Magdalen College’s JCR has released a statement regarding the past and present litigation of its President, Dinah Rose QC, ahead of a general meeting of the entire JCR this weekend.
Condemning Rose’s representation of the Caymanian Government in two cases where that government sought to prevent the legalisation of gay marriage in the British overseas territory, the JCR reiterated that it “wholeheartedly supports the LGBTQ+ community both within and outside of our college walls”.
Whilst acknowledging the college President’s defence that “professional obligations” may have constrained her ability not to represent the Cayman Islands’ Government, they also emphasised the need for the President of their college to make it an inclusive and “welcoming environment” for all students.
The statement continues to note that this furore has raised a number of concerns for students that will require a “frank discussion” to resolve and thus restore the faith of the JCR in its college’s leader. The statement was thus put out ahead of a general meeting where it is hoped that “the JCR as a whole will discuss the issue and decide on a course of action”.
JCR President Svenja Helmold comments:
“The Magdalen JCR Committee has released a statement. In the coming days we will look to gather more information on this issue to answer the questions of JCR members. We hope this will allow the entire JCR to have a full and constructive discussion at its General Meeting on Sunday, where the appropriate course of action will be decided. We strongly stand for inclusivity and oppose any discrimination towards the LGBTQ+ community whatsoever. We understand that this is a distressing time for some members of the JCR and we offer them our full support.”
The statement from the JCR Committee in full reads:
The Magdalen JCR Committee wholeheartedly supports the LGBTQ+ community both within and outside of our college walls. We are committed to fostering a welcoming environment to meet the needs of the diverse student body who call the college their home.
Dinah Rose’s involvement in The Deputy Registrar of the Cayman Islands and the Attorney General of the Cayman Islands v Day (Chantelle) and Bush (Vickie Bodden) has concerned students, due to the real and significant negative impact it has on the LGBTQ+ community not only in the Cayman Islands but also within college walls. We acknowledge that Dinah Rose may have professional obligations acting as a constraint on her actions, but we believe that as president of the college she also has a responsibility to make Magdalen a welcoming environment for all students.
We intend to communicate the concerns from the student body that we represent, particularly those from LGBTQ+ students. We must have a frank discussion as to how the president can regain the trust of those who have been hurt by this news.
We understand that many members of the JCR have questions that they feel need answering before we can have a full and constructive discussion on this issue. We are working on ways to ensure that these questions are answered before the GM on Sunday, where the JCR as a whole will discuss the issue and decide on a course of action. We encourage students to get in touch with the executive committee, the welfare team or the LGBTQ+ trustee if they have any thoughts, worries or queries they would like to express. We understand that this is a distressing time for some members of the JCR and we offer them our full support. We strongly stand for inclusivity and oppose any discrimination towards the LGBTQ+ community whatsoever.
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