The guide, named the ‘Overview of Oxford’ and created by Pembroke College student Simon Posner, gives a tongue-in-cheek description of notable destinations in the city.
All money given in exchange for a copy of the ‘Overview’ is donated to Oxford Homeless Pathways.
The recommended donation is £3, however additional surcharges have been suggested on the ‘Overview’ Facebook page. An additional £1 payment is suggested for those who have a double-barrelled surname, £5 for those who drive a 4×4 in town, and £10 for those with a private croquet lawn.
Posner commented, “This was intended as a joke, but it’s transpired that some students really do have a private croquet lawn at home. Most people have taken it in good humour though.
One student commented on the guide’s Facebook event, saying, “Wow Simon, the extra fee charges for double-barrelled surnames is mean. What can I do with my triple one?”
Posner told Cherwell, “I thought perhaps ten friends would humour my self-indulgence and donate £3 each, raising the minimum £30 that I thought would have made the endeavour worthwhile. It took off and the fundraised total was soon in three figures.”
The publication originated as Facebook statuses, and has since been developed into a four-page pamphlet.
The campaign is also relevant to Oxford in its chosen charity, as Oxford Homeless Pathways provides emergency accommodation and resettlement support for those who have been homeless in the Oxfordshire area.
Posner explained his choice, saying, “Poverty is an outrageous mockery of dignity all over the earth, but we see it ourselves daily in Oxford, and so I thought this charity would make the fundraising seem most immediate.”
However, some students have been less than impressed by the guide. One Pembroke student, who wished to remain anonymous, said, “If someone were running a marathon they would be expected to put in months of training so I find it weird that Simon only decided to put an afternoon of work into this.”
He added that the ‘Overview’ was only made possible through the encouragement of his friends and the editing help of Martine Wauben and Eden Bailey.