Principal's Blog: Early December 2018

blogBowerscrop1Visit of David Cameron, 23 November:
David Cameron visited College, as widely reported in the press (despite it being a private event!). He gave a stimulating talk to our PPE students, answered questions and was very well received by our students. 

Revd Prebendary Rose Hudson-Wilkin:
On 18 November, we were delighted to welcome Revd Preb Rose Hudson-Wilkin, the Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons, to preach in chapel. Born in Montego Bay, Jamaica, she had a strong sense of vocation and was one of the first females to be ordained a priest in 1994. Prior to this time, there were no female priests in the Church of England. She also mentioned how, after first migrating to the UK, her family had encountered casual racism in times past in the Church, such as people saying, “You must have come to the wrong church”.  She spoke more generally about and celebrated the Windrush generation of West Indian immigrants who have and continue to contribute so much to society in this country.

JCR Diversities Week:
Last week, the JCR celebrated Brasenose’s first Diversities Week, supported by funding from the College. The week started with an international welfare tea, hosted by our international students’ rep, Eunice. Food and culture are often inextricably interlinked – so that this welfare tea enabled members of the JCR not only to share their homemade baked goods, including German Christmas cookies, Finnish pastry and Chinese lychee jelly, but also talk freely about their traditions at home. On Monday evening, around eight students attended a mental health pub trip.

On Tuesday, the LGBTQ+ rep, Sarah, hosted an arts and crafts session, making bunting to be displayed in the JCR. There was a hugely popular Lebanese formal that evening, where students enjoyed a menu carefully designed by Natalie’s grandma. Natalie organized a thought-provoking panel discussion on Wednesday, which questioned the value of cultural spaces in Oxford.

On Thursday, Brasenose welcomed Susie MacDonald, CEO of Tender, a charity working to stop sexual and domestic violence, as the guest speaker at the first Women’s Lunch.

The final day of Diversities Week focused on women’s rights, starting with a feminist life drawing class run by campaigners from the Anti-Diet Riot Club, a body positivity charity. In the evening, the JCR hosted Mandu Reid, from the menstrual rights charity The Cup Effect, as the guest speaker at the Women’s formal. She talked about how socially and environmentally sustainable sanitary products are central to improving women’s rights and education on a global scale.

The College, like the University, is committed to supporting EU employees wanting to stay in the UK after Brexit, and has agreed to pay their fees for application for Settled Status.

Congratulations to Sean Cuddihy for appearing on The Chase; sadly, I could not watch it.

It was great to entertain for breakfast a distinguished alumnus Humphrey Malins, a former MP in Surrey, on 15 November, who coincidentally gave me my first brief at the Bar.

Our excellent Stanford Visiting Academic, Professor Charles Kolstad, organised a trip on 21 November to meet with Claire Perry MP, an alumna and now Minister for Climate Change, about her climate change policies. She drew on her Brasenose experience as reading physical geography. It was fitting that the visit was on the centenary of allowing women to be MPs. 

The Brasenose Branch of the Grimsby Town Supports Club were out in force (well two of us) to see Grimsby draw two two with Northampton Town in a closely fought match at Northampton.

[I am grateful to the JCR Diversities Rep for the report of Diversities Week]

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