A world which recently had no idea South College (est. 2020) existed now knows it as the epicentre of the latest story about student cancel culture, and amidst the fallout a letter’s floating around in which the colleges’ JCR presidents collectively demand a greater say for students—over whom colleges invite. (I thought that was what Cuth’s was for.) That probably is indeed the sort of bone they’ll be thrown.
This (increasingly literal) greybeard was around in 2009, when changes to charity law forced all the common rooms to replace their constitutional documents while lacking budgets for proper legal advice, and the University’s ‘helpful’ manoeuvres were generally understood to be a land-grab by the Registrar. Now the University’s central leadership is being publicly embarrassed by students who hold it responsible for minutiae of college life.
In other circumstances it might have been heartening to see Durham JCRs out to claw back some autonomy, and a suitably cunning student leadership might be properly able to exploit the opportunity. This lot, however, are set to blow it.
Addendum: also amusing are reports that the student revolt at South College will include mass applications to transfer to other colleges, as though that could be seen as anything but an attempt to trade up to somewhere established enough to have amenities like an alumni network. How many people’s first choice was South College in the first place?
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