A new campaign challenging colleges about prioritising the needs of their students is being launched on 22nd January.
The open meeting is to be held at Wadham, with the event stating that it is “aimed at building upon the work of the original “Whose University?” campaign and to start organising an Oxford version”.
The “Whose University?” project was launched by Cambridge University students during November last year, with the aim of addressing “a distinct lack of clarity about who has ownership over college spaces” within Cambridge.
The project’s website states that it is about “reclaiming the university/colleges for students and looking at/exposing the ways in which students and their needs/welfare are often sidelined by other interests in colleges.”
At the time of writing, over a hundred people on the Oxford event’s Facebook page have said that they plan on attending. Organising the meeting are students Isaac Rose, Xavier Cohen, Charlotte CB, Rivka Mikhaela and Callum Zavos MacRae.
A statement on behalf of the event organisers stated: “The event is an open planning meeting on Thursday to explore the possibility of setting up a campaign here like the one that has been started in Cambridge. The Cambridge campaign is drawing attention to instances in which the needs of students don’t seem to be the priority for colleges or the university, for example in the case of conferences.
“We’re hoping that the question Whose University? will come to encompass a broad scope of issues in Oxford, such as mental health provision and corporate entanglement in academia. The open planning meeting is for anyone connected to the university to bring their ideas and discuss how we could take positive action. Everyone is welcome and we hope the simplicity of the question Whose University? will have a broad appeal.”
Cambridge’s “Whose University?” campaign, which has the official support of Cambridge University Students’ Union Women’s Campaign, has been gathering testimonies from students who feel “devalued” by their colleges or the university has a whole. These are published on the campaign’s Facebook and Tumblr pages.
The University declined to comment, citing the fact that they are “in no position to regulate” college activity.