Versa | Beware Oxford’s latest political animal – the OUSU CEO

We hear the new OUSU CEO has been very involved in OUSU politics of late.

Ms Foster helped spearhead a motion to withdraw support for this week’s Free Education Demonstration which was moved at last week’s OUSU council. Her views on the “risks” involved with supporting the demonstration were extensively quoted. The rationale for the inclusion of her statements?  The training she had in “risk assessment”.

We were slightly taken aback by the use of the first person pronoun within the motion: “I would require evidence that the number of stewards will be as described in the risk assessment (and I note that this is proving problematic)”, she said. The trustees even threatened to withdraw OUSU’s support if council failed to pass the motion. Apparently being trained in “risk assessment” is a sufficient mandate to overrule democracy…

It worries us further that their concern was not explicitly the safety of students, but their own skins: “The members of the trustee board and the Chief Executive Officer are personally liable in the event of an incident.”

Turns out that the trustees’ indemnities are covered by OUSU and, should it be wound up, they are actually only liable up to £1 each. “Personally liable”?

Louis Trup, when proposing the motion, was even quoted as saying that he did not “want to be doing this”. Is it really our elected representatives calling the shots at OUSU, or perhaps there is another power behind the throne?

We also note that Ms Foster has a penchant for using “risk” as a reason to interfere with other organisations…

Tags: bureaucracy — free education — OUSU