Union denies OxHub Free Rooms

first_imgThe Oxford Union Standing Committee has voted this term against waiving the room hire fee for the Oxford Hub to hold their weekly Series programme.The motion, proposed by President Stuart Cullen, which would have seen the continuation of the arrangement begun in Trinity Term 2009, was rejected by the Standing Committee with 8 opposing and 2 abstaining.Over the previous two terms, the Series has provided the Union with several high profile speakers secured through Oxford Hub contacts, such as Rwandan genocide survivor Jean Baptiste Kayigamba and Eliot Whittington, the climate specialist for Christian Aid.However, the Union stated that this term’s crowded term card, including former UN Ambassador Sir Jeremy Greenstock and Conservative MP Damian Green, has made it impossible for them to accommodate the Series event on the Wednesday evening slot.Cullen explained, “We felt that the series did not contain speakers which merited cancelling or moving these speakers and events to later dates.”The Oxford Hub President lobbied the Union to allow the arrangement to continue in a letter outlining the benefits provided to the society.The letter stated that the Series’ diverse range of speakers and coverage of ethical and environmental issues, helped to encourage a wider variety of students than usual to attend the Union, providing an ideal opportunity to recruit new members. However, Standing Committee doubted that this was a tangible benefit.Some felt that by offering free use of the rooms to Oxford Hub, the Union is allowing it an unfair privilege over other student societies.It has also been revealed that there may be other issues which contributed to the Standing Committee’s decision; the arrangement stipulated a mutually beneficial advertising campaign from both organisations, however some have felt that the arrangement has not performed as well as expected.What the Union’s withdrawal from the arrangement means for the future of the two societies’ partnership is not clear. Union President Stuart Cullen stated that “This is in no means a reflection on the work of the Oxford Hub, which the Union looks forward to working with in terms which are slightly less hectic!”Meanwhile the Oxford Hub Series has relocated to the Saskatchewan Room at Exeter College, with the first debate on climate change including Simon Berry, founder of Cola Life and a representative of supermarket giant Tesco.One member of the Union commented, “Although it is a pity for OxHub to not have use of the Union rooms, Exeter is still a central, convenient location for a lot of students.”last_img read more