Press Statement: Academic Hate Speech Motion

Oxford SU Logo over notepad

Student Council is a democratic body of students whose membership includes voting members from all Colleges at the University of Oxford, sectional and liberational campaigns, Divisional Academic reps, and Student Union Officers. While Student Council is facilitated by Oxford SU to assist in its running, its function - as in any Student Union - is to allow student members to bring and debate motions, vote on those motions, bring items for discussion, vote on leadership positions and more. In many student unions, this is referred to as the ‘student voice’.  

The student voice of the University of Oxford is often ignored. This body seeks to change that. Those who engage in it, and all members are encouraged to do so, can bring motions, amendments, counter-motions, bid for funding for projects, and much, much more.  

Although they are voting members Oxford SU Sabbatical Officers are held to account by, and can be mandated by, Student Council motions. These motions can determine the actions of the Sabbatical Officers and reflect how Student Council voted. These motions are debated by the students seeking to mandate the Officers, discussed, amended if students wish it, voted on and enacted.  

For the full breakdown of the function and rules of Student Council, please see the governing documents hosted on the SU website:  

Since the social distancing restrictions, Oxford SU has worked with Student Council to ensure its function continues as we deem it extremely important. This means students continue to have a space to have their say on any matter brought, to hear the progress of Oxford SU Sabbatical Officers and scrutinise them, vote on matters which affect students, and shape the work of their Student Union. Student Council has created a digital version of itself which it deems encourages debate and engagement. Student Council has asked for feedback at every opportunity from its members and will make changes as needed to its format. The Chair of Council encourages all members to complete the feedback form sent to their university email addresses, any changes made to the format will be communicated to members.  

Regarding the motion, Academic Hate Speech which was brought in Trinity Term 1st Week Student Council 2020; this motion received no comments and therefore no debate and the members of Student Council voted to pass it. Sabbatical Officers are now mandated by Student Council to release a statement based on the resolves of that motion; their statement is now available on the SU website for members and social media channels.  

We request, again, for the University and all press to contact us for fair comment.