A motion to put a £200 official portrait of the Queen in Keble JCR has failed, with 54 votes against, 17 votes for, and 24 abstentions.
The motion, to “Spend £193.80 on purchasing an official framed portrait of Her Majesty The Queen for placement in the JCR”, was proposed by JCR member Alexander King as the Queen “has served this country gloriously all her life”. He said that there was a lack of “official recognition of this service in the JCR”.
It was suggested that “the placement of a portrait of Her Majesty in the JCR would be a fitting way of fulfilling such recognition.” However, concerns were raised by JCR members that a portrait of the Queen in the JCR could make some people feel “uncomfortable”, particularly prospective students who come to the JCR during interviews.
King told Cherwell, “I proposed the motion as I felt that in this Jubilee year it was important for the Keble JCR, specifically the JCR as a representation of the student body, to recognise the glorious service the Queen has given this country. It was voted down mainly on the spurious contention that it would be divisive, which I feel was propagated by a vocal minority of the Keble students at the meeting who swayed the rest of those present.”
He continued, “I feel very sad that on this issue Keble has shown itself to be woefully out of touch with the rest of the British population, 80% of whom currently support the monarchy, and feel indebted to the Queen for her service.”
Keble JCR President Basil Vincent disagreed commenting, “I think that some saw the portrait as potentially divisive, and with a special Jubilee Hog Roast this Sunday the general feeling was that enough is already being done to commemorate Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee.”
One Keble student added, “Nearly £200 to support someone who was born into a certain family is not really economical use of money. Also, we have a lot of international students and it is not fair to show some kind of political allegiance they do not agree with.”