VERSA | Union debate sees hundreds queue for hours in freezing conditions

As the cold winds of winter swept across Oxford, 100s of bedraggled, overworked and somnambulant students crouched, hunched and shivered in the distant hope of getting into the EU debate at the Oxford Union. Hours passed and the queue grew from a band of keen intrepid first arrivals at 2pm to a continuous line stretching to St Peter’s College.

No one came out to count them. No one told half of them they couldn’t get in.

Those that did get in were unpleasantly surprised to see a full eight rows reserved for Union Committee and guests (eight?!).

 The entire front is reserved. Will @OxfordUnion be able to justify this with so many waiting in the cold? pic.twitter.com/m6bx8qtpCw

— Jonathan Goddard (@jonathangoddard) November 23, 2015

Some frostbitten students took to the event’s Facebook page to vent their frustration, with choice comments including:

“IS THIS A JOKE? I understand that there is a limited capacity but it’s absolutely ridiculous to make people wait in the cold until 15 minutes before the emergency debate begins before cutting the queue again. How is it possible that there is not one person on the committee who could count to 450 and let us get back to our work? We’re not paying £250 to freeze on the street for 3 hours +”

Another pissed off member commented on the Facebook event: “The only benefit I can take from my hours of queueing in the cold is the lovely warm Maccies I had.” #SiverLinings?

Someone’s even made a change.org petition (maybe a bit far?). Maybe the Union will consider ballots for events in future. Members have work, it’s cold, and they paid over £200 to join… they’d probably appreciate a bit of care and attention.

The only thing colder than the poor sod’s queueing tonight was Nigel’s pre-debate pint…