St Peter’s JCR President Rob Collier was named “King” of the college by undergraduates at a meeting on Monday.
A light-hearted motion was passed giving Rob the title and ordering his execution at the French Revolution-themed college ball on May 7th.
His Royal Highness commented, “The promotion to JCR King was certainly not something I was expecting to happen when I first ran for the role of President.
“As with anything, just have to take it your stride and hope it doesn’t get too bloody – though I’m not sure there is the guarantee of a pain-free execution at the ‘C’est la Revolution’ Ball.”
The execution will conclude the reign of the monarch and dismantle his ancien regime.
“The Ball Committee are doing a fantastic job in all departments- the Ball is the talk of our common room and I’m very pleased that I can be involved past the usual capacity of President,” added Collier.
The drive to execute the president seems to have arisen spontaneously from amongst members of the College. The Ball Committee Co-President, Stephen Dunne, said, “I had no idea the motion was even being discussed, and it has come as a bit of a shock even to me!
“I think the motion is really fun; it lets us be at our most creative when planning it. It’s good to have a challenge to combine the debauched lifestyle of the aristocracy pre-revolution with the murder and hysteria of the revolution itself.”
The ‘death of the King’, to be proclaimed at the ball, will be the climax of a series of mock executions using a faux guillotine on a raised platform.
Zoe Apostolides, a second year student reading English, said, “I fully support our cheeky new king, and the whole idea of “executing” him is exactly the sort of macabre twist a French Revolution ball needs.
“It’ll give him the chance to commit all sorts of banditry before the Big Night – bring it on Rob Rex.”
The new monarchy has inspired enthusiasm amongst students as well as staff. History tutor Nicholas Cole commented, “The ancient historian Polybius predicted that all political communities will cycle endlessly through democratic and monarchical forms of government over time, and it seems that JCRs are no exception.
“The responsible undergraduates of St Peter’s JCR have clearly decided to embrace this fate in a characteristically thoughtful and orderly fashion.”
The new monarchy at St Peter’s College is not unprecedented. St Hugh’s passed a similar motion in November last year, appointing an unelected College monarch who would make speeches at formal hall or at the openings of new buildings and refer to themselves in the third person.