A motion calling for the immortalisation in bust form of all current and future Christ Church JCR Presidents failed to pass last Sunday.
Second year lawyer Thomas Potter tabled the motion, which resolved to commission a bust of JCR President Tosin Oyetunji, “preferably created by a Junior Member reading Fine Art”. This would then introduce “a tradition of commissioning busts of the JCR President.”
The motion noted that Deans’ portraits in Christ Church’s Great Hall “add an air of history and tradition which is extremely valued by senior and junior members alike.”
It went on to assert that a bust of the JCR President “would do much for the aesthetics of the [JCR] environment”, justifying the rationale for the buy on the basis that the President was “similar within the JCR to the Dean in the College”.
In defence of his proposed tribute, Potter insisted that the bust could “only add to the glory of Christ Church and its members.”
Potter added, “In the long term everyone in college will have their days brightened by constant reminders of our Glorious Ruler.
“The image and reputation of the college will be raised to new heights as we express our undying love for our President to Oxford and the world.”
An amendment involving the commissioning of caricatures for all JCR Presidents still at the college was eventually accepted. Another amendment suggested that stray croquet balls serve the same commemorative purpose instead.
“A few people were worried the JCR budget might go bust,” explained historian and first year representative Lawrence Houldsworth.
In response to the decision, Oyetunji stated, “The job is reward enough in itself, but I am humbled and deeply grateful to have this honour bestowed upon me. All I hope is that my work as JCR President has merited such an honour.”
Ceremonial busts have recently been in vogue, with Brasenose JCR considering a motion to turn the college into a constitutional monarchy under the bust of former President Paul Gladwell. However, the motion failed at the second hearing, with a number of students expressing their “disappointment” at the decision.
First year George Greenwood welcomed the amendment as evidence that Christ Church “are not slaves to fashion. And more importantly, that we have better ideas than Brasenose.”
Fellow Christ Church first year Jack Cottrell, however, was disappointed. He said, “With the heritage of the college, it would have been much more fitting and entertaining to have full-size, classically inspired sculptures.”
Magdalen historian Fred de Fossard drank to the proposal, saying, “There’s a certain glory to a bust which caricatures clearly lack.”