An attempt by Somerville JCR to rechristen Thursdays at the college bar ‘Thatcher Thursdays’ has been defeated. The motion, proposed by JCR President Shyamli Badgaiyan, would have instituted two-for-one drinks on Thursdays at the college bar under the banner ‘Thatcher Thursdays,’ but the title was amended in the face of opposition from the student body.
The motion, noting the underuse of Somerville’s college bar, asserted that ‘We should do more to encourage people to come to the bar,’ and that ‘Cheaper and discounted drinks would increase business in the bar.’ Pointing to widespread ‘Happy Nights’ at other colleges, and the success of Somerville’s own Happy Hour in fresher’s week, the motion resolved to ‘mandate the President to talk to college about instituting “Thatcher Thursdays”, with cheaper or 2-for-1 drinks.’
Reaction from members of the Somerville community was not entirely positive. Recent Somerville graduate Olivia Arigho Stiles tweeted @SomervilleJCR: “WOT THE F*** WHAT IS THIS???? I implore everyone to think carefully about this please.”
When informed that the motion was simply about a drinks deal for the college bar, Stiles then responded: “ah ok that’s quite sweet. good idea! Ergo ‘Thatcher Thursday’ poor choice of name, utterly ill-suited.”
Samual Billington, Sommerville Secretary, told The OxStu: “Thatcher Thursdays’ actually passed as a motion, however the Thatcher bit was amended so that the name of the happy hour would be decided at a later date. This is the second time such a motion has been amended, and the reason given both times was the same – Thatcher is a divisive figure, and is possibly not the best choice of alumnae to name an event after, especially if you’re hoping to attract people from other colleges.”
Billington added: “ I don’t think the aim of the motion was to honour Thatcher – it was simply to come up with a catchy name for a happy hour (after the success of our first one in Freshers’ Week – which was unnamed.) Although she is definitely one of Somerville’s most famous alumnae, I agree with the JCR in the choice being misguided. Personally, I thought the suggestion of Margery Fry-days was a brilliant one. “