Well now it’s 4th week. There is literally nothing special about 4th week, so there’s no way of segwaying into episodes from Cherwell’s past. So, here they are: Do you ever feel like your JCR is distinctly lacking in fictional members? “Yes!” I hear you cry. Well it turns out Teddy Hall felt exactly that way in 1996 when they invited Homer Simpson to join their JCR. The 31st October issue reported that a motion was ‘convincingly passed’ and a personal invitation had been sent by the JCR President to the fictional character, with the college ‘waiting on tenterhooks for the reply’. Unfortunately Cherwell’s prediction that he might mount a ‘strong challenge for President’ in the future never came true; which is sad because it would have made for a great episode of The Simpsons.
The 3rd November 1978 issue of Cherwell provides much cause for worry about the quality of Oxford’s Law degrees. It reported that a Keble Law student was jailed for smuggling £23,000 worth of cannabis into Oxford as well as ‘possessing, supplying and cultivating the drug’. The fact that he decided to break the law in the first place is not actually the major cause of concern for the quality of Oxford’s legal education, but rather the defence he gave after sacking his council and representing himself towards the end of the trial. He ‘gave an impassioned character reference’, arguing that he should not be jailed as “I have been presented to the Queen and Prince Philip when they visited Oxford and I am a Queen’s Scout and hold the Duke of Edinburgh’s award”. If doing the D of E award provided legal immunity, I’m sure I would have tried harder to actually get my certificate. However, I think it really was shocking that they convicted him despite the fact he’d ‘had tea with Princess Margaret’. If that isn’t a defence for drug dealing I don’t know what is.
It seems college rivalries have become far less serious since 2003, as the 7th November issue of Cherwell reported that Magdalen was building up ‘a private militia’ for use in its conflict with Oriel. The JCR even voted to commit funds ‘to purchasing an armoured tank’. This came after threats by Oriel to seize control of Ahmed’s kebab van. Due to the continued existence of Oriel one must assume their attempts to buy arms were thwarted by those pesky weapon control laws.