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By Tim Williams
Undergraduates will be seeing more of their tutors than they bargained for as the MCR Presidents’ Committee prepares to launch its charity naked calendar on Tuesday.
A mixture of current and former MCR presidents have been photographed nude over recent weeks in the hope their calendar will raise money for The Gold Coast Fund, a charity founded by former St Hilda’s MCR Vice-President Kojo Minta who died this August aged 24.
A motion proposed by then-Queen’s President Luigi Prada at the final Trinity term committee meeting kick-started the idea and it has received unanimous support from MCRs.
Prada, who also modelled at the shoot, hopes the launch night at The House on 11th October will be “fun, especially for undergrads to see some of the grad students who have been tutoring them in a different light”.
“Posing naked in an Oxford college lawn or in a punt was a very interesting experience – at first embarrassing but it got more amusing and less awkward,” he added. “We wanted photos that were entertaining but reflected the daily life of Oxford students. We were not looking for shots that looked ‘sexy’ – in the end we’re MCR Presidents, not models.”
The photos, which include a female wrapped naked around a tree branch, were all taken on college properties with official permission.
Current MCR presidents posing for the calendar include Stephanie Jones (Merton), Michael Klaput (St John’s) and Rob Noble (Linacre). Former presidents include Laura Pereira, Roman Priebe and Angela Cummine. The two photographers were Brett Tulley and Anatole Oudaille-Diethardt, a post-graduate at St John’s.
Cummine explained the reasoning behind the unusual method of fundraising: “Oxford is full of overachieving alpha types. Not even fund-raising is safe. Our best and brightest raise money for charity through hyper-athletic feats – running 7 marathons in 7 days, scaling Kilimanjaro while carrying their grandmother, swimming backwards across the Atlantic blindfolded. We can’t all be David Williams.”
She continued: “MCR Presidents wanted to send a strong message that mediocrity is a perfectly worthy fund-raising technique. We don’t want our donors to feel inadequate when they support this cause. And they certainly will not when they get to stare at our retina-blinding pastiness all this academic year.’
Kojo Minta drowned in a river accident in the south of France on 10th August. The Gold Coast Fund has been building village libraries in West Africa since he set it up in 2006. All proceeds from the £10 calendars will go to the charity.