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St Peter’s silences students after sexual misconduct impeachment attempt

In an email sent to members of the JCR, students were warned that dissemination of this information would lead to "disciplinary proceedings by the college – with an expectation of severe sanction.”

St Peter’s College has attempted to prevent students from disclosing the details of an attempt in Hilary term to impeach a senior JCR officer found by the college to have committed sexual misconduct.

In an email sent by the college on the 6th March, and seen exclusively by Cherwell, the college informed students that an impeachment motion was lodged by another student after the official was “found guilty, by college disciplinary proceedings, of sexual misconduct”.

A further email sent on the 8th March warns students that: “Any publication or further dissemination of any aspect of any statements [presented by the parties involved in the impeachment] will be subject to disciplinary proceedings by the college – with an expectation of severe sanction.”

In a later message circulated to the college’s students on the 9th March, the college’s Master elaborated that: “The College’s resultant view (having taken legal advice) is that the information these statements contain may be disclosed solely to members of the Colleges JCR.

The message further tells students: “these statements may not be used for any other purpose by any member of the JCR; nor may they be reproduced, circulated (or forwarded, either wholly or in part).

“Failure to comply with these restrictions would open the student so acting to severe disciplinary measures”.  

Cherwell understands that the impeachment motion was subsequently voted down by members of the JCR.

It is not known what legal advice the college received or what form the college’s threatened disciplinary measures would take.

In the college’s “Student Administrative Handbook” it claims that “Students are reminded that injudicious dealings with the national, local, and student press and media can result in libel action and may be subjected to disciplinary action by the College.”

St Peter’s College declined to comment. St Peter’s JCR was contacted for comment.  

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