Students at Teddy Hall have spoken out against recent reports of a hostile college atmosphere.
They have described claims of a ‘social crisis’ within the college, as reported by the Oxford Student, as ‘out of proportion’ and ‘exaggerated’.
The allegations arose at the termly college committee meeting, when the Dean, Stephen Blamey, and other senior members of the college, initiated a discussion with the JCR executive about the atmosphere in Teddy Hall.
Blamey claimed at the meeting that the college was ‘too divided into sports and music’, and that some members of the student body were uncomfortable with the college atmosphere.
However Blamey was informed that Teddy Hall student Philip Satterthwaite had bridged the gap by being both ex-rugby captain and a member of the Teddy Hall choir.
Two Teddy Hall students, who preferred to remain anonymous, reacted to the situation, saying,’Teddy Hall is a college with a diverse range of people and we feel that the Dean is fuelling the Teddy Hall stereotype.
‘The third years have been most offended as they have been portrayed as being completely against the first years, which is not the case.’
They denied that an official room divide had been imposed in the bar, saying, ‘When it comes to the supposedly ‘divided’ bar, there are indeed two separate rooms, one extremely rowdy and one quieter side.
‘It seems counter-intuitive that the ‘rowdy’ rugby team would be expected to divide into two groups, they are a ‘team’ after all.’
Harold Buchannan, an undergraduate at Teddy Hall said, ‘There are many people in college that feel that the Dean is perpetuating the problem and is pursuing a vendetta against certain members of the JCR.’
JCR President Charlie Southern commented on the alleged social tensions, saying, ‘The dean brought it to a welfare committee meeting at the beginning of term.
‘He had heard reports of people being unhappy with the atmosphere in college, and the questions at hustings being intimidating. He compiled it from talking to various students at Teddy Hall.
‘My position was to hear opinion from the committee, I don’t see that there is a divide in college. There are lots of different groups but I’ve never seen any real tensions at all.’
He added, ‘One side of the bar is much more raucous and the other is for people having a quiet drink. Everyone agreed it was quite a good thing. It wasn’t a massive separation at all.’
‘The Dean asked me to send the minutes to all the JCR, there was quite a lot of surprise as they hadn’t heard anything about this at all.’