OUSU VP for Welfare and Equal Opportunities Chris Pike has encouraged students to lobby their colleges for the creation of more common room officer roles.
On 2nd February, an “equipping session” was held for students interested in creating new JCR roles.
An announcement posted on several Facebook groups on 30th January, including Cuntry Living, Skin Deep, and No HeterOx, asked readers: “How many of your common rooms have an LGBTQ rep? A BME rep? A disability rep? For most of you, the answer will most definitely not be ‘all of them’.”
“It’s time for representation.”
The session was run with “other liberation society and campaign leaders”, and offered discussion groups, a “chance to meet others who wish to achieve this change”, a toolkit for proposing a motion to JCRs and a question and answer session.
Speaking to The Oxford Student, Pike said: “The aim of Time for Representation is to get proper representation for LGBTQ, BME, and disabled students in common rooms, with dedicated reps.”
“The session will provide a space to discuss why these rep positions are so important, how to work to introduce them in your common room, and most importantly, to form an informal support network of people who want to see this change happen across Oxford’s colleges”.
While many college JCRs have positions to support LGTBQ, BME or disabled students, very few have representation of all three groups.
Pike continued: “Whether Time for Representation is held again will depend on demand, but it is certainly the case that OUSU and students across Oxford will aim to campaign for these positions until such time as every single common room has debated and voted on it”.