Students at Corpus Christi College, University of Oxford, have voted to rename an ‘offensive’ room name, following allegations of sexual misconduct against the professor the room was named after. This decision follows several high-profile cases, where questions have been raised regarding buildings being named after divisive figures. This case shows that student’s continue to have a voice in the running of University’s. Read on for the full story!
As mentioned, this decision relates to the Corpus Christi college at the University of Oxford. A room frequented by students at the college was named the ‘Fraenkel Room’ – renamed after Eduard Fraenkel – a well-respected professor. However, following his death in 1970, allegations of sexual misconduct were raised by Baroness Mary Warnock – a well-known philosopher. Ever since then, there has been controversy over his legacy – including the room at the college.
As the room hosts both male and female students, it was suggested it was ‘vital’ to change the name, to ensure no offence was caused. Following discussion, the student-controlled Junior Common Room (JCR) of the college took a vote on the name change. Out of 37 votes, 35 – an overwhelming majority, voted in favour. One disagreed, while one abstained. The JCR will now lobby the College to change the name. The decision was also made to remove Fraenkel’s portrait from the room.
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This is the latest in a long line of incidents regarding historical figures appearing at University’s in the contemporary age, following allegations against them. Some critics of this decision have suggested the College are effectively deleting history. However, given the overall amount of votes in favour of the name change, it appears that it is something the student’s felt strongly about. This has resulted in the vote, which looks set to result in a name-change at Corpus Christi College.