At Merton’s last JCR meeting on Sunday of Third Week, a motion was proposed in Latin to withdraw the JCR’s affiliation with Sheffield Students’ Union. The motion did not pass.
Oliver Pateman, who seconded the motion, said that he and Sam Banks, who proposed the motion, had wanted to “resolve the inconsistency” of Merton JCR’s affiliation with two different student unions.
“In the case of OUSU, we have representation at OUSU Council, the right to vote in OUSU elections and the opportunity to get involved with and support OUSU campaigns among a whole gamut of benefits and responsibilities we get from OUSU membership,” Pateman stated. “By contrast, our ‘affiliation’ with Sheffield has brought the Merton JCR nothing other than a trip for two of its members to their SU bar while on an incidental visit to see a friend. We thought this disparity ought to be resolved by the [meeting].”
He added that he and Banks had “decided to write the motion in Latin as a bit of a joke”, as there was no requirement that that a JCR motion had to be written in English.
However, the majority of students present at the meeting did not support the motion and voted against it. Daniel Schwennicke and Toby Adkins both opposed to the motion being written in Latin, noting that it sounded pretentious.
Noting the “mood of the JCR that evening,” Pateman said that he does not anticipate similar motions regarding the Sheffield SU in the future.
“I think people find our ‘affiliation’ with Sheffield funny and unobtrusive enough in general to not be worth changing, which is why our motion struck the JCR as a bit of a waste of time,” Pateman said. However, he emphasised that he and Banks “did it with the best intentions, neither as a slight to Sheffield SU nor to the members of the Merton JCR who voted to affiliate initially.”