LGBTQ+ Soc bans candidate for ‘intimidation’

Presidential candidate Jason Pilsbury was banned after allegedly launching a "personal attack" on incumbent Katt Walton

Oxford University’s LGBTQ+ Society has banned Jason Pilsbury, a potential presidential candidate, for allegedly launching a “personal attack” on current president Katt Walton.

Pilsbury’s suspension letter from the Society, seen by Cherwell, read: “at Tuesday drinks it was reported to various committee members, on a number of occasions, that they are planning to run a campaign of intimidation.”

Under the LGBTQ+ Society’s zero tolerance policy, any member who engages in “intimidation, harassment and creating a hostile environment” is liable for suspension.

Pilsbury will not be allowed to attend any of the events for the rest of the term “including Skittles” at Plush.

He will be allowed to hust in the upcoming elections, but will have to leave the event once the husting process is completed.

The LGBTQ+ Society has recently used its zero tolerance policy to ban a number of students from a graduate drinks event.

Speaking about her position, Walton said to members: “I won’t lie and say it’s easy. It’s been a challenge, but one that I wouldn’t change for the world.”

Hustings for the LGBTQ+ Society executive committee will take place this Tuesday.

Jason Pilsbury told Cherwell: “I was running for president on the basis of wanting to hold the leadership to account in the correct constitutional manner.

“There was a meeting with the committee this Thursday evening at Merton.

“I explained that my criticisms of the committee were always polite and constructive.

“The president argued, despite the evidence, that this was a personal attack, and the committee, populated largely by her friends, still refused to reinstate me.”

Katt Walton, President of the LGBTQ+ Society, did not respond to Cherwell’s request for comment.

10 COMMENTS

  1. I think that we need some transparency here as to what exactly the alleged personal attacks are; for to quote from the policy, “All LGBTQ+ Society events operate a Zero Tolerance policy on discrimination.
    Our policy extends to but is not limited to: racism, transphobia, queerphobia, biphobia, misogyny, harassment, xenophobia, islamophobia and ableism.

    We reserve the right to ask any individual to leave an event and/or ban them from future events.

    If you experience any form of discrimination at one of our events or are made to feel uncomfortable in anyway please feel free to approach a committee member and/or email the President (Katt) at ouprez@gmail.com

    It seems that while I would hope that nobody would like anyone expressing any of the attitudes above and would agree that it is morally unacceptable (unless perhaps done in ignorance by someone uninformed), there is in the abstract no reason not to think that inevitably a bad executive will misuse the policy to silence dissent as Jason alleges has happened.

    While I don’t wish to make any hard statements about who is correct in the absence of having any real evidence myself about what’s going on, we need to know and for the details of all of this to be made public- not least as Katt is the future VP Women for the SU and it is imperitive that we know now that she will not misuse a position of power once an SU sabbatical officer.

    Also, while I don’t wish to throw fuel on to the metaphorical fire, if I may quote from a comment under the article on the SU calling for extraordinary council over UCU strikes, “On top of that she [Katt] both tried to shut down Oxford Students for Life’s (OSFL’s) abortion talk last term, and after the John’s security security guard tried to drag her out, got into a minor scuffle with him and was accused of assualt (and ironically an OSFL comittee member who was the speaker’s son asked security not to remove the protesters), which is why the police were called.”

    Myself, I’ll judge things based solely on the relevant evidence rather than what’s happened in the past, but if I were to unfairly take the prior evidence above into account (which I can corroborate from both knowing people who wherethere and being at the event myself), things don’t seem to reflect so well on Katt in light of the prior evidence…

  2. Katt Walton’s leadership has made LGBTQ+ soc intimidating. I am keen to get involved in events but feel that they are dominated by a committee who refuse to believe that their behaviour puts people off.

  3. I’m not even going to dignify the issue at hand with a response, other than to be dismayed that some guy not being allowed at a social function is what is considered scandalous here rather than bullying and harassment. What I will say is that commenter number 2 whoever you are you should be ashamed of yourself. I’d like to know what your definition of having good “morals” is because if it involves petty and spiteful bullying hiding behind a keyboard then count me out. You are the one who appears to be a disgrace. Your audacity in commenting something like that on an article ABOUT bullying is incomprehensible. Also I don’t normally do comments like this but I’m putting my name on here because I’m not hiding from people like you.

    • Can we please not make assumptions that the alleged ‘bullying and harrassment’ is legitimate bullying and harrassment.

      I think the issue here is that people are dismayed that the President, Katt can make such unsubstantiated claims and abuse her power like this.

      Yours,
      A closeted gay who doesn’t attend events thanks to this kind of attitude

  4. So the reason he was banned was because of a campaign of intimidation? In his manifesto there was literally nothing about Kat Walton? I dont understand how the ban is valid then. Quite worrying that this is allowed

  5. I think the society has taken on a very loose interpretation of the terms ‘intimidation’ and ‘bullying’. It seems anytime a criticism is made towards the way the society is run, however legitimate, that person gets excluded somehow.

    Some grad students who recently offered to put on a grad event got banned from the LGBT Facebook group because they were critical of the way grads events were run.

    I’m sorry, but criticism like that is not ‘bullying’ or ‘intimidation’, it’s just not what you want to hear. There’s a difference. Some of this committee are clearly trying to stamp out any criticism that isn’t to their taste, no matter how legitimate it might be. Excluding people from society in this way defeats the point entirely.

  6. It seems to me that Katt Walton’s reign of terror is over not a moment too soon. She treats the soc like a dictatorship which she rules, and it’s just not acceptable. People should feel welcome and included at LGBTQ+ events, but personally I am made to feel extremely uncomfortable in every conversation with Katt – as though I might at any moment be accused of saying/doing something wrong. She needs to take a long, hard look at herself. And answer the question, why was Jason not offered a proper hearing? And why does she think it’s acceptable to run an entire society on *her* terms?

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