The Oxford Union society has banned the Oxford University Conservative Association (OUCA) from holding hustings or any in-camera events in the Union buildings.
The motion was passed by the Standing Committee in 8th week. It was prompted by the recent controversy over the conduct of OUCA’s hustings.
James Dray, the society’s President commented, “The Oxford Union has, and will continue to, condemn the type of racist comments made in last term’s OUCA hustings. As such, the Standing Committee voted in 8th week to ban OUCA from having hustings or any in-camera events in the Union. We believe that the spirit of open debate upon which the Union is built cannot take place in an environment of secret meetings and hidden discussions, and feel that banning closed meetings is an appropriate response to the incident.”
The Committee also considered banning all events hosted by OUCA for a term, but the motion ultimately failed.
Charlie Holt, the ex-President of the Union, told the Standing Committee that the society has to be expelled from the buildings until they clean up their image. He said, “We should take firm, decisive action quickly stating that we will not tolerate this.”
A complaint with regards to the conduct at the hustings was brought by Andrew Scott-Taggart to the OUCA’s Disciplinary Committee (DC) at the end of last term.
However, before the DC took place two members resigned from the Association as a result of the controversy.
George Harnett, society’s Returning Officer concluded in a report, “The DC deeply regrets the events of last week, and reiterates the President’s apology on behalf of the Association to anyone offended.”