Union defies anti-joining campaign

first_imgA University wide campaign, launched to discourage freshers from joining the Union has been traced to anti-smoking campaigners. In a renewed attempt to ban smoking in the Union bar, anti-tobacco activists entitled ‘Students for an Honest Union’ (SHU) have placed posters and distributed flyers urging freshers “Please Don’t Join the Oxford Union”. These moves fulfil an ultimatum made to last term’s Union President Ambrose Faulks. In an email, the campaign’s perpetrator Patrick Mackerras, warned that if a referendum was not initiated on the issue, he would “run the biggest anti-membership drive Oxford has ever seen”. Patrick Mackerras, who completed his studies at Oxford three years ago, and was a former head of the student wing of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), organised the successful campaign that banned smoking in Michaelmas 2000, though this was subsequently overturned in a controversial referendum two years later. Union President Markus Walker responded that it was “pathetic that a man who left Oxford years ago cannot let the matter lie.” Although SHU have attempted to maintain anonymity, indeed naming their spokesman as the non-existent “R Smith of Balliol”, it is thought that a Mackerras family contact in Oxford has conducted the campaign in the city.ARCHIVE: 1st Week MT2003last_img read more

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