Anti-OUSU sentiment has excited calls for JCR disaffiliation, culminating in a botched St Peter’s referendum on the issue which could have seen a rejection of OUSU membership. St. Peter’s student Matt Richardson, a staunch supporter of a college breakaway from OUSU, maintains that the referendum was “a farce from the beginning”. An appeal was lodged against his system of  proxy voting – previously validated by the JCR Executive – by the Returning Officer five minutes before the referendum was due to close, nullifying the vote. The ballot box remains with Master John Barron, uncounted. During the course of this dispute, the Master, who had been brought in as an arbitrator, declared that the JCR Constitution had in fact never been ratified, rendering the referendum void and the JCR without constitution.The JCR President, Rosalind Morgan, stated that, “A written complaint was brought by a member of the JCR and it was unanimously upheld.” Greg Stafford, a fellow anti-OUSU campaigner of  Richardson’s, was “disappointed” at the JCR Executive’s behaviour, claiming that the vote would have been largely in their favour.Richardson and Stafford had sought to block the annual statutory reaffiliation motion – arguing that OUSU “is not representative of the needs and views of St Peter’s”. The referendum has been rescheduled for this term. Stafford is convinced that they can “win again”.Oriel is the only college JCR to have successfully disaffiliated from OUSU, back in 2001. There was “overcharging” said Marcus Little Johns, former JCR President. There have also been rumblings of dissension amongst Merton and Magdalen. Worcester threatened to quit OUSU in June of last year following proposals to increase subscriptions. The student union later backed down to explore other means of making savings.
Archive: 0th week HT 2004