A motion, which was passed this week by the college’s JCR unanimously, means Hertford college will arrange termly Women*’s formals as opposed to one Women*’s formal per year.
The motion argued that Women*’s formals are “traditionally welcoming, feel-good and well-attended events which help to foster and celebrate a strong and supportive community of Women* within Hertford”, and that it is “important to continue to foster a strong and supportive community of Women*”.
Hertford have now updated their constitution to mandate the Women*’s rep to organise one Women*’s formal per term. Ellie Van Vogt, Hertford Women*’s rep, said: “These formals are a chance for the women* of Hertford to occupy and own college space, and to celebrate the amazing community of strong inspirational gals* that we have!”
Members of other college have expressed support for the women’s formals, with Martha Uberg, Exeter College’s Women*’s rep, saying: “I feel this would be a wonderful thing to introduce at Exeter. We’re only this year celebrating 40 years of [women’s] education and I think it’s really important to celebrate the admittance of women to Exeter.
“That being said, a women*’s formal can also be a simple celebration of the crazy world of womanhood and women*’s experience. It helps to foster a caring and safe community for Exeter’s women based on solidarity as well as acceptance.
“Personally, I prefer the idea of an annual dinner – a women’s community is important but should never be too exclusive, especially when considering the voices of those who don’t identify as women that are still important to the community.
“Finally, we would have to ensure anyone can sign up to the event without question, and that we encourage an inclusive space for anyone identifying as a woman.”
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