St Peter’s JCR vote unanimously to abolish the position of OUSU rep

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*This article was amended on the 9th May to clarify that St Peter’s College has not abolished relations with Oxford SU*

St Peter’s JCR has unanimously voted to remove the position of “Oxford SU Representative” from their JCR Committee.

The role of OUSU representative generally involves attending the fortnightly Student Union meetings to ensure that their college JCR is informed of SU activities, and voting in the interests of their JCR.

JCR President El Blackwood stressed that the move is “not an abolishment of our relationship with OUSU”; another member of the committee will be mandated to attend SU meetings.

The amendment to dissolve the position was put forward by the OUSU rep for St Peter’s college, Jim Brennan, at their JCR meeting on Tuesday:

The motion proposes “removing all reference to ‘OUSU rep/representative’ or ‘Oxford SU rep/representative’ from the constitution.

“In Oxford SU Council, there will remain three JCR representatives: the JCR president, Oxford SU Rep and 3rd vote. However the Oxford SU rep and 3rd voter will be appointed on a week by week basis by the JCR President should someone express interest. This is just as the JCR’s 3rd voter has been picked, the responsibility currently falls to the Oxford SU rep.

“An amendment to delay the enaction of this motion until the opening of JCR committee nominations in Trinity Term 2019 will be taken as friendly (although debated and voted on at the next general meeting), if anyone has nominated for the position of Oxford SU rep for election in Trinity Term 2018.”

Speaking to The Oxford Student about the motion, Brennan said,“Committee has expanded to one below quorum-something had to go and just like OUSU itself the OUSU rep job is irrelevant.”

El Blackwood, JCR President of St Peter’s college,  told the Oxford Student: “ St. Peter’s JCR decided to subsume OUSU rep into another committee position, with the suggestion that an appropriate person could be the VP, but left this decision to the discretion of the next JCR president (which is why this was not made explicit in the motion).”

She stressed that: “It is not an abolishment of our relationship with OUSU or a mandated person on the committee to go to OUSU Council meetings, simply that there would no longer be a person who’s sole responsibility is to attend a biweekly meeting.”

Blackwood added that she did not want it be presumed that “The anti-OUSU stance of Jim Brennan, who is of course entitled to his own opinion but does not represent the entirety of the JCR, is shared by the student body here at Peter’s.”

“This is not the case- St Peter’s remains involved with OUSU and looks forward to running a more efficient committee.

This change to the St Peter’s JCR bench follows recent decisions to add positions for the issues of homelessness, socio-economic issues and a women’s representative.

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