Oxford’s Tories have recouped university affiliation, putting the ‘U’ back into ‘OCA’.
Jonathan Mallinson, the Senior Proctor, explained that, “At the end of [Hilary term], the then Senior Proctor was satisfied that [OUCA] had remained in good standing and endorsed its application for renewed use of the ‘OU’ name.” The Tory club had previously been admitted to the Proctors’ Register under the Oxford Conservative Association name.
Stephanie Cherrill, OUCA’s President, told Cherwell that she was “pleased that the Proctors have recognised OUCA’s strong governance and administrative practices by awarding us the right to use the University name.
“I look forward to building on the strong work of this year’s Officers, and working with this term’s fantastic committee.”
The Association has changed its facebook page to reflect its new name. The first event of Stephanie Cherrill’s Presidency next term will be a ‘Champagne Tasting’ evening.
The Association memorably lost its university affiliation last year after university proctors judged that the student Tories had “failed to reach the financial and administrative standards of a recognised student club.”
In recent times the Association’s record at keeping the ‘U’ has been poor. In 2009 the university stripped the group of its ‘University’ tag, and rescinded its right to have a stall at Fresher’s Fair. The action followed an incident involving racist jokes at OUCA hustings during an election week.
Port and Policy: OUCA is famous for its evenings of energetic debating. However in Michaelmas the Oxford Union ended its arrangement with the society, which had allowed OUCA to use its Macmillan Room at discounted rates.
OUCA’s publications editor Richard Black claimed that the society had been “unfairly targeted and insulted by various individuals within the University.”
He was eager to point out the group’s “philanthropic activity” which includes running debate workshops in schools and assisting the elderly. “As well as hard campaigning,” Black told Cherwell, “OUCA is pivotal to the ‘big society’ of Oxford Student life.”
Zach Spiro, OUCA’s Political Officer, said that he wanted to use his term to make the right-wing society “a leading voice in Oxford’s vibrant political debate.” Spiro, of Oriel College, echoed Black in stating that OUCA could “occupy an important place in the political life of the university” if it threw itself into campaigning and social work.
Oxford Tories campaigning last year in Oxford West.
Jonathan Metzer, Co-Chair of Oxford University Labour Club, told Cherwell that “it clearly makes sense that the Conservatives have their own society at Oxford University. It seems that OUCA want to put their old reputation behind them and we look forward to continuing our fierce (and often friendly) rivalry with them this term.”
OUCA will be hosting several Tory big wigs next term, including Lord Hurd, the former Foreign Secretary and Mark Reckless, the leading Eurosceptic MP.