OA4P Responds to Oxford Admin Crackdown on Protest Rights

8 June 2024

This week, The Oxford Student released a story about the University's attempt to push through amendments to disciplinary code in Statute XI, set to be voted on at Congregation on June 11.

OA4P is extremely concerned about these amendments, which would significantly strip members of the University community's right to protest. They have an alarmingly large scope that would impact not just students, but anyone in the University community who voices dissent, including faculty and staff. Even more concerning, the University has unnecessarily bundled these repressive amendments with reforms around sexual misconduct and harassment – crucial policies that should be passed in their own capacity, distinct from attempts to curtail academic freedom.

Throughout history, meaningful progress at Universities has almost always stemmed from student protest. The Administration says it values productive dialogue with students – but it cannot claim to value dialogue while passing these kinds of draconian policies, which run counter to the pursuit of justice. We are heartened to see countless faculty and staff across disciplines and political orientations step forward and criticise these proposed amendments, and we encourage others to do the same.

OA4P remains committed to centring the University's imperative to act against israel's genocide in Gaza. We ask the University to focus on this urgent issue instead of aiming its efforts toward the suppression of our, and countless others', right to protest.