Hatfield JCR crush motion to rename Senior Man
Hatfield “Senior Man” attempts to change title to “JCR President,” but fails miserably after outcry from the JCR
In a move more unpopular than Gordon Brown not calling a snap general election at the start of his premiership, newly elected Hatfield College JCR Senior Man, Maria Neary, has proposed a motion to change the title of “Senior Man” to “JCR President.”
The motion, which was debated at a JCR general meeting on Sunday evening, said that the JCR believes that Hatfield “as a College pride [themselves] on promoting equality and inclusivity.”
It also made clear that the “title of Senior Man could be seen by some to implicitly suggest that the role was one for a man, or to perpetuate the idea that such a role of leadership was innately masculine. This therefore could alienate and dissuade women from pursuing positions of leadership in the College” and that the “title of Senior Man could be seen as celebrating a tradition of sexism.”
Despite the motion saying the change was to make the role inclusive for ‘non-binary’ students (those who do not identify with a certain gender), one second year Hatfield student commented that “It soon became clear she [Neary] was promoting her own agenda.”
A third year who was opposed to the idea made the point that “It wasn’t in her manifesto when she ran for the position, and now it is the first thing she is trying to change. There are more important things to address.”
Ex-Senior Man, Charlotte Furneaux, who vocally condemned the motion in the meeting, has commented that ” The defeat of the motion was almost unanimous which clearly shows that the JCR do not feel that the change is necessary. In light of the support for the status quo I don’t imagine that the motion would be brought up again and I would think that if it was the JCR would vote in the same way.”
It was also revealed in the meeting that Neary had tried to propose the motion the previous year, when she served on the exec as DSU rep, but the then-exec had warned her against it. One member of the previous exec, who did not want to be named, said “less than a term ‘in power’ and [Neary] is trying to force her personal preference through. It’s a farce” before adding “that’s not what being Senior Man is about, it’s not the Maria Neary show”
The minutes for the meeting show that only 6 people voted for the motion to pass, one of whom seconded it in the first place. It seems clear that this motion will not be revisited in the near future.
On the defeat Neary commented “I am pleased that the JCR got to voice their opinions on what I believe is an important issue.”
Many Hatfield students the Tab has spoken to seem to believe that, in a time when the college system faces challenges, the unity their JCR has shown in upholding their traditions and values can only be a good thing.