VERSA | Oxford Union to issue THIRD apology over cocktail cock-up

After the comprehensive idiocy of May 28th, the Oxford Union issued two public apologies for the scandal, and went so far as to decry itself publicly as “institutionally racist”. (That’ll encourage so many minorities, guys.)

But, in a new development to the saga of collective hand-wringing, VERSA can reveal that the Union is today expected to publish the following “commitment to action”.

Full text of the apology and commitment to action:

“On Thursday 28th May 2015 a racist cocktail was produced in the members’ bar. Both the cocktail itself and the surrounding publicity materials were racist, and the Standing Committee would like to apologise to all members and members of the public for this. The Standing Committee recognises that this incident is reflective of institutional racism within the Oxford Union Society and wider society as a whole. The Standing Committee’s initial response to this was wholly inadequate, failing to take account of the racist nature of the cocktail, and we apologise for this.

Following the treatment of the ex-BME Officer, a full apology has been issued to the ex-BME Officer by the President. The Standing Committee has failed to take sufficient account of the voices of members and committee members from marginalised groups – and in particular those people of colour – in their response to this.

The Standing Committee commits to eradicating racism and addressing the issues of institutional racism that it has recognised. The Standing Committee recognises that racism exists in society, that racism exists in the University of Oxford and that racism exists in the Oxford Union Society. This is a pernicious problem. However, the wider problems are not an excuse, and the Standing Committee commits to doing the following:

In the short term, to having oversight over the creation of debate cocktails and strengthening the mandate of the liberation officers, including giving the liberation officers full speaking rights at the meetings of the Standing Committee.

In the long term, the Standing Committee commits to hosting mandatory race and anti-racism workshops as part of committee induction for all of committee, and instituting a full consultative process to move forward.

With these commitments we join the pre-existing movement to address the pernicious problem of racism.

We thank all the individuals and also the following societies for their support in addressing the issues:

Campaign for Racial Awareness and Equality

Oxford African and Caribbean Society

Oxford Black Students Union

Oxford Pan African Forum

Oxford revolutionary socialism in the 21st century

Oxford Students’ Arab Cultural Society

Oxford University Africa Society

Oxford University Majlis Asian Society

Rhodes Must Fall in Oxford”

VERSA, whilst sympathetic, does not necessarily echo the Union’s gratitude to “Oxford revolutionary socialism in the 21st century”.