Diversity & Equal Opportunities
It is super important that every student at Jesus College has the opportunity to thrive here. The JCR has an equal opportunities sub-committee dedicated to ensuring that college life is accessible for all and to represent and support specific groups in our community. Please see below for an introduction to the various roles on the sub-committee and the people who hold them:
Twice a year, once in Michaelmas and once in Hilary, members of Jesus College JCR, MCR and ACR come together to celebrate a particular festival from another culture. Each time it’s a different festival, with members from that particular culture organising a week’s worth of events ranging from language taster classes to concerts and even fireworks! Each week culminates in an authentic meal, specially prepared by our Chefs followed by a celebratory closing event in the evening, often in our college bar.
Once a year, usually in Trinity Term, the JCR also has an international week to celebrate our place in the global community and recognise the wonderful different cultures represented in the student body. Each week has multiple events, an international formal hall, and this term’s has also included a photography exhibition!
Jesus celebrates Diwali ~ Nov 2018
Jesus College celebrated Diwali 2018 with a week of festivities. This meant Bollywood movies, ‘rangolis', Hindi music and - naturally - lots of food.
A huge garland of traditional marigold flowers was hung above the gate that looks onto first quad, and various patterned designs adorned the walls that lead into hall. Later that week 'rangolis' (Indian decorations usually made from coloured powder or ground rice) could be found at the entrance near the lodge as well. On the Wednesday and Thursday of Diwali, scores of glass jars were recycled into 'diyas'. Tiny candles were placed in these, lit at nightfall, and then lined along the main walkway in first quad.
On Tuesday a 'food and movie' night was held in the JCR. Samosas, 'paani-puri' and masala chai were available, as was some sweet food - 'gulab jamun' and 'kaju katri'. No celebration would be truly complete without a Bollywood movie, and 'Slumdog Millionaire’ just edged out 'Om Shanti Om' as the chosen movie for the evening.
Thursday was the big day - that of the much awaited Diwali Formal. College served a vegetarian meal with several Indian dishes including pakoras, daal, paneer and - you guessed it - 'gulab jamun'. The Oxford South Asian Arts Society performed an Indian dance prior to the meal, and during the meal the significance of the food, and of the festival, was explained to all present.
The celebrations wrapped up with music and poetry at Chapel on Friday. Some of us read out self-composed poetry and translated 'dohas' (traditional couplets). At the end, 'Jai Ho' , a song of triumph and celebration was played on the Chapel piano - a fitting end to a week spent celebrating the victory of good over evil.
PPE, 2nd year
Jesus celebrates Chinese New Year ~ Feb 2018
In the midst of British winter, Jesus College, together with the help of the Equal Opportunities committee and JCR members, celebrated Chinese New Year in true traditional fashion. The year of the pig was to be celebrated over the course of a week highlighting different aspects of Chinese culture.
Students got to take part in Calligraphy workshops ran by Chinese native students, giving way to their creativity and taking a break from essays and problem sheets. In the evenings, movie nights took place, including all genres from kung fu sagas to Chinese indie movies and beloved wildlife documentaries. The week culminated in a glorious Chinese formal where native students gathered alongside staff and college members to enjoy Asian cuisine, as well as traditional entertainment during a music interlude. Customs and traditions were explained and touched upon by various members of college who recalled their family anecdotes.
The lodge was adorned with lanterns, inscriptions and traditional banderols wishing everyone a happy new year, following on, Hall was decorated with velvet ribbons, traditional insignias. One would discover lanterns hanging on trees around college. Amongst the red and golden decorations, between two mouthfuls of raviolis, students learned about a culture that may be distant geographically but that threads across the Jesus community.
In a desire to bring together all members of our community and allowing those who are far from their loved ones to celebrate their culture, Jesus College endeavours to enlighten Turl street with cultural events from all backgrounds and communities to ensure that all members feel included and recognised.
Classics, 2nd year
JCR Equal Opportunities Officer 2018
The Junior Members’ Scholarship (JMS)
The Junior Members’ Scholarship (JMS) is another great thing about Jesus. This is a scholarship which provides full funding for a student from an area of the world where access to higher education is restricted to study here – it was set up in 2012, by Jesus undergraduates, and has been running strongly ever since. The scholarship has been awarded to two students from Gaza, Palestine: Rawan Yaghi, who graduated in 2016, and Lama Alhelou, who’s currently a 2nd year student studying Linguistics and Italian. The JMS is a fantastic collaborative effort highlighting the tight-knit community of Jesus; although it is managed by the JCR it relies on contributions from JCR, MCR and SCR members. We’re also very grateful to the Hoping and Qattan foundations, and alumni for generously supporting the scholarship. Members of the JCR have described the JMS as ‘an unmissable opportunity to make a difference’ and ‘one of the reasons I’m so proud to be part of the Jesus College community’. Lama, the current scholar, is an integral and joyous part of our community and genuinely one of the nicest people I’ve met. I highly recommend that any members of the JCR get involved with the JMS; it’s a great way to make a difference (cliché as that sounds, it’s true) and contribute to college life in a concrete way. New voices are always welcome and we’re currently in the process of planning the third iteration of the scholarship, so it’s an exciting time to get involved where you could really have a big influence on a crucial part of the JCR for years to come. Unfortunately, we can only support one scholar at a time, so the scholarship is not currently open to applications. Information on how to apply will be released once the scholarship is re-opened.