Abigail Howe

How the PASS scheme fails disabled people

This year’s Young Fabians Political Writing Competition was judged by the New Statesman’s editor-in-chief, Jason Cowley. The below article is one of three runners-up in the competition. September 2019. Wetherspoons (classy, I know). I’ve had a heady total of two lemonades when I’m approached by a bouncer asking to see IDs. Everyone else whips out their driving licence (or provisional); I go for my PASS card – my medication says not to drive while taking it, so no provisional for me.
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Covid made uni more accessible for disabled students - returning to campus could reverse that

Despite the Government’s U-turn on the proposal that university students must be fully vaccinated, I’m convinced the initial push will increase the pace at which students return to in-person teaching. Those itching for a return to on-campus mingling with their peers may well welcome that outcome. Others may consider it relatively sensible. But for disabled students like me, it risks putting many people’s health at risk – as well as destroying the long-awaited progress made towards accessibility.

The subversive history of the weed brownie

Weed brownies, whether tucked in a cupboard, out on the side or even – as is becoming more common – out on a shelf, available for purchase, are the most prevalent marijuana-based edible good around. The rich chocolate flavour, along with the dense, often fudgy texture of brownies, helps to mask the taste of cannabis. However, there’s also another angle to consider. Like spiked punch at prom or teenagers on park swings late at night, it’s a fun twist on a seemingly wholesome activity. It’s only fitting, then, that the history of the weed brownie is surprising and subversive, covering everything from the Parisian avant-garde to activism throughout its journey to its current form.

BREAKING: Chaos in the Union chamber as positive COVID-19 case causes evacuation

An attendee of the Oxford Union hustings tested positive during the debate, leaving the chamber when they got the result. Close contacts were informed, and members were locked down in the chamber for a short period after the Presidential debate was cancelled. Cherwell was informed that the attendee received a positive test result during the course of the hustings, but attendees who were not close contacts were only informed of the case after the hustings had finished.

"It is the details which are the horrible things": Holocaust survivor Eva Schloss speaks at Oxford Union

Holocaust survivor and author Eva Schloss spoke at the Oxford Union last week, describing her experiences during the Holocaust and the importance of remembering and learning from the past. After the event, Schloss spoke to Cherwell regarding public understanding of the Holocaust, Anne Frank’s diary and the trend of tourism at concentration camps. It was one of her first in-person events since the beginning of the pandemic; “Zoom is okay but this is much better”, she quipped.

BREAKING: Oriel College will not remove Rhodes statue after commission’s recommendations

Oriel College’s Governing Body has responded following the results of an independent commission which were revealed by The Guardian last night, choosing not to remove the statue of Cecil Rhodes. The commission advised that the statue was removed alongside a plaque on King Edward Street which features a portrait of Rhodes. They also urged the College to publish a statement that definitively detailed the extent and nature of their association with Rhodes and his legacy.

Oxford SU President-Elect criticised for Holocaust pun and 'racist' Instagram post

Rashmi Samant, the current Oxford University Student Union President-Elect, has faced controversy after a social media post which punned on the Holocaust was discovered. This follows previous controversy regarding Samant captioning an image of herself in Malaysia with “Ching Chang”, comparing Cecil Rhodes to Hitler in a Student Union presidential debate hosted by the Oxford Blue, and separating “women” and “transwomen” in an Instagram caption.

Students, societies and colleges respond to Ken Loach event

Groups across and beyond Oxford have responded to the decision of St Peter’s College to host Ken Loach after numerous organisations called for the event to be cancelled due to Loach’s record of antisemitic behaviour. The event went ahead as planned; Professor Buchanan did not mention antisemitism in the talk or directly reference any of the allegations of antisemitism levelled against Ken Loach in her short explanation as to why the talk was not cancelled.

The Glass Cliff: An Opportunity to Fall or Fly?

Hilary Clinton’s 2016 Election Night party was hosted at New York City’s Javits Centre – a convention centre made largely of glass. When she became the first female nominee of a major American political party at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, a virtual glass ceiling was broken on screen. The glass ceiling, of course, refers to an artificial but invisible barrier to success which many women and minority groups face throughout their careers. While this is a relatively well-known phenomenon, what happens when women are offered opportunities? It seems when they reach the upper ranks of power, they’re put in precarious positions with greater risk than their male counterparts – this is known as the glass cliff.

University announces courses allowed to return for start of Hilary

The University has instructed most students to remain at home from the start of term, with all other students asked not to return until at least mid-February, following the announcement of a national lockdown. However, students studying medicine, dentistry, subjects allied to medicine or health, veterinary science, education and social work were defined to be exempt from these rules. Oxford has now released specific guidance explaining which courses will be allowed to return early.

Not “safe or sustainable”: Bodleian Libraries’ reading rooms remain open

Staff at the Bodleian Libraries have spoken to Cherwell regarding the Libraries’ reading rooms remaining open, claiming that conditions are unsafe for staff and students. One library assistant told Cherwell: “libraries are essential to research but access to reading rooms is not”, citing the number of students who are studying at home this term – “by keeping the rooms open, they cannot provide for those students who were unable to return or are self isolating by scanning material for them”.
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