Don’t mix your drinkers

first_imgOutraged Oriel students have rallied round their college staff in a confrontation over whether they should be allowed to drink at the college bar. Two weeks ago the College Steward banned staff members from drinking with students. The Steward, Jean Medd, was unavailable for comment at the time of going to press but has provided no official justification to either staff or students for his sudden decision. The ban has been met with a combination of anger and perplexity. The Steward has been described by one graduate student, who wished to remain anonymous, as “an evil man” who has soured relations between staff and the JCR for some time. In response to the College’s actions, a motion was brought at last weekend’s JCR meeting calling for the ban to be lifted and college staff to be allowed to drink alongside students just as they had done for centuries. The meeting was attended by a “sizeable crowd” and the motion passed unanimously. However, the JCR lacks the authority to decide who can and cannot drink at the college bar and so the motion is little more than a protest and signal of solidarity with college staff. One member of the college told Cherwell that “the college is notoriously bad at listening to its students and so I doubt they’ll take any notice of this vote”. Other students argued this was about a broader principle than simply drinking rights; Rhiannon Brooks explained, “The college staff are very nice people and we are one college, one community. This ban threatens the tight knit close atmosphere that makes a small college like Oriel so special.” Second-year lawyer Mohammed Khuram agreed that “healthy relations existed between college staff and students” and that he was outraged that these “good chaps should be forced into an Upstairs, Downstairs relationship with students”. College staff echoed the views of students; one porter commented, “There is a long tradition of porters drinking with students. We are all members of the college after all and I see no reason why we should not be treated as such. College staff have been given no reason for why this ban has been introduced and I’m pleased that the JCR are fighting it.”ARCHIVE: 3rd week TT 2004last_img

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