In a shocking turn of events that has us here at VERSA disgusted, Wadham College – that heroic beacon of social equality – has been advertising for an “Assistant Butler”.

What is an assistant butler? Is the main butler so overworked catering to the needs of Wadhamites that he/she/they/hen/zhe simply cannot function alone anymore? What exactly will these Wadham children do with an assistant butler; will he or she be pouring their drinks at Beer and Bickering? Have they just taken edginess to a whole new level by forcing us to expect the unexpected? How will they attempt to justify this? Is it an ironic assistant butler?


“Would sir care to partake of a gluten-free, vegan, ethically sourced non-binary canapé?”

Not only is Wadham employing servants, it intends to pay them peanuts: £19,000 pa, on a full time basis. Considering the average worker in Oxford earns £26,500 and the average house costs £426,720 (2014), this really is a pittance. Perhaps the Wadhamites will let the assistant butler sleep on the ends of their beds, like a pet dog, so they can brag to their cool friends about how they are “totally bezzie mates with a butler” and “don’t judge people based on their earnings and economic background”. Maybe they will take ironic selfies to show how inclusive and nice they are?

I believe that this move is certainly a risky one, and has put Wadham’s reputation on the line. I feel something big is coming. Will students at Oriel start shouting pro-Corbyn propaganda  and “Rhodes must fall” into the streets? Will Teddy Hall dwellers begin picking flowers and skipping through fields?  Christchurch might finally admit it has an Eton problem and Mertonians may even venture out of Merton (but perhaps that’s just too much of a dream). It is time for a change. Maybe Wadham has taken this appalling action to incite change and social movement across all of Oxford.

Soooooo meta. Soooooo Wadham.

This article has 4 comments

  1. this is an absolute non-story


  3. This article is very crass, you haven’t explained what the actual job of the Assistant Butler is, and don’t seem to know yourself. From the job advert it seems certain that this is just an old-fashioned title for an administrative catering function that all other colleges perform under another title. If they were called ‘Assistant Head Caterer’ or something of the sort, would you have written the article?

    The title may conjure up images of Scooby Doo and Downton Abbey, but I can’t imagine that that’s what the function of the Assistant Butler is in Wadham in any way, shape or form. I don’t know of course for sure-because you haven’t researched it and it isn’t present in your article. What is inflammatory however is your repeated insistence that the people working for the college are ‘servants’, and your caricature of the role that this Assistant Butler might be fulfilling. There are plenty of sensible complaints to make about Wadham, but the only person who has displayed elitism here is you.

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