MCR President resigns less than three months into his termAmanda Slater

Joe Shaughnessy, President of Jesus College MCR, resigned from his role on Tuesday (11/08) following an ongoing dispute with the College over their decision to list student representatives on the College Council as ‘charitable trustees’. 

The dispute saw Shaughnessy, less than three months into his term as MCR President, express serious concern over the College’s requirement for students representatives sitting on the College Council to also fulfil a trustee position.

The College Council, responsible for the governance of the College’s operations and management, is composed primarily of fellows although some students also sit on the Council. 

Four students are affected by the trustee requirement: the MCR president, the JCSU president, the undergraduate representative to Jesus College Council and the graduate representative to Jesus College Council.

Shaughnessy had previously written an open letter to the college arguing that it is “categorically inappropriate” for students to become a charitable trustee by virtue of their role on the College Council. However, the open letter failed to reach more than 60 signatories. 

Despite the MCR president’s objections to the conflict of interest presented by the trusteeship requirement, Jesus College did not change its position on the issue, resulting in Shaughnessy taking the decision to resign. 

Speaking to Varsity, Shaughnessy said that “the College’s position with regards to student Trustees [is] unacceptable” and if not were not for the trusteeship requirement, he “would not have resigned as MCR President.” 


Mountain View

Jesus MCR President ‘prepared to resign’ over dispute with college leadership

A spokesperson for Jesus College told Varsity that they “are taking the matters raised by [Shaughnessy] very seriously”. The spokesperson continued: “Mr Shaughnessy identified that there was a need for the College, the JCSU and the MCR to make [the presidential] position clearer; we will make that change for all future elections.” The College also asserted that it is “loathe to lessen the equity of membership in the College’s democratic position.” 

Amidst the controversy, Shaughnessy posted a now-deleted Facebook post about the dispute containing the phrase: ‘not my circus, not my monkeys’. Shaughnessy removed the post after a member of the Jesus College MCR Committee suggested to Shaughnessy that the phrase could be triggering for black students. 

In a later Facebook post, Shaughnessy stated that he “was not referring to people”, and that he “apologise[s] for anybody who understood it as such”. 

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