[Note: the article that follows is a work of satire, and therefore should not be taken as factual]
In light of recent exposés that the Oxford Union is dominated by people who went to the most elite and expensive schools in the country, a spokesperson has decided to issue a statement saying that the prestigious debating society was an egalitarian venue open to public schools boys of all sorts.
“Whether you come from Eton or from Uppingham, from Westminster or from Fettes, the Oxford Union welcomes you to run for elected office and apply for appointed positions” the statement said in part. The statement continued to say that “whether you were on scholarship to Harrow, or paying full way at St. Paul’s, or even if you went to the foreign equivalents, such as Andover, Deerfield, or Markham, you will find that we are a welcoming and inclusive group that welcomes old boys from good schools across the world”.
“Between elected and appointed officials, we cover every major private teaching establishment worldwide”
When pressed for comment as to whether the Oxford Union’s statement may have missed the point of the demands for it becoming more inclusive, The Oxford Student was told that “The Oxford Union is fully committed to diversity at every level. That is why we are proud to say that we have at least one member of all of Eton’s houses in Secretary’s committee, and that between elected and appointed officials, we cover every major private teaching establishment worldwide. Even our President comes not from Westminster or St. Paul’s, but from Phillips Exeter”.
ClassAct, the Oxford Student Union’s campaign for working class students in Oxford, lauded the effort but said that it was not enough. A member of the campaign, Sophie Lundgren, said “While I am glad to see that the Oxford Union has committed to increase the diversity of its committees, it is still far from equitable. For instance, only 22% of all appointed positions went to people who went to minor public schools, and 14% to those that went to grammar schools”.
The Oxford Student was unable to get any firm data as to how many comprehensive school students were on Oxford Union committees, since when we reached out to the Union an anonymous member laughed and then said “We wouldn’t let those unwashed plebs within ten yards of the building, let alone run the place”.