Corpus Christi JCR scraps anonymous motions

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All JCR motions at Corpus Christi will from now on have to have an identified proposer and seconder, as it was felt that anonymous motions were redundant and potentially harmful.

At last week’s JCR meeting, a motion was proposed to make anonymous motions easier to submit.

This drew clear opposition and an amendment was drawn up proposing the abolition of anonymous motions altogether. This amendment passed unopposed and a full proposal was written.

The new proposal read that “anonymous motions were recently introduced into the JCR Constitution and they have had limited use”. Worries that anonymous motions could be undemocratic were the driving force behind the proposal. It was feared that an anonymous motion could allow someone who was not a member of the Corpus JCR body to submit any kind of motion, leaving members only to trust that it came from someone within the JCR. Amendments proposed to any such anonymous motions would also have to be relied upon to be friendly.

Anonymous motions had been used only once since their introduction. It was felt that the potential harm they could cause outweighed their benefits.
One of the obvious advantages of an anonymous JCR motion would be that, in the case of a sensitive issue, a motion could be submitted without the proposer’s identity being revealed.

However, it was raised at the meeting that there were ways around this problem. As Corpus JCR Vice-President Harry Begg pointed out, “There are still other vehicles with which people are able to put forward motions, for example through our welfare team who could act as proxy proposers and seconders.”

Begg also said that he hoped that anyone who felt passionate enough to propose a motion, would feel secure enough to publicly support it, if only by proxy telling Cherwell, “I would question if there could ever be a motion which would find support in the JCR where the person proposing was not comfortable appearing in public to support the spirit and content of that proposition.”

Gayatri Parthasarathy and Abigail Burman, the proposer and seconder, were unavailable for comment.

Although there were no objections, JCR member Nam Phuong Dinh had some misgivings about an outright ban, “I didn’t object to the motion at the meeting but I feel uneasy somehow. However, it seems like abolishing anonymous motions would get rid of more problems than it would create harm. Basically, I can’t think of why not.”

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