Accusations of harassment, sexual misconduct and other abusive behaviour have been levelled at members of Oxford University‘s Conservative Association, following a party. It is alleged that during the event, several drunk students behaved poorly throughout the night. In subsequent accounts, the students have been described as ‘arrogant’, ‘hypocritical’ and ‘louts’. The accusations revolve around the most recent Port and Policy party – something that is a weekly occurrence for the association. Read on for more.
The Oxford University Conservative Association were holding their weekly Port and Policy event, when anarchy appeared to ensue. Members were accused of verbally abusing locals, with one suggestion being that one individual screamed ‘I’ll buy their families’, while another ostensibly said ‘my castle is bigger than yours’. After eventually being refused to be served, the students moved on to the King’s Arms Pub, where they are believed to have started smashing glasses and bottles, and aggressively chanting.
The actions of the attendees has caused controversy, and has been condemned by many. Oxford University confirmed they would be investigating the event. The Association have had a history of misconduct. The Association were barred from affiliating with Oxford University between 2000 and 2009 following an incident where members actively engaged with Nazi salutes. Last year, one member was suspended from the Association after ripping down a Church flag pole – a move that caused outrage.
Other past indiscretions include members stealing a sign from a rival college before destroying it. They have a history of being accused of sexism – something that would be backed up by the recent event. Women were reportedly ‘groped’ at the event. Many have criticised the overriding ‘culture’ of the Association. As mentioned earlier, the Port and Policy events are held every Sunday, with the majority of events passing without incident. What precisely led to this event descending into chaos is unknown.
The controversy surrounding the Association is highly regrettable, especially as the Association has a very positive track record. Current Prime Minister Theresa May was formerly a member of the association, while the group have helped launch the careers of 13 cabinet members. Margaret Thatcher was the President of the Association in 1946. Jacob Rees-Mogg serves as the honorary President of the Association currently. Just a few days ago, he was heckled at a Society event held at UWE, where a brawl ensued.
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This negative news will be a disappointment to Oxford’s Conservative Association, who clearly in the past have faced problems. There is no doubting the good that the Association does, but there have been a string of problems attached to it. There is no doubt that the copious amounts of alcohol consumed during the events contributed to the consequences, though what is most worrying is the profound lack of class shown throughout by students that in the majority of cases could turn out to future leaders.