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Alexander Woolley has published 30 articles

Hilda's Harlem Shake reaches House of Commons

National Exclusive: George Galloway tables motion in support of fired librarian and disciplined students
Alexander Woolley on Wednesday 20th March 2013
Photograph: BBC Pictures

George Galloway MP has tabled a motion in the House of Commons urging St Hilda’s College to reinstate librarian Calypso Nash.

Nash was controversially fired for not preventing a ‘Harlem Shake’ in the college’s library at the end of last term. 

The motion claims that “the College authorities seem to have suffered a severe sense of humour loss” and describes the Harlem Shake as an “incident for which the Librarian bears no responsibility.”

It goes on to inform Parliament that “St Hilda’s College was named after Hilda of Whitby who was noted for her wisdom and good advice" and suggests "that the College authorities should draw on St Hilda’s wisdom in relation to this incident.”

Furthermore the motion “urges the College authorities to think again [and] see the funny side of this.”

Ron McKay, a spokesperson for Galloway, told Cherwell that the motion was submitted "because of a gross injustice and the over-reaction of the authorities."

JCR President Esther Gosling said, "The response to the story has been overwhelming and was never expected. The support for our quest for the reinstatement of the librarian is very much appreciated. We hope the matter will be resolved soon."

Another Hilda's student, Ellen Gibson, told Cherwell, "For once, I wholly agree with Galloway. Nash was not involved in the Harlem Shake and was not in a position to stop it and so her dismissal is completely uncalled for.

"Also, the disciplinary attitude which seems to have been taken towards this incident in general seems excessive- the dance lasted only 30 seconds and did not cause major disruption; the JCR unanimously decided to support those being penalised demonstrating how little offense was caused to those who actually use the library."

The Bradford West MP's motion also refers to the JCR motion recently passed at St Hilda's. It mandated the JCR President to ask for a written reason from the college explaining in detail their decision to fire Nash from her job.

The ‘Harlem Shake’ at Hilda’s has become an “online sensation”, according to the Commons motion. The Mirror, The Telegraph, and The Times  have all reported the issue, following Cherwell's coverage of the episode earlier this week.

St Hilda’s College declined to comment.

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