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?
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.