Students from Brasenose voted on Monday for a motion to turn the college into a ‘constitutional monarchy’ under the rule of a bust of the previous JCR President, Paul Gladwell. The motion will be voted on at a future date, before ratification makes it constitutional.
According to the motion proposed by Alex Sayers, there were “insufficient checks and balances” within the JCR constitution, and the bust of Paul Gladwell is “most revered”. The motion said that the bust’s “position as de facto figurehead of the JCR ought to be recognised” by investing “all executive power” in the bust, whose wishes will be interpreted by the JCR President.
The proposal also claimed the plan will “engender a renewed feeling of pride amongst the student body, it will increase BNC’s standing within the University; and it will provide an additional check on the feckless and irresponsible spending of the JCR.”
Sources told Cherwell that the proposal “passed by a landslide”, despite concern over how to overthrow the bust if it became tyrannical, as it would be impossible to behead it.
If the motion passes, the JCR President will now be formally styled as “President of Brasenose College JCR, Interpreter of the Will of the Bust”, and must swear fealty to the bust. All motions will pass or fail according to previous procedure “unless the Bust signals its disapproval”.
Jack Moore, a Brasenose student, praised the motion, saying, “I think this is an excellent idea. In the year of the jubilee, it seems especially appropriate to bring constitutional monarchy under the bust to the Brasenose JCR.”
Brasenose PPEist Eylon Aslan-Levy noted that the JCR as a whole was more cautious, commenting, “People were sceptical at first, but when it became clear that the JCR President would have to present this constitutional amendment to [the] governing body, it was a done deal.”
At the same meeting another proposed motion, noting both the absence of orange-haired people in the JCR Committee and the “very distinctive” eyebrows of OUSU and Careers Rep Pablo Zendjas-Medina, suggested mandating him to dye his eyebrows orange.
Brasenose student Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi commented, “The fact that the JCR essentially wants to confer an honorific on a fetish object proves it does not have much better to do with its time. In truth, however, I am not worried about the possibility of the Bust ruling as a dictator: in fact, it would be a great thing.
“The reality show known to some as the ‘Arab Spring’ just shows that liberal democracy is nothing more than an instrument of chaos and more chaos.
“Being a student of Classics with Oriental Studies (having completed Honour Moderations in Classics last term with the second highest overall mark in the University), I know perfectly well how one-man rule is essential for achieving stability.”
The bust was purchased for £500 in 2011 following a JCR motion. The subsequent contribution of £4,000 towards the loss made by the 2011 college ball has prompted more than one motion to control JCR spending.
12 months ago, Gladwell apologised for the purchase of the bust, given the state of JCR finances, “It was a poor use of money and not the best of ideas.” A repeal of the motion that created the bust noted, “The whole affair has been very damaging to the reputation of Brasenose.”