic moment for Oriel.
“The decision has been met with huge support in the JCR and it is a really proud moment for us.”
Oriel’s current Provost, Moira Wallace, is very supportive of Oriel’s decision. “I am delighted that we are flying the LGBTQ flag and making clear Oriel’s commitment to diversity.”
Oriel members are also being permitted to battel for their own rainbow flags, which Dunlop proposes students should hang from their own rooms.