Teddy Hall JCR is divided over its president after students refused to award him a traditional tankard for “good work” during the year.
Charlie Southern, who is a member of the exclusive Teddy Hall drinking society the Syndicate, has been accused of falling short in his presidential duties by a number of students, while others have defended his conduct.
A motion to award Southern Teddy Hall’s customary tankard for successful JCR presidents failed earlier this week for the first time in the college’s history.
Whilst only four students opposed the motion, 17 abstained, meaning that the motion could not be passed.
One student, who wished to remain anonymous, was concerned that Southern failed to attend the St Edmund Feast, JCR photo and OUSU presidential hustings.
They also pointed out that Southern failed to commit to Fresher’s Week, allegedly admitting at JCR hustings that “in fresher’s week his sole contribution was to do six pieces of photocopying.”
Unhappiness with Southern was voiced at the meeting by Ian Lyons, JCR Environment rep and OUSU election candidate, and supported by three other members. His speech made clear, however, that his opposition was largely due to personal annoyance at the JCR’s apathy towards OUSU.
Both he and Daniel Lowe opposed Southern at the meeting, yet as OUSU candidates neither could comment on the matter.
Students were shocked at the failure of the motion, as such an event has never before occurred in the history of Teddy Hall’s JCR.
Other Hall students have praised Southern, saying that the attacks on him were undeserved.
Peter Gray, a second year at Teddy Hall, defended Southern, saying, “Charlie has in my experience been a great president, fighting hard for the JCR.
He has done much work behind the scenes, securing rent reductions for students inconvenienced by workers in college as well as being a leader by example in many of the sports teams.
“He has contributed massively to the college over the past year and the personal attacks on him in his final JCR meeting as president were cruel and unjust.
“It was inappropriate to wait till he was the exiting president to voice their concerns; if there were any issues during the year they should have been brought up earlier, not used as a petty stab in the back as he is leaving.”
When asked to comment on the issue Southern underlined that everyone in the JCR was “entitled to their own opinion” and said that the JCR committee was “great”.
Susannah Otter, Teddy Hall second year, has since presented a tankard to Southern courtesy of private funds she personally collected.
She declined to comment on the failed JCR motion, but did say, “for the record, I think Charlie has been a great president.”