Christ Church’s election to choose a new Student Union Representative went uncontested after one candidate dropped out, following controversy around a hustings challenge.
After the candidate withdrew, Christ Church’s JCR President Joseph Grehan-Bradley said in a JCR Committee meeting: “I think the primary reason they dropped out was the Oxfess”, in reference to a post criticising the candidate’s decision to reject a hustings challenge.
The challenge, which required the candidates to eat 1kg of any food of their choosing, was branded “very disagreeable” by Senior Censor Brian Young in a Censor’s meeting. Young added: “I have an issue with challenges to do with eating, as eating disorders are on the rise.”
Sebastian Laclau, JCR VP, said: “OUSU Rep Will Urukalo…was happy to change the challenge, but then it emerged this candidate was not keen to do any challenge, and so they pulled out of the running.”
Christ Church’s administration also took issue with a recent Sport’s Rep challenge which involved candidates downing 4 VKs.
Geraldine Johnson, Christ Church’s Junior Censor, commented that this “cannot be a challenge anymore”. Ms Johnson sent an email to Christ Church’s JCR, informing them that any further challenges would require prior approval by the college’s administration.
This follows her comments, made in the same meeting as Mr Young’s, that hustings challenges “in most cases involve men imposing challenges on women, expecting them to go along with them for the fun”.
She added that this issue of challenges was “a more serious case than the P Club”, a reference to reports last week that Senior Censor Brian Young was running an exclusive dining society called the ‘Pythic (P) Club’.
Hustings for the SU rep role went ahead with the only candidate, Nico Stone, who elected to eat a whole roast chicken.
The withdrawn candidate declined to comment.