Christ Church students, some still in the middle of exams, face being removed from their rooms by college authorities over the weekend of the college ball.
In a JCR motion, it is reported , citing non-specific “security reasons”, that the college has ordered that students living in Meadows, Old Library and Tom Quad areas leave their rooms from the 21st June, barring their return until the following day.
The College previously stated that the restrictions would only last during the period the ball itself is being held.
However, as well as extending the ban period, students have accused the college of not making any specific dispensation for members with examinations.
In an emergency JCR meeting held on Sunday, a drafted motion claimed, “This lack of foreknowledge has limited the options of students living in affected areas and constitutes the ticket contract to now be unfair.”
It added, “This House is our house, and displacing members, but not alumni and non-students, from their residence on the basis they are a security risk is distasteful.”
However, Rachel Perham, PA to the Dean of Christ Church, insisted that students would not be barred from their rooms until the afternoon of the 22nd, as the JCR motion has suggested.
“As happens at many other colleges,” she said, “Undergraduates will vacate rooms within the ball perimeter from 12 noon on the day of the ball and be escorted back in groups after the ball between 6.30 and 7.30 am the following morning.”
Perham also refuted the suggestion that the college was working against the wishes of students, telling Cherwell, “These arrangements were proposed by the ball committee whose members are mainly undergraduate students, and are the result of lengthy negotiations with the JCR.”
In response to claims that the college had made “no specific dispensation” for members with examinations, the college has agreed to give “students with public examinations on the day of the ball or at the beginning of week 9 priority in allocation of alternative accommodation should they not wish to attend the ball.”
Perham stated that there would be “special arrangements for those who need to access their belongings after examinations on the morning of the ball.”
However, it would seem that claims by the students’ JCR motion for the college to “reimburse members for the cost of finding alternative accommodation” have been disregarded, with Christ Church college stating, “Undergraduate licence agreements cover the period until 9.30 am on the day of the Ball, and residence after this time requires special permission, […] there is no question of undergraduates being evicted from rooms.”
Meanwhile, Felix Goodman, a student at Christ Church, spoke in favour of the college’s decision, telling Cherwell that, “The Ball as it is is going to be a security nightmare”.
He further stated that he could, “completely understand the college’s desire to make their job slightly easier by shutting these rooms,” suspecting that, “the reason for closing many of these rooms on the night of the ball is to reduce the opportunity for sniper cover.”
Negotiations continue between the JCR and the college.
The JCR President was unavailable for comment when approached by Cherwell.