OxStu Editor fired – and blasts OUSU

Sacked OxStu ed Amelia Hamer slams OUSU for ‘gagging’ paper


Amelia Hamer has been removed as Editor of the Oxford Student.

Following her dismissal, the one-time Telegraph contributor attacked OUSU’s handling of the scandal and reported decision to curb the paper’s editorial independence.

In an email to the OxStu editorial team, Hamer claimed: “Today OUSU made a statement: the student press is only free until the President decides it isn’t.”

The email continued: “Everything you publish online now must be checked by OUSU – not just for legality but to ensure that it is in line with the “the interests of OUSU.”

In a statement published on the OUSU website this evening, The Board of Oxford Student Services Limited (OSSL) said that they had “lost confidence” in Hamer following the publication of an article in which the OxStu Ed claimed that ex-Union President Ben Sullivan’s alleged rape victims “knew their claims to be false”.

The article, also published in The Telegraph, also said that the alleged victim “had a reputation” for being promiscuous.

Hamer wrote: “The student is believed to have boasted of sleeping with ‘Union Hacks’ who regularly feature in Oxford’s three student newspapers.”

The publication of the article this June came shortly after the police announced Sullivan was not to be charged.

Hamer was blamed for “victim blaming” and “slut shaming” and a petition was started to end her tenure as Editor of the OxStu.

Hamer claims the OxStu has lost editorial independence

Since the article’s publication, the petition has garnered 316 supporters, and criticises Hamer for insinuating that an alleged rape victim at Oxford University should be seen as less credible because the student “had a reputation” for being promiscuous.

Defending her decision to publish the article, Hamer claimed she went ahead with the piece because “the information was in the public interest and that doing so was not illegal and did not break the PCC’s Editor’s Code of Conduct.”

She added that the Telegraph newspaper had published the same piece.

In a meeting last week, Louis Trup, OUSU President, reportedly requested Hamer’s resignation from the paper.

In an interview with The Tab, Hamer said she “refused to do so on principle; I had not behaved in a way that was against the rules or responsibilities under which I had been appointed.”

Speaking about her formal removal from the paper, Hamer said: “The OSSL Board is comprised of the OUSU President, Louis Trup, Vice-Presidents and an OUSU staff member.

“They have every reason to be concerned about their political reputations and little reason to be motivated by public interest and freedom of the press”.

OUSU president LJ Trup (centre)

She continued: “In obeying the demands of a small, disgruntled pressure group, OUSU has effectively gagged the paper and prevented them from reporting stories that may be unpopular but are still in the public interest.

“A precedent has now been set for the removal of an editor when the President is under enough pressure from a vocal group of individuals who disagree with a story.”

In light of this result, Siobhan Fenton, who organised of the petition calling for Hamer’s resignation said: “I began the petition calling for Amelia Hamer’s resignation as, like many Oxford students, I was appalled and frustrated by the university’s inadequate initial response.

“I am relieved by the OSSL board’s decision to now remove Amelia Hamer as editor of the OxStu.

“As many as one in four women at Oxford will be raped or sexually assaulted over the course of their degree.

“All victims deserve to be treated with dignity and should never have to face such appalling attempts at slut shaming and victim blaming.”

Amelia Hamer was not granted a hearing, but is allowed to appeal the decision.

OUSU have been asked to comment but are yet to respond.