St Hugh’s College JCR voted this week in favour of a motion entitled “The alpacas this college deserves,” which proposed to investigate the purchase of a college alpaca.
The motion, which passed by 26 votes to four, followed from the Hugh’s MCR welfare reps organising visits by alpacas to the college.
The motion stated: “Everyone in college at the time [of the visit] enjoyed the alpacas immensely, as evidenced by the number of Facebook posts and Instagram photos,” as well as noting that “alpacas are fluffy and cute and adorable and basically represent everything good in this world”.
The motion supported the idea of a pet alpaca on student welfare grounds, as “seeing them on a daily basis would significantly increase student welfare”.
The motion resolved to “mandate the JCR Committee to look into getting an alpaca as a college pet”, and “to look into the practical elements and care required for having an alpaca permanently on college”.
The JCR Committee will report on their findings at the next JCR Meeting.
Deborah Walnicki, the MCR Welfare Rep who organised the alpaca visit, told Cherwell: “We were inspired by an event that took place in Michaelmas term… we were able to bring four halter-trained alpacas for four hours.
“The event brought together the MCR, JCR, and college staff in a unique way. Furthermore, studies have shown therapeutic benefits associated with spending time outdoors, as well as interacting with animals.”
Many colleges already have college pets, ranging from cats and dogs to tortoises, including Regents Park College’s pet tortoise Emmanuelle, who recently celebrated her 114th birthday.
Corpus Christi College even has a Facebook page entitled ‘The Corpus Christi College Tortoise’ which describes itself as ‘The official page of Foxe, the tortoise of Corpus Christi’.
JCR President Ana Pavlova told Cherwell: “The St Hugh’s JCR passed a motion mandating the JCR Committee to look into the practical aspects of getting two alpacas for the college. The motion was proposed following an MCR-organised welfare event with four alpacas which prompted an alpacalypse of photos with the hashtag “#hughsalpacas” on social media.”
Pavlova added: “The JCR believes that getting two alpacas to reside in St Hugh’s on a permanent basis would greatly improve student welfare and we also have some ideas involving expanding the range of college stash to include some alpaca-fur jumpers.”