An anti-welfare rep is to be
elected at Merton after the JCR unanimously passed a motion to institute the
position. A motion was submitted noting that “attendees at Merton bops always
get completely wasted,” and that “these hilarious individuals are often struck
down in their prime by over-zealous welfare reps.” The responsibilites of the new
anti-welfare rep will involve identifying “inebriated persons receiving undue
assistance from the welfare officers” and thwarting “the best efforts of the
welfare officers by supplying alcoholic drinks to the aforementioned individuals
in a responsible manner” and further ensuring “that these characters are lucid
and responsive during the inevitable afterparties they will volunteer to host.”
It is believed that such action will “aid and abet the creation of
unsubstantiated rumour to be disclosed in the Merton News.”Uproar followed the meeting,
however, as senior members of the JCR Committee realised that what had been
passed was a binding standing order amendment, which could possibly contravene
proctors’ orders. JCR President James Lamming said, “Information reached me
after the meeting meaning that what seemed like a harmless comedy motion had
more serious ramifications and safety implications than we first thought.” Ben Holroyd and Zander Khan, the
finalists at Merton who proposed the motion, said they were “leaving a legacy
for the college” and have a “prospective candidate in mind”. They see the
negativity of the JCR Committee as “a bit childish”, making the point that “back
home we survive perfectly well without welfare officers to take us home when we’re
wasted.” Ben Holroyd, last year’s Merton Entz rep, further added “Some of the
best nights I’ve had in Oxford
have been spent cuddling a loo.” One JCR Committee member, who did
not wish to be named, said he had not objected during the meeting as he feared
looking like “a miserable git”.The JCR President stated, “We’re
currently looking into [the motion] and will report back at the JCR meeting
next week.”Tanya Sanyal, Welfare Officer at
St Anne’s, expressed trepidation towards the motion, saying, “As a welfare rep
I feel slightly alarmed that Merton JCR are to instate an anti-welfare rep to
actively oppose the work that welfare does. But as long as it doesn’t seriously
undermine the work of the elected welfare officers, I suppose it’s really just
a joke position.”OUSU V-P Welfare, Aidan Randle-Conde
stated “Welfare Officers across Oxford
do a great deal of good work to improve the quality of life for students.
Creating an anti-welfare officer undermines the whole ethos of the welfare
networks that are in place.” He added that “coercive drinking is unacceptable
and to the detriment of student welfare.”ARCHIVE: 2nd week MT 2005