Nathan Roberts, removed as Queen’s JCR President at the start of term, has been denied the right to appeal the college’s decision.
Earlier this week the Provost informed him that the Governing Body would not be hearing his appeal, which had been due to take place on Wednesday.
Elected during Trinity Term, Roberts was removed from his post by the college authorities after they deemed his prelims results unsatisfactory.
Reacting to the news Roberts said, “The Provost wrote to me explaining that he has decided I can only appeal expulsion or rustication. This is a seriously concerning decision.
“In unnecessarily refusing me an appeal he has said that the committee can make any decision it likes. It can force the student to give up sport, it can force the student to stop playing in the local youth band, it can force the student to walk around on his or her hands all day, and these actions are apparently beyond scrutiny or accountability.
“Despite implying to me that an appeal was certainly an option, the Provost has suddenly reversed his decision and in doing so undermined both the JCR and me.”
The Queen’s College informed Cherwell that they had no comment to make.
Last week thirty JCR presidents signed a statement of support for Roberts, offering their “complete confidence and support.”
OUSU President Stefan Baskerville today reaffirmed his support for Roberts. “The denial of Nathan’s right to appeal is wrong and unacceptable. Right of appeal is a very basic part of any fair disciplinary process, and the college’s claim that students may only appeal decisions to expel or rusticate them is a serious error of interpretation. I continue to support Nathan’s right to appeal the decision.”
Jesse Harber, St Hilda’s JCR President, said “I’m disappointed in the decision of the Queen’s SCR not to allow him to appeal – it sets a precedent that in the future will really short-change students who feel that they have been wronged. It’s a sad fact that disciplinary procedures vary wildly across colleges, and an unlucky student can find themselves being severely punished for something that is only a minor offense at another college. This is entirely separate to the issue of whether his original dismissal was acceptable. Whether a decision is correct or not, it should always (within reason) be allowed to be appealed.”
Owen Evans, St Anne’s JCR President, said that “Nathan has strong support among the JCR Presidents, and we will continue to support in any way we can.”
Duncan Cook, Jesus JCR President, has also given his support. He commented, “I believe all students should have the right to select their own extra-curricular activities.”
The Provost still has the option of reversing his decision, and Roberts is hopeful that he will do so. “There is no ‘harm’ in allowing me to argue my case, and I in fact think this most recent ruling is the most damaging of all.
“I understand a teddy-bear is standing in the upcoming presidential elections. Teddy will have my vote.”