Image description: The radcam at night, and the green SU logo.
Pierce Jones has announced that he is dropping out of the running for SU President. In a post on his Facebook he wrote:
“I’ve decided to drop out of the race for SU President. I can’t in good faith run for a position to represent all students when I clearly have so much work to do to overcome my own racial biases. To continue running would be offensive to the people of colour who’ve I’ve hurt with my actions and would only perpetrate the same structures that sustains racism in the first place.
I can only apologise to everyone whom I’ve hurt, let down and oppressed. I have far more work to do before I can genuinely claim to be an ally and anti-racist. I know words are hollow unless they are supported by definitive action, action which I’ve failed to demonstrate, but I promise to try my best to overcome my racial biases and be a better ally to people of colour. My deepest apologies to everyone I’ve hurt, and I hope one day I can earn your trust.”
This comes after a number of incidents involving Jones were circulated on social media. Jones was running on a pledge to ‘Reconnect’ the Student Union to societies and common rooms, and was previously Brasenose JCR President. In a comment to the Oxford Student, he said:
“Whilst it would be wrong of me to continue running in this election, I still believe in the necessity of some of my ideas. The 2018 Trans Report highlighted the severe inadequacy of Oxford’s welfare provisions for transgender students with 98% experiencing mental health issues and 45% having had suicidal thoughts. I was the only Presidential candidate to address this issue in their manifesto, whilst that does not make up for my failures to people of colour and I am clearly the wrong person to effect the change needed, I hope the other candidates see the necessity of ensuring they tackle transphobia should they win. I wish them all the best of luck in their campaigns.”
There are 4 candidates for the Student Union President position remaining, one of whom is an empty chair candidate, meaning he would not take up the position were he to be elected.
You can read our interviews with the other candidates on our website. Voting opens at 8am on Tuesday 9th February, and closes at 6pm on Thursday 11th. The results will then be announced at 9pm.
A member of the current SU team has been contacted for comment