Jesus college JCR committee members have been fighting back this week against the college’s new reputation for lacking fun.
This follows a protest staged last month by Jesus students against stringent new academic policies imposed by college authorities.
Jesus’ “climate of fear” has been determinedly challenged, with members of the JCR committee leading the way.
Welfare representative Jocelyn Knight revealed to Cherwell that he had spent his Wednesday evening “in the college bar, before going on to throw all manner of shapes on the R’n’B floor at Park End.”
A motion passed during a JCR meeting at the start of term claimed that Dr Alexandra Lumbers, Jesus’ Senior Tutor, was using “scare tactics” to raise academic standards.
The motion suggested “that all members wear black armbands” in remembrance of fun, and was passed with one abstention and no votes against it.
However, another committee member, Jesus JCR’s Access representative Michael Lisanti, was keen to assure Cherwell that he is resisting the much feared “death of fun”. Lisanti went as far as to claim admittance to John Radcliffe hospital for “exhibiting dangerous levels of fun”.
The Access rep said that he had been treated for “defunning”.
He described the process as “difficult and complex” and continued that it was “not dissimilar from that which is utilised following an overdose of methylated spirits, in which victims are weaned off slowly in order to minimise shock to the system.”
JCR President Alex Mohan, previously explained the successful motion in an email to students, saying that while the students’ actions were a “light hearted and tongue-in-cheek mourning of fun,” it marked a “protest against the changing attitude of the senior members of staff in the College towards what is expected of students.”
He said, “The tone of this year’s freshers’ week and the increased use of special and penal collections over the past year are detrimental to this healthy balance, pushing the emphasis too far towards work at the expense of welfare and enjoyment of the university experience.”
However, Knight told Cherwell that he rejected the claims made in the otherwise uncontested JCR motion and defended the social scene at Jesus.
“I am having a lovely time. Perhaps you need to examine just how much fun you’re having in your life.”
Lisanti also argued that a night in Park End nightclub was still “the archetypal central case of undergraduate living at Jesus College.
“For the true Jesus experience, one simply cannot beat flailing one’s sweaty, naked torso about the Cheese room whilst belting out “Living on a Prayer” or some other suitably inspiring and stirring morsel of popular music.”
Welfare rep at St. Anne’s college Saras Mane warned against the dangers of excessive drinking.
He said, “Binge drinking and late nights certainly have their toll on one’s general well-being, as well as academic performance, and the maintenance of a healthy work-life balance is a vital part of student welfare.”
However, Knight assured Cherwell that there was no cause for concern.
He said, “Thank you so much for showing so much consideration into the welfare and wellbeing of the members of Jesus College, I am genuinely touched at the heartfelt emotion being expressed by yourself and your contemporaries at The Oxford Student. However I can assure you that your worries are misplaced.”
The Senior Tutor at Jesus was unavailable for comment on whether the perceived academic push has encouraged the behaviour of the JCR committee members.