Oxford University students are still reeling after a decade-long controversy over the academic freedom of the students’ union, which the university’s governing body has defended as a vital mechanism for students’ safety.
On May 7, the university announced that all future union members would be required to get approval from the union before taking part in its events.
However, that decision sparked outrage among students and alumni who said the union had not done enough to ensure that the union would be open to students’ concerns and not be compromised by vested interests.
The university said in a statement on Tuesday that the new rules were part of an effort to “protect students and staff.”
It said the rules were intended to ensure the safety of all members of the union and to prevent the union from being influenced by students’ personal agendas.
“The university recognises that union members are a crucial part of the fabric of the university,” it said.
“As part of that, we have agreed to introduce new rules to ensure all union members have access to all union events, meetings and activities.”
The Oxford Union’s board of trustees approved the changes, which are due to take effect on April 2.
The changes are the culmination of months of negotiations between the union, the governing body and the university.
The union has not yet announced when it will make its first public statement on the changes.
In September, the union said that a proposal to create a new committee to oversee the union was not realistic, adding that there was a “significant risk” of a conflict of interest in the proposed committee.
The proposed committee is being led by Dr. Matthew Smith, a professor of law and a former Oxford University dean of the law school.
In March, Smith’s proposal was defeated by a vote of 29-4.
The vote came after the union complained that it had been prevented from holding a public meeting, and the committee had met only twice since March.
Oxford University Students’ Union, the body that represents students, said that the vote was “the culmination of a year of intense, often divisive and contentious debate and we are now working to resolve it.”
According to the union’s website, the proposed changes would require all union meetings and events to be approved by the union.
It said that such meetings would be limited to one-on-one sessions only, and that events would be closed to the media.
According to a statement from the Oxford Union, these changes will “restore the trust of the Oxford University community and its students with regard to the university and its membership.”
The union said in its statement that it was still hopeful that the university would take action to prevent such conflicts.
The organization said that it would also continue to “support the work of the independent OUP Board of Trustees, and will continue to engage in discussions with them in order to ensure we are in a position to move forward with the future of the OUP,” the statement said.