Oxford Blues robbed during Boat Race

Oxford Blues robbed during Boat Race

The Oxford first boat minibus was robbed while the Blues were beating Cambridge in last week’s Boat Race, it has been revealed.

One of the first boat rowers, Constantine Louloudis, posted on Facebook: “Unfortunately, all our valuables were stolen while we were putting in the big strokes.”

“But we couldn’t really care about that right now. Champagne has never tasted so sweet!” he added.

Malcolm Howard, Oxford Boat Club President, commented: “We were irritated about the theft but we did not let it spoil the win. The matter is now the hands of the police. No indication of who stole from the minibus.”

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police stated: “Officers from Hounslow police are investigating after an allegation of theft from a minibus that contained personal property belonging to the Oxford boat race rowing crew. The theft happened on Sunday, 06 April between 17:20hrs and 19:00hrs.

“A blue Ford minibus, being used by the crew, had been parked and left unattended at The Quintin Boat Club. Left in the van was a rucksack and a red cotton valuables bag that contained personal property belonging to seven of the Oxford boat crew.”

The spokesperson continued: “When the driver returned to the minibus she found the valuables bag and rucksack had been stolen. The rucksack was later found in a nearby toilet with a purse containing £40 taken from it.”

A Magdalen Rower condemned the theft as “in extremely poor taste, whoever did it”.

Anyone with information about this crime should contact Acting Detective Sergeant Andy Jackson at Hounslow police.



Victory for Oxford in the Boat Race – LIVE

Victory for Oxford in the Boat Race – LIVE

The Boat Race 2014: Liveblog

18.35: The Oxford side has collected the trophy. And on that note, it’s time to say goodbye to the liveblog for another year. Thanks for sticking with the OxStu, and congratulations to the team!

18.32: The losing Cambridge side collect their medals:

18.27: Not much magnanimity from the Oxford students with our News Editor Jacob Lee in Hammersmith. However, there’s a bit of a strange feeling among the crowds rather than full-on elation, probably due to the oar incident.

Malcolm Howard, President of OUBC, is interviewed for TV and claims he is “proud” while also expressing some sympathy for the losing Cambridge team. Oxford rower Constantine Louloudis says the river “is running dark blue”. The Cambridge rower involved in the clash says it “is part of the race”, but thinks team members should “keep your held high and move on”. Coming up soon will be the famous tradition of throwing the winning cox into the river, as well as the presentation of the trophy.

18.20: PROTEST NOT UPHELD: Cambridge were out of their water, not Oxford, meaning the oar clash will not affect the race’s result.

18.18: VICTORY FOR OXFORD. However, umpire Richard Phelps has raised his red flag, meaning there is definitely a protest from Cambridge. The cox for the Tab team is speaking to Phelps now.

18.16: Looks like it will be a similar margin of victory for Oxford in the main race as it was in the Isis vs Goldie reserves race an hour or so ago – probably of around 10 lengths at least. Cambridge cox shouts: “Fight to the end”.

18.13: Around three minutes to go as they approach Barnes Bridge. Oxford’s victory is certain now, as they are far ahead. The real drama could come afterwards if there is an appeal by the Cambridge squad for that oar contact, but they now look like they are resigned to a certain fate.

18.11: The look of determination on the faces of members of both squads is a testament to the grit and determination of Oxbridge rowers. Oxford’s lead is still as strong. The BBC, meanwhile, has confirmed there was contact between the two oars a few moments ago. Cambridge could appeal or protest after the race, but it depends if Oxford was in the correct area of water at the time. Decision up to the umpire.

18.07: Jacob is with a large group of Oxford students as they approach halfway point at Chiswick Bridge. The atmosphere is “euphoric” as Oxford have a very clear lead.

18.04: Serious blow to Cambridge after what appears to be a clash of oars. Cambridge has fallen back quite far, giving Oxford a serious lead.

18.02: The lead is still with Oxford despite the fact that Cambridge had the advantage on the first (“Middlesex”) bend around the Fulham area. Oxford have the advantage of the next bend at Hammersmith Bridge.

17.57: They have begun! Around two minutes late due to objections from the coxes. Oxford have the advantage at the outset.

17.50: Storm Uru – on the Oxford squad – is a fantastic name. Apparently named because his father was a sailor in a storm, and he vowed to call his first son “Storm” if he survived. Luckily for Oxford, he did. Five minutes to go.

17.41: ISIS WIN THE RESERVES RACE: In Jacob’s words, Oxford’s reserves have “nailed” Cambridge in the Isis vs Goldie race.

Meanwhile, Max Bray – a fresher History student at Somerville – had more sage sartorial analysis: “It’s refreshing to see a paucity of light blue scarves on show”.

17.31: Natalie, a spectator on the banks, says: “It’s a lovely atmosphere. It’s a good opportunity to catch up with old friends, and there is a great British sense of occasion”.

Meanwhile, one of these dancing sailors – Crispin – says he’s “not really bothered about the boat race, we just like singing and dancing”.

There’s only 20 minutes to go until the race starts!

17.16: The crews are now heading off to do a warm-up. Now that they are out, things are obviously becoming a bit more tense among the spectators. From Jacob:

17.12: The squads are now walking down what is essentially a catwalk from the boathouse to the river. Brasenose student Tom Watson got a particularly strong cheer from the crowd. Cambridge rower Ivo Dawkins looked slightly nervous as he stepped into his boat: it’s no surprise, considering his father’s boat sank when he participated in the race several decades ago.

17.06: Our News Editor Jacob Lee is down by the river:

Meanwhile, the main teams are currently taking their boats down to the river! A quick summary of what time everything else is going down over the next hour – at 17.25 we’ll be watching the Isis vs. Goldie reserves race, followed by the main race exactly half an hour later at 17.55.

16.57: The OxStu’s Music Editor Jake Downs has some wise words for whoever sourced Cambridge’s kit:

16.50: The reserves teams are heading out now, with Goldie (Cambridge) going first. Isis (Oxford, obviously) have also made their way onto the river:

16.38: Clare Balding (one of my utter faves) is now kicking off her coverage on BBC1. She has had a very busy weekend, having covered the Grand National at Aintree yesterday. Meanwhile, WEATHER FORECAST: the temperature in Putney is around 16 degrees, while light rain is forecast for 6pm. Wind speeds of 15mph are estimated, which hopefully won’t pose problems.

16.33: It’s estimated there will be almost 250,000 people on the banks of the Thames today, and Putney is certainly looking busy at the moment.

16.22: Our friends over at The Cambridge Student have some insight into why teams choose the stations they do after the coin toss.

16.16: We’re delighted to have Alexander Fox (whom you might recognise as the presenter of Shark Tales, a video feature for some other Oxford newspaper) in charge of the OxStu Sport Twitter feed today as the Varsity football match goes on:

16.09: COIN TOSS: the first team coin toss has gone to Oxford, who have also picked the Surrey station. It might be a small victory, but it bodes well…

16.04: A bit on the geographical area where the race will take place: the squads power down a part of The Tideway, a stretch of the Thames in central London, and will cruise past the suburbs of Chiswick and Hammersmith (where our News Editor Jacob Lee will be picking up a bit later). The Tideway is essentially just the part of the river which experiences tides (self-explanatory, really – that wasn’t an insult to Oxbridge’s collective intelligence). Remember to let us know what you are doing today for the Boat Race. Give us a tweet @TheOxStu or email!

16.00: The second teams of both squads – Isis (Oxford) and Goldie (Cambridge) – race half an hour before the main teams. They’ve just had their coin toss:

15.56: In around ten minutes time there will be a coin toss between the Presidents of each boat club to decide which squad gets which station. They will supposedly use an 1829 sovereign coin in a nod to the year the Boat Race began, and speaking of which, here’s a delightful little website full of stats and cute graphics to keep you entertained:

15.43: The Boat Race might be fast-paced and energetic, but today is no day to neglect the spiritual, thoughtful side of life. Thankfully, “Older People’s Day” is there to keep us reminded:

15.34: The Boat Race has a history stretching longer than any of us have been alive: Oxford has won the annual event 77 times, while Cambridge has clinched the title on 81 occasions. This is the 160th race, and any eagle eyes out there will notice that 77 plus 81 in fact leaves one year unaccounted for  – this is because there was a dead heat in 1877. Legend has it that it was only declared this way because the umpire fell asleep under a tree, although he claimed that he was wide awake and that the tips of the boats passed the finish line at exactly the same time.

15.15: Lots of areas around the riverbank in London are closed, much to the chagrin of this tweeter. His kid, however, doesn’t seem all that bothered:

15.08: The race is being sponsored by financial giant BNY Mellon, which has launched a bizarre little website which attempts to find out which side you should be cheering on through a quick quiz. Asking fans to choose between Nigella Lawson and Carol Vorderman is probably not the most perceptive way of doing this, and readers of this blog probably already have a chosen side, but if you’re short on cash there is a £10,000 prize at stake so get on it:

15.00: Hello and welcome to the OxStu’s coverage of the 160th annual boat race between Oxford and Cambridge. Behind the blog is Editor-in-Chief Nick Toner (@nick_toner), while intrepid News Editor Jacob Lee will be bringing us the latest happenings on the banks in London. We’ll be here for the next few hours keeping you up-to-date with events and gossip from the race, so stick with us. Tweet us @TheOxStu or email to feature in the blog – we’d love to hear from you! Meanwhile, if you just can’t get enough of live action sport, check out Associate Editor Miles Dilworth’s live coverage of today’s other big match – the Varsity football – here.

Trup to “continue” fight after council leader suggests monorail

Trup to “continue” fight after council leader suggests monorail

OUSU President-elect Louis Trup’s dreams of futuristic transport for Oxford may come true after the leader of the County Council proposed a monorail for the city.

Ian Hudspeth, the Conservative councillor for Woodstock, told a council event that “we can’t rule out ideas that might seem fanciful, such as creating a passenger service on the Cowley branch line, a mass transit system into Oxford.”

“Why couldn’t we create a monorail connecting key locations around the city’s ring road?” he asked. “There are exciting times ahead. Towns across Oxfordshire are going to increase in size, with places such as Bicester set to double in size over the next ten years…and the county council needs to lead the way in developing the supporting infrastructure.”

Hudspeth was speaking at the “Oxfordshire Connect” event where he outlined £800 million of transport investment for the county. The plans are due to a predicted increase of 100,000 new homes in the county over the next fifteen to twenty years.

Louis Trup, OUSU President-elect and the original proposer of an Oxford monorail, cautiously greeted Hudspeth’s statement, saying: “I’d say it’s clearly early days. Students want it, and their voices will be relayed to the council through OUSU.”

“I’ll continue to fight for a monorail,” he said.

Other plans outlined by Hudspeth include better facilities at Oxford and Didcot railway stations as well as improvements to the M40, Oxford’s major local motorway. He stressed that the monorail plans, if implemented, would only come to fruition beyond 2020.

Baby Love ousted as Oriel takes back building

Baby Love ousted as Oriel takes back building

Partygoing students across the city are expressing their disappointment after popular nightclub Baby Love confirmed that it is set to move from its current site.

The club, which is still open, will eventually close and relocate as part of landlord Oriel’s plans for the redevelopment of King Edward Street.

A spokesperson for the college told The Oxford Student: “Oriel College has a long term strategy for the gradual redevelopment and improvement of King Edward Street.”

“As a result the College will be taking back the premises occupied by the Baby Love Bar shortly. We understand that the Baby Love Bar intends to relocate to new premises as soon as it can and wish it well for the future.”

The club, which is on two floors and has two bars, is known in Oxford as a popular alternative to larger, more mainstream venues. Martin Forde, who runs Baby Love, was keen to assure students that it would survive in some form.

He said: “Over the past year our landlord Oriel College has taken a decision to redevelop the site at King Edward Street, and as a result, we have mutually agreed that Baby Love would find a new home. Neither side knows exactly when this is going to happen, as third party decisions are involved.”

“Baby Love would be taking its ’love’ to a new premises, and would inform you and all its loyal customers the minute it’s been agreed. It’s a new beginning and an exciting one for us. We can assure all our regular customers, that none of our promoted nights will be affected and parties will continue as usual, either at our present or our relocated site.”

“Baby Love would like to thank Oriel College for the years of fun it has afforded our customers and us in what has become as institution amongst the students of Oxford University. We thank them and extend all our best wishes for their future plans,” he added.

The promise of relocation was not enough for many students, some of whom placed a tongue-in-cheek blame on Oriel for the loss of the establishment.

Jane Cahill, a third-year History and Politics student at Queen’s, said: “I suspect this is really because Oriel boat club are angry that gay marriage caused so much flooding and stopped their races. Taking our Tuesdays away from us is their revenge. Unbelievable.”

Tom Rutland, OUSU President, said: “First Oriel’s JCR disaffiliates from OUSU, and now the college is endangering my favourite club nights: Poptarts and Supermarket!”

“Students can expect a strongly-worded OUSU Council motion and a priority campaign to #savebabylove when they come back in Trinity Term,” he added.

Baby Love is one of the city’s favourite nightclubs. It plays host to LGBTQ Tuesday club night Poptarts and is also home to the popular alternative music night Supermarket.

It has also hosted launch and fundraising nights for some of Oxford’s zines, including Cuntry Living and NoHeterOx**.

LJ Trup, OUSU President-elect and frequent Baby Love DJ, said: “Baby Love is my home. It’s where I grew up from a Spotify lover with a dream to a fully fledged quasi-disc jockey.”

“The toilets have been the setting for the forging of many a friendship. The panoramic view of the pole you see as a DJ is more beautiful to me than the view from the highest mountain. To lose this is like losing an aspect of my being.”

“Together we shall lament hipster nights of old and together we will fight tooth and nail to ensure the resurrection of this temple of debauchery,” he added.

“We do this for our children and our children’s children, so that they will know what it means to be an Oxonian.”

Baby Love in its current location is open every night from 8pm until 3am.

On hearing the news, Otamere Guobadia – a second-year Law student at Univ and member of the NoHeterOx** editorial team – wrote an ode to Baby Love: “I rend my garments, cursed the gods, I wept for an eternity and I’ll weep for an eternity more. How can Baby Love be no more?”

“For better or for worse, I can chart my loss of dignity through those doors, those booths, that dance floor. The dreaming spires will never be the same. ‘Stop all the clocks…’”

Cai Wilshaw, a second-year Classics student at St Anne’s, said: “For those of us who aren’t particular fans of Camera or Bridge, Babylove has always been our choice haunt on Tuesday and Thursday nights.”

He expressed his concern about the future of Baby Love: “I doubt that the owners will be able to move quickly enough to ensure the return of Poptarts and Supermarket next term, and I fear that this alleged relocation will turn out to be a load of hot air.”

“Its many revellers will miss the sweaty walls, the faint smell of sweat and regret, but most of all – the pole. I hope the owners will ensure that they replicate such features should they manage to find an alternate venue,” he added.

Oxford fresher to run for European Parliament

Oxford fresher to run for European Parliament

Oxford’s political scene jumped to the next level recently when a Christ Church fresher announced he is set to run for the European Parliament.

Jan Nedvídek, who studies PPE, is running as an MEP for the Czech party ODS, known as the Civic Democratic Party in English. Nedvideck is also the current OUCA Political Officer.

The ODS is a centre-right Eurosceptic party, and is a relatively substantial force in Czech politics as it holds 15 seats in both the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. It currently has 9 MEPs.

When asked why he wanted to run, he said: “So many people complain about the fact that the EU is so far away from us, and that it doesn’t consider the views of the ordinary voters. I was fed up with this kind of talk: what’s the point in complaining if you’re not ready to get up and do something about it?”

“The EU can only be made more efficient and representative if people who work in it want to make it such: and this is why, when the party HQs rang me, I only took a minute to consider their offer.”

Jan castigated the EU as being “ruled by an elite which is led by an integrationist, federalist ideology rather than political pragmatism” and insisted “the parliamentarians in Brussels need to be replaced by people who use their common sense instead of ideology to make decisions”.

“The UK and my own country (the Czech Republic) are both better off in than out, and that is why I reject all efforts to withdraw from the Union.”

Nedvídek conceded he is unlikely to win his election due to the party list system used in European elections. He is placed last on the ODS’ list, so victory for him would require 100% of the electorate to vote for the party.

“As we don’t live under the communist regime anymore, this is not very probable,” he said. “Consequently, I’m not very likely to win this time: however, I shall do my best to make sure that my party gets all the votes it possibly can and wins the election!”

Nedvídek, who was appointed OUCA Political Officer after a disputed election, was congratulated by the official OUCA Twitter account.

Student in Mandela remark row accused of copyright law abuse

Student in Mandela remark row accused of copyright law abuse

An Oxford undergraduate is embroiled in a legal dispute with a leading political blog over the use of his Facebook status.

Jeff Vinall, second-year law student at Brasenose and former Director of Communications for the Oxford University Conservative Association, posted a controversial Facebook status about Nelson Mandela. Political Scrapbook, which describes itself as ‘Britain’s leading left-wing blog’, quoted the status in a critical article earlier this month.

The quote has since been removed following a complaint by Vinall that the article made inappropriate use of his private comments.

Political Scrapbook’s web-hosts are based in the USA, and took down the content under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), a piece of US legislation intended to protect against copyright infringement and piracy on the Internet.

Political Scrapbook have responded with an article claiming to have been ‘gagged’ by Vinall, in which they also claim they are “currently seeking legal advice on the issue and hope to have the original quote back up in full shortly”.

Editor Laurence Durnan told The Oxford Student: “Jeff Vinall needs to man up. Instead of taking responsibility for his views he is trying to gag Political Scrapbook from reporting accurately what he said.”

“This is an absolutely textbook case of DMCA abuse. The irony is that his actions have generated an international audience for his comments.”, the popular blogging platform, claims that DMCA abuse is common, and that legal action is warranted against those who submit fraudulent take-down notices. In November of last year, the company filed a high-profile lawsuit against anti-gay campaign group Straight Pride under Section 512(f) of the DMCA for ‘knowingly materially misrepresent[ing] a case of copyright infringement’.

Kirsty Hughes, Chief Executive of the freedom of expression advocacy group Index on Censorship, said: “Attempting to censor the use of a…statement made on social media through the use of copyright laws is a bizarre way to attempt to limit free speech. Demands for take-down of web content come more often from prickly and controlling politicians – Turkey’s Erdogan, with his block on Twitter, being the most obvious recent example.”

Jeff Vinall was unavailable for comment.

Plush “devastated” after assault on Teddy Hall patron

Plush “devastated” after assault on Teddy Hall patron

The Plush Lounge has expressed “great regret” after Teddy Hall MCR member Jeanne Ryan was assaulted on the premises.

After the assault, which took place at approximately 1:55 on Saturday evening, Jeanne Ryan posted a “#nomakeupselfie” picture of her injuries (warning: graphic content) on Facebook. She said she was assaulted “for telling a guy in a club who groped me that it is completely inappropriate to touch a woman without her consent, I was beaten. He told me to “Smile!”, too.”

Ryan added: “No, we do not have to wear makeup, no, we do not have to smile and, most importantly, no, we do NOT have to be touched“.

The post ended urging readers to donate to the Oxford Rape and Crisis Centre “to channel my rage into something constructive”. Her page on the donation website JustGiving had, at the time of writing, received £5799 of donations and her post had been shared 4,245 times.

Plush’s manager, Stuart Hayle, said: “Plush prides itself on its excellent reputation as a safe and aggression-free environment where incidents of this nature are extremely rare. The entire management team is devastated by what has happened, and our thoughts at this time are with the very brave victim.”

“As a venue, we are very selective about to whom we allow entry, and we maintain very high standards of behaviour to which we expect our clientele to adhere. As a result, we have virtually no violent incidents in our club,” he added.

Hayle further claimed that double the legal requirement for door staff were on duty on Saturday.

He added that, after calling an ambulance for Jeanne, door staff pursued her attacker. As they failed to apprehend him, Plush has provided CCTV footage to the police to assist in their investigation.

Marcus Le, a first-year at Magdalen, said the incident was “sickening”.

“It is an utter disgrace that such atrocities are still taking place today and I am especially shocked that it happened in a city, which prides itself as the “city of spires.” Jeanne should not have had to fight off anyone for sexually molesting her in the first place, and to be attacked for it is sickening and makes me feel ashamed to be part of this community,” he said.

A full statement from Jeanne Ryan is to follow. To donate to the Oxford Rape and Crisis Centre, text OXRC47 to 70070 or visit

New College JCR subsidises exclusive dining society

New College JCR subsidises exclusive dining society

New College’s exclusive dining society, the Smith Society, is under fire for its £2,106 subsidy from the JCR.

The Smith Society holds two dinners per year to reward undergraduates who have made outstanding contributions to the JCR. The JCR contributes £36 per head.

The issue surfaced after student James Rhodes posted a poll to the New Freshers Facebook group.

A majority of respondents were critical of the Smith Society with 21 choosing “I believe this is a waste of college funds as it benefits circa 5% of the JCR”, and 11 electing for “I don’t believe the committee should get to vote on their own reward dinner”.

8 JCR members supported the society, voting for “I agree with the cost of SmithSoc, the selection procedure and the JCR funding it”.

Others seemed more indifferent with 2 suggesting that the subsidy should be halved and 4 claiming not to care at all.

As well as cost, SmithSoc has been attacked for its vote timing. Rhodes claimed “the motion for SmithSoc is passed at the committee handover meeting in [which] effectively 2 committees are present thus they are usually in the majority”.

SmithSoc did, however, have its defenders. Robert Harris, a New fresher, slammed the cost criticism as “an absolutely absurd accusation.”

“Virtually all spending by the JCR, whether on kit for sports teams, investment in musical equipment, or even on the whole of freshers’ week, benefits only a minority of students at College. As long as a majority approve part of the budget being spent on a minority, there is no issue, and I see no reason why spending on SmithSoc is any different to spending on anything else. What’s next? Saying that OUSU and JCR spending on welfare is unjustified because only a minority of students benefit from these services? Ridiculous.”

Student Harry Jewson weighed in on the procedural critiques, saying “If anyone objects they can vote against the motion. Two committees is still well under a majority of even one year group, Motions are submitted in advance. If you don’t like it turn up and vote. Many who could simply don’t bother”.

Katherine Nicholls, New JCR President, told the OxStu “The budget for the dinners this year was adjusted to £2,106 after a vote on an amendment to the motion. The amended motion then passed without opposition. Additionally, the JCR Committee this year intends to spend about two thirds of the amount mandated.”

Nicholls went on “At the moment the JCR is thinking about the procedure by which the JCR approves both the idea of Smith Soc, as well as the details of the budget assigned to it. A Facebook thread is not the ideal way to properly explore this issue, but I do agree that Smith Soc, and the procedure for approving it, does need to be discussed.”

“We are planning to hold a JCR forum at the start of next term dedicated to debating this. I’m going to look into ways to ensure the forum is as directed and productive as possible.”

SmithSoc was also debated by the JCR in Trinity 2013 and though it was easily passed,student Adam Piacsick castigated it for taking money away from Access schemes.

An anonymous New undergrad commented “So, I think lots of people think that if you have a JCR committee position, you should want to do it for the good of the college, not so that you get a reward (a posh dinner with free flowing wine about twice a year). I think SmithSoc is a nice idea but I don’t think the JCR should foot the bill. College should.” ”

The student added “This has all been a big debate on our Facebook page very recently and now our JCR president has decided to call a meeting next term about it and is sending everyone an email with all the details so we can be more informed. It’s definitely democratic to have the whole of the JCR voting (which includes ex committee members and future ones). It’s just that the rest of the JCR doesn’t understand the situation.”

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