Oriel College’s JCR meeting on Monday evening got rather heated when discussing motions concerning the condemnation of their Governing Body and Oriel College in regards to their treatment of the discussions surrounding the Cecil Rhodes statue.
The President of Oriel College JCR, Kathryn Welsh, opened the meeting by saying that the motions were not about aligning the JCR with any particular side in the Rhodes dispute but rather the manner that the Governing Body had treated their students, making the decision without properly consulting them and cutting short the six month period that had been set aside for a ‘listening exercise’. She said this was a ‘dangerous precedent’ for the Governing Body to set.
It was decided not to vote on first motion for the JCR to condemn the Governing Body for not listening to ‘the voices of students’ in relation to the ‘fate of the statue and the plaque’ as the word ‘condemn’ was felt to be too strong. The second motion, ‘This JCR condemns the College for failing to inform the JCR President that an unscheduled Governing Body meeting took place and for failing to brief the JCR President about it beforehand’ passed after an amendment with ‘College’ replaced by the more specific ‘Governing Body’.
Following the second motion, the meeting began discussing the third motion, which resolved to condemn the gross breach of trust which led to ‘The Telegraph acquiring and publishing Governing Body papers’ beginning with whether it was logistically possible to condemn an unknown entity.
This motion and the fourth concerning the decolonization of the college, by instituting a ‘Tutor for Equality’ were postponed after the meeting became heated and the meeting continued with a motion to buy more darts.
Kate Welsh has been contacted for comment.