Oriel JCR Disaffiliates from OUSU
In a tale of resignations, confusion and constitutional lawyers.
In a decision delayed over the Christmas vac, and a consultation with an independent constitutional lawyer, Oriel JCR yesterday officially disaffiliated from OUSU.
The result of the referendum was reviewed due to confusion surrounding the inclusion of abstentions in the overall vote total, attributed to an ambiguous constitution, contributing to the needed supermajority of votes needed to win the referendum.
The result means that Oriel JCR will remain disaffiliated until Michaelmas 2014, when Louis Trup becomes the new OUSU President.
The decision was reached after asking a constitutional lawyer, who determined that “In deciding the outcome of a referendum vote, abstentions should not be counted as part of the total votes cast…”
The process surrounding the referendum was interrupted by multiple sets of rules being released, as well as the resignation of the Returning Officer during the weeks leading to the referendum itself.
One of the authors of the referendum’s disaffiliation motion said: “We of #disaffili8 sl8 made a clear st8ment last term – that we h8 OUSU’s misrepresent8ion of us and that Oriel’s history to d8 proved this. After a heated deb8 and despite referendumg8 and the associ8ed issues, as well as a tense w8, this was Oriel’s true f8.”
This change will have little impact on the overall relationship between OUSU and Oriel JCR, as members of the JCR will themselves remain individually affiliated with OUSU. However, the JCR will lose all of its votes in OUSU Council, and the OUSU Representative will have to be reviewed.