Loud singing after the weekly OUCA event Port and Policy has sparked two incidents in the aftermath of the General Election.
Somerville English finalists have expressed frustration over noise levels at this week’s Port and Policy after being assured that steps would be taken to keep the noise down. The previous week, a first year Port and Policy attendee was allegedly attacked after the event following a political dispute and provocative singing.
An English finalist from Somerville, who began final exams on Monday, emailed the OUCA President last week to express concerns about noise levels in advance of Port and Policy, which takes place in St Giles’ Church, across the road from his accommodation.
The President of OUCA, Maryam Ahmed, acknowledged the importance of sleep ahead of exams and promised to propose to OUCA Council that there be limits on alcohol, an outright ban on singing at the end of the meeting, limits on attendance and an announcement at the start of each event stating that shouts of ‘Shame’ disturb other students. She also said that she would propose that anyone seen exhibiting rowdy behaviour would be sanctioned by the association.
According to the students, however, noise levels this week were comparable to previous weeks.
One English finalist at Somerville, who wished to remain anonymous, told Cherwell, “At 11 o’clock last Sunday I was asleep before my first final examination at 9.30am the next morning.
“I was awoken by a loud group singing pa- triotic songs and kept up until 11.30. It was unnecessary and added extra stress before my finals. My housemate was also woken up who also had finals at 9:30am.”
Cherwell understands that none of the proposed measures were enacted.
OUCA President Maryam Ahmed declined to comment on this issue.
This is not the first time this term that singing after Port and Policy has been contentious. According to first year student Shane Finn, he was attacked after 3rd week Port and Policy.
He claims to have been approached by two people singing ‘The Red Flag’, a traditional socialist song and the unofficial anthem of the Labour Party, just before 1am.
OUCA members, he claims, responded by singing ‘I Vow to Thee My Country’. Finn claims that he was then seized by the throat and when the attacker was pulled away, he called Finn a “traitor” to his country for being an Irish Conservative. Finn has since brought a complaint to the police.
The wake of the General Election has seen an increase in political tensions in Oxford. A number of Conservative voters have complained about the treatment they have received, especially over social media.
Some members of the Oxford Left have defended their stance, however.
NUS Disabled Students’ National Executive Committee representative James Elliott told Cherwell, “There’s a reason some Tories are shy, and that’s because voting for a government who have explicitly committed to cut benefits for disabled people isn’t something to shout about.
“I think it’s good that left-wingers in Oxford engage and debate the reactionary views of some right-wing students, who don’t make the connection that their politics has an impact on the lives of those less fortunate”.