Student representatives at one of the country’s most prestigious universities have voted to create a “Class Liberation Officer” to protect the working classes from “microaggressions” such as being called a “chav”.
The student officials at St. Hilda’s College will now run compulsory workshops to instruct pupils not to make jokes about where each other went to school, their hometown, or what they wear, because it could “upset” the poor.
Charles Ors, who proposed the motion, argued that people from working-class backgrounds needed special recognition like sexual and ethnic identity and minority groups.
“Through the creation of the position we hope firstly to have more accessible and comprehensive support for students from a socio/economically disadvantaged/working class background – we hope that the position will provide this support and representation,” he told the Oxford Student.
The motion claimed the new officer would “represent the interests of students from working class backgrounds and act in a similar way to the POC [People of Colour] and RE Officer, LGBTQ+ Officer, Women’s Officer and Disabilities Officer to represent students who self-identify as being part of this group.”
King’s College London, Manchester University, and the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) already have similarly appointed officers to care for working-class students.
St Hilda’s was founded in 1893 as an all-female college but opened its doors to men in 2007.
One student told The Sunday Times: “Insults such as ‘chav’, chav-themed social nights and questions such as ‘why are you wearing Primark?’ can make poor students feel upset and worthless.”
Chav – a derogatory term used to describe some working class people – themed parties have been banned at a number of British universities as they are said to be ‘offensive’.
Bristol University’s cheerleading team was ordered to cancel their chav-themed annual social this October. Angry Student Union officials said the event risked being guilty of “cultural appropriation”.