St Anne’s JCR hustings have sparked controversy after prospective Entz reps performed as many sex positions they could within one minute.
While this tradition has been in place at the college for a number of years, several students have stated this year that they feel it is inappropriate.
One student stated, “Generally St Anne’s doesn’t have this kind of puerile, rugby boy culture and we pride ourselves on our history as a women’s college and being more progressive and liberal than this.”
The JCR Committee voted on whether this tradition should continue, and there were nine votes in favour with eight in opposition.
St Anne’s JCR President Owen Evans, who voted in opposition stated, “We had a very open and balanced debate on the issue, and although I voted against the challenge myself, the committee passed it by nine votes to eight. We felt a democratic committee decision was the fairest way to proceed on this matter. Each candidate was asked individually before the hustings whether they felt comfortable with this challenge, and all agreed enthusiastically – but it would have only taken one objection and we would not have ran the challenge.”
OUSU recently introduced guidelines on how to run college hustings to try and make them fairer. One of its suggestions was the abolition of any activities that could humiliate the candidates.
However, many students at St Anne’s supported the hustings.
Luke Braidwood, who was a candidate for Entz rep said, “None of us felt awkward or reluctant doing the challenge, and I don’t think it would put people off standing in future as it was a very well-received, and brief, part of the meeting.”
When the current Entz Reps, Andrew Cummings and Kate Hooper, were asked if they thought the hustings would put anyone off applying for the role they said, “The purpose of hustings at St Anne’s is to have a thorough discussion and a good time, and we’ve had a lot of positive feedback on the hustings meeting.”
They also said, “We asked all the candidates individually beforehand whether they were happy to go ahead with the challenge, and they were all very positive about it.”
The nature of hustings in colleges has made news before with The Daily Mail reporting on the Keble college hustings for Fresher’s week president in 2009. These hustings involved two female candidates doing sit ups whilst simultaneously eating a banana placed next to the crotch of a male student.