Anger over LMH “fit list”

Angered LMH students have attacked a “depraved and offensive” fit list that was allegedly circulated around the college by “shit lads” on the JCR committee.

The fit list is purported to rate the attractiveness of female freshers at the College.

According to an email forwarded by JCR President George Barnes, which he claimed was from the Dean, the list was also shared on Facebook.

However the President has now dismissed the email as “misinformed.”

Some students alleged that Barnes was also involved in writing the list. One LMH member, who wished not to be named, in fear of “reprisals from the lad Gestapo,” said: “It is essentially common knowledge that the JCR President was involved in what I consider misogynist and unacceptable behaviour. This is disgraceful and I have lost all confidence in the JCR as a student body as it currently stands.”

However Barnes denies all involvement in the so-called fit list. He said: “I must say I laughed quite a lot when I read this [allegation] it is a prime example of a college’s rumour mill exaggerating something. What happened (as far as I am aware), is that at the start of this year, our drinking society thought it might be good fun to crew date some of the freshers, especially as this seems to be a common thing throughout Oxford. The problem was that we didn’t know too many of the freshers at the time. I therefore sent out an email (I assume this is ‘my involvement’ in all this) asking the guys if they knew any who might quite like to come. A friend of mine then replied with names of some girls he had talked to and thought might quite like to come, and a few others then chipped in with names of fresher girls who they had met and thought would quite like to come too.”

“At no point was their physical appearance referred to or discussed in any way whatsoever. After a few days we then heard of this rumour that we had been compiling a ‘fit list’. We wanted to be associated with no such thing so decided to cancel the crewdate,” he added.

But when some students challenged JCR President George Barnes about the list he “laughed it off and dismissed it as banter.” One LMH JCR member, who wished not to be named, denounced the fit list as “degrading” and branded those responsible as “shit lads.”

“I understand that the people involved in writing the list were compiling names of the female freshers that they thought were the fittest, and they would then presumably target them at one of their wonderfully laddish nights out at Wahoo,” he said.

“What I find rather disreputable,” the student added “is that this issue of a degrading list about female students was raised at a JCR meeting, but both Sawhney and Barnes brushed the issue aside. Everyone had a good laugh and then moved onto the much more pressing business of some shit about husts.”

Another student called for Barnes to resign: “This is a really serious issue. Clearly female students were so offended by this that they went to the Dean about it, but the issue was just brushed off in a JCR meeting and treated as “banter”. This has completely undermined my confidence in the JCR and I think it’s only fair that both committee members involved stand down,” the student said.

One JCR member was particularly scathing about the alleged fit list: “I find it abhorrent not only that these individuals found it appropriate to circulate such a list, but also that the issue was dismissed offhand with no explanation or apology from the involved parties. The way it was laughed off at the meeting reflects a worrying acceptance of misogyny as being part and parcel of the ‘laddish’ culture, which has sadly permeated the JCR. It has left me with no confidence in the JCR, and I have good reason to be believed I am not alone. I think they should either step down or face serious consequences.”

LMH’s Dean Professor Christopher Shields declined to comment on whether he was investigating the fit list: “I have no knowledge of what you are alluding to,” he said.



  1. LMH

    24th November 2011 at 18:28

    The narrow-mindedness of Barnes and Sawhney has caused them to see the issue as a bit of a joke:

    Regardless of how they understand the nature of the list, it is quite clear that others do not share the same opinion. That they appear to dismiss opposing views out of hand and take pride in their newly acquired titles only goes to show the extent of their combined arrogance and naivety.

    Many at LMH will see Barnes’ comments as grossly mis-interpreting the facts and others will see them as outright lies. His entire statement is made up so as to spread the blame as far away from himself as possible.

    In any professional position, the pair would likely have been removed from their duties. As such, both individuals ought to issue a sincere apology to the JCR for any harm caused, or resign.

  2. s

    24th November 2011 at 18:58

    2nd year are shit.

  3. Tally-Ho

    24th November 2011 at 20:23

    GOOD GRIEF! Ths’ts a rather incriminating photo

  4. Emmeline Pankhurst

    24th November 2011 at 21:24

    I didn’t fight for this shit – out with the c*%$

  5. Heinrich Himmler

    24th November 2011 at 22:04

    Es freut mich, dass Herr Barnes mit unserem Partei anmelden moechte!

  6. anon.

    24th November 2011 at 22:32

    time for the two of them to fall on their respective pork swords?

  7. Anon

    24th November 2011 at 23:25

    “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” – Josef Goebbels

  8. Daniel Bruhl

    24th November 2011 at 23:28

    Die fetten Jahre sind vorbei!!!

  9. Simone

    25th November 2011 at 00:09

    If we are going to play at being politicians then we need to take the rap like them. I’ve seen the thick of it, I know how it works; apologise, resign, apologise again and you’ll be back on track in a different role. Treat it like a game, or “banter”, and people wont appreciate it. I’m not at Lady Margaret Hall but if this happened at Queen’s an apology would be absolutely demanded by the student body. Just my two cents.

  10. An observer

    25th November 2011 at 00:14

    In response to ‘LMH’:

    Firstly, it would be interesting to know what makes the reader calling themself ‘LMH’ feel entitled to choose a name which seems to imply they speak for the whole college, or at least the JCR.

    Secondly, before one thinks worse of an individual for mis-interpreting facts or making up a statement so as to spread blame, it is important to establish exactly what the facts are, something that it is impossible if one is not involved in the composition of the aforementioned emails. It would be a shame if students were not to give this consideration before reaching judgement.

    Thirdly, it is the responsibility of individuals neither to worry about the reception of private messages taken out of context and given a more sinister relevance, nor to apologise for offence caused by stories formed from facts distorted by college rumour.

    And more generally:

    Those quoted as saying that the concerns of JCR members were dismissed in order to move on to ‘some shit about husts’ seem to have missed the point of what was a meeting aimed at electing new exec members. Given the purpose of the meeting, it was probably seen as a much more pressing issue.

    I am not surprised that, having been wrongly accused, Sawhney wishes to make light of a title as ridiculous as ‘Lad Gestapo.’

  11. jak

    25th November 2011 at 00:26

    This is a perfect example of cunning journalism subtely covering up the truth through insinuation and implication.
    Amongst all the malicious quotes from anonymous JCR members, Barnes clearly states what actually happened, and his explaination also makes sense as to why the rumour over a ‘fit list’ evolved.
    I know everyone likes a good scandal, but I genuinely believe this is a perfect example of gossip making a mountain out of a mole hill.
    P.S. I doubt he’d be stupid enough to put such a ‘list’ onto facebook etc. give him some credit

  12. LMH

    25th November 2011 at 00:44

    In response to the “observer”:

    It’s interesting that you raise the point of people representing the views of the JCR; if Sawhney and Barnes had realised in the first place that they were voted in to represent the views of the entire JCR they would not be in this position. Being in a “welfare” role is not part-time. As a representative of the JCR, and being in charge of welfare, your actions were wrong.

    My view obviously isn’t representative of the JCR Exec’s which has gone into self-important self-defence mode, but do be aware that it is entirely representative of the 99%.

    And as for “Jak”; just because the OxStu hasn’t published the original text thread, it doesn’t mean we haven’t all seen it, and it doesn’t mean we don’t still have a hold of it. Beware what you deny.

    The 1% will not prevail.

  13. LMH

    25th November 2011 at 00:46

    Just to clarify, by “we” I am not referring to the OxStu.

  14. Magdalen JCR

    25th November 2011 at 01:20

    I had no knowledge that this kind of thing still occurred in the 21st century. It is quite disgusting how they simply selected a list of girls, which is extremely degrading for the girls involved and, quite frankly, pathetic and embarassing for both Barnes and Sawhney and the whole of LMH.
    I cannot believe they haven’t had the nerve to resign from their positions or even accepted any blame at all. It is cowardice and they are making themselves – and LMH – look old-fashioned and misogynistic.

  15. gb aka 'an observer' is full of shit

    25th November 2011 at 01:20

    look mate – i accept electing new members to the committee is important, we all wanted to know if kyle could write the alphabet having done 2 shots of vod – LAD – but perhaps being a massive misogynist has some bearing on his fitness to hold the position.

    also was he opposed by any chance?

  16. anon.

    25th November 2011 at 01:25

    “Those quoted as saying that the concerns of JCR members were dismissed in order to move on to ‘some shit about husts’ seem to have missed the point of what was a meeting aimed at electing new exec members. Given the purpose of the meeting, it was probably seen as a much more pressing issue.”

    I seem to remember said member of the exec was subsequently blindfolded and told to type the alphabet backwards before being given ‘penalty shots’for each misplaced letter. Pressing.

  17. Magdalen JCR

    25th November 2011 at 01:35

    Just to clarify, I am not speaking for the whole of Magdalen JCR!


  18. Christ Church JCR

    25th November 2011 at 01:38

    As we are a matter of hours away from the break of dawn, I feel it my duty to attempt to convince some of these LMH JCR members to put their handbags down – oops, the old misogyny rubbing off (!) – and put this all in some persepctive. In colleges where stuff actually happens other than the maintenance of an even gender split and occasional bestiality with mallard ducklings, JCR exec members accept that some degree of press coverage is part and parcel of using the Common Room as a means to catapult yourself into the City. Go into the KA on a Sunday night and you’ll find the air concentrated with hack tales: there probably isn’t a conscious attempt to dismantle the JCR from within, just bored people chatting about something they think shouldn’t go unnoticed…

  19. Anonymous

    25th November 2011 at 01:39

    The entire JCR exec has been brought into disrepute. To quote Saul Bellow – its devolved into a ‘moronic inferno’. A vote of no confidence is doubtless approaching on the horizon.

  20. Anon.

    25th November 2011 at 01:44

    Christ Church JCR… a walking, talking anachronism.

  21. LMH4ever

    25th November 2011 at 03:22

    This smug denial of the veracity of the allegations is worryingly reminiscent of the OUCA scandal.

    And they had their faces plastered all over the national newspapers.

    You dig?

  22. Anonymous

    25th November 2011 at 03:37

    “I seem to remember said member of the exec was subsequently blindfolded and told to type the alphabet backwards before being given ‘penalty shots’ for each misplaced letter. Pressing.”

    I cannot stand our JCR exec (not so much the individual members as the general way things are run). The whole hustings process automatically weeds out most of the people who would be half decent at the job – we just get lumped with loads of “laddish” types who only serve to alienate most of the JCR.

  23. Poplicola

    25th November 2011 at 06:35

    The biggest abuse here may very well be the gross misuse of the word ‘misogyny’.

    As a reminder to all wordsmiths, ‘misogyny’ is the hatred of women.

    The actions of some male members of LMH JCR may be accurately described as ‘male chauvinism’, but they hardly rise to the level of misogyny.

    Of course, it seems that the veracity of this story, and the JCR President’s claims, is entirely dependent upon the production of a redacted version of the email thread.

    In any case, who are these guys taking their PR advice from? Sepp Blatter?

  24. Qaddafi

    25th November 2011 at 10:22

    and you seem to have borrowed a dictionary from Silvio Berlusconi. A list of ‘fit-freshers’…they must surely love women!

  25. Margaret Beaufort

    25th November 2011 at 12:36

    Glad to welfare’s still seen as an absolute joke by some at LMH- let us hope Kyle has nothing serious to deal with anytime soon.

    Perhaps a return to the female dominated exec is in order.

  26. Alex Bramham

    25th November 2011 at 12:51

    In everybody’s mind is a fit list. When a group of girls chat about which of the guys they think are good-looking, it’s the same thing. When any individual is attracted to any other individual, it’s the same thing. If any of us were asked to construct such a list given a set of photos, we could do it easily, regardless of gender. How is it offensive to be regarded as attractive anyway? All this is is a physical representation of something natural and harmless.

  27. Anonymous

    25th November 2011 at 12:51

    Christopher Shields is not LMH’s Dean…

  28. confused

    25th November 2011 at 13:04

    he is according to the lmh website?!

  29. Sarko

    25th November 2011 at 13:08

    The Cherwell article about all this says he’s Dean also, but I don’t actually think he’s even in the country at the moment.

  30. anon.

    25th November 2011 at 13:33

    #braham… have you just been spat out of the 19th century?…you tit

  31. Anonymous

    25th November 2011 at 13:34

    Elsewhere on the website:

    This is likely to be more up to date than the student jargon page.

  32. Observer

    25th November 2011 at 13:35

    I don’t agree that such a list is particularly “natural and harmless” at all. Whilst it might originally only have been a list drawn up to target fresher girls whom Sawhney/Barnes would like to target and crew-date, the fact that this list was circulated around the year, first by the JCR President and his lapdog to whom they consider their friends, and then verbally around college by anybody (which was everybody) who had heard about it.

    Not to dismiss the initial act, the listing of potential targets is predatory and perverse. I believe that in response to Barnes’ call for targets, Sawhney waited only minutes to post his pre-prepared ‘to-do’ list. Does LMH JCR really want an ex-Male Welfare Officer and current Secretary-elect who is so trigger happy with his perversions?

    I think it rather perverse that such a list was kept at all, even if it were kept in private. Distributing it and feeding the college rumour mill, however, is simply disrespectful. It is certainly NOT “the responsibility of individuals neither to worry about the reception of private messages taken out of context and given a more sinister relevance”. It IS however, the responsibility of the JCR executive to keep the interests of the undergraduate body at heart.

    Two JCR executive members caused the circulation of sinister, perverse information amongst a small group of their friends (which is damning enough for the pair, no?) and then allowed this to permeate into college without ever seeming as though it might be an issue. For this perversion and negligence, they must resign.

  33. Angry

    25th November 2011 at 13:41

    Some might dub Barnes and Sawhney’s behaviour a “massive dick manoeuvre”…

  34. Charlie Sheen

    25th November 2011 at 14:15

    It doesn’t take a Warlock to see that Barnes and Sawhney certainly aren’t winning. Duh

  35. The Russler

    25th November 2011 at 14:58

    Look, I don’t think being misogynistical is an issue here really because it’s just banter but what I am relly ashamed of is that everyones so proud of being a shit lad! I think if you’re going to be misogony about women you should own up to it because it’s just banter and girls love it lol!

  36. Richard 'F.' Russell

    25th November 2011 at 16:11

    Right, first off, I would like to say that I am very firmly and proudly a member of the ‘LMH lad Gestapo’ and am the prime reason that this ‘lad culture’ has permeated LMH.
    The most disturbing thing about this article is that we have been referred to as ‘shit lads’, I can assure we all that we are, in fact, good lads, and that we have exemplary chat.

  37. Silvio Berlusconi

    25th November 2011 at 16:17

    I agree with Il Russellidor, women love it. I would know.

  38. Dominic Strauss-Khan

    25th November 2011 at 16:18


  39. an LMHER

    25th November 2011 at 17:24

    This entire situation has been blown out of all proportion, and clearly any attempt at an explanation will only be met by contempt. The comments on here suggest this is nothing but a witch hunt.

    On another note, as to ‘fear of reprisals from the lad gestapo’, no offence intended to any of this proud brotherhood but they are about as intimidating as a lettuce leaf.

  40. Richard 'F.' Russell

    25th November 2011 at 17:27

    This Aggression Shall Not Stand. 8 Year Olds Dude!

  41. Nick Griffin

    25th November 2011 at 17:29

    Let’s get last blast

  42. @LMHER

    25th November 2011 at 17:43

    so intimidating that you’ve chosen an anonymous moniker.

  43. BatSignal

    25th November 2011 at 17:50

    I wonder how long it’ll be before Agony Lad gets his mitts on this

  44. an LMHER

    25th November 2011 at 17:55

    Wolfson Top Floor if you want to discuss

  45. Richard 'F.' Russell

    25th November 2011 at 18:01

  46. Richard 'F.' Russell

    25th November 2011 at 18:02

  47. Buzz Lightyear

    25th November 2011 at 18:11

    To misogyny, and beyond!

  48. Err..

    25th November 2011 at 18:40

    How is Sawhney a lad? I thought he coxed?

  49. James Phillpot

    25th November 2011 at 19:01

    I have had personal experience of the LMH ‘lad Gestapo’ and contrary to some of the above comments it was a terrifying experience. They came for my girlfriend late at night, plucked her from my arms and forced her into a taxi in what amounted to a virtual kidnapping. In addition, I have been forced to play fly half for several weeks running and have also been made to crawl around naked on the floor of Jamal’s – a traumatic experience which still haunts me every night.

    The ordeal and stress of living under the regime of the brutal LMH lad Gestapo has caused me to suffer academic difficulties as I have failed several Greek tests. The mental strain has also affected my sporting abilities as it has led me to run sideways on a rugby pitch to excess. If prior to coming up to Oxford I had been made aware that LMH was a politically isolated college, dominated by a brutal and profoundly undemocratic regime, I would never have accepted my offer to come here.

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