Oxford students have complained of excessive promotion by members of the Oxford Inter-Collegiate Christian Union, as part of ‘Mission Week’.A student at Exeter College described a “constant stream” of religious literature posted to students, and told Cherwell that he suspected his atheism and involvement with the LGBT may have had a role to play in his targeting. “I had a seventh copy of the gospels of St. John forced upon me today,” he explained, and added, “The misdirected resources of Mission Week have had no impact on me.”Robbie Strachan, President of the OICCU, stressed the inclusivity of the society, encouraging students of any denomination or faith to attend lunch-time talks and events running throughout fourth week at the town hall. He told Cherwell “’This is Jesus’ is a week of events for every single student in the university to engage with the real Jesus. That means that meetings are open for all students to attend, irrespective of their personal convictions.”He added, “We’d encourage people to come and see what all the fuss is about.”In response to OICCU’s campaign tactics some students have produced rival posters and fliers with varying degrees of gravity. One particularly contentious poster listed several different gods with the “This is…” tag and featured quotes from prominent atheists claiming that organised religion is synonymous with “misogyny, genocide and homophobia.” The more light-hearted responses to the CU campaign include a list of cheeses entitled “This is cheesus” which was distributed in all University College toilets, and a series of labels found around St Hugh’s with declarations such as “this is kitchen” and “this is lamp.”Regent’s Park College, a PPH affiliated with the Christian Baptist Ministry, reportedly had a ‘This is Jesus’ poster graffitied to read, ‘This is SPARTA’ in their JCR. Other parodies featured on Facebook show that students have gone so far as to create ‘This is Penis’ parodies of the poster complete with a silhouetted phallus. Second year PPEist Ben Deaner, creator of the ‘This is Penis’ meme told Cherwell of his motives, claiming, ‘As an atheist I have not yet ‘found God’ and as such you can imagine my excitement upon finding a poster labeled ‘This is Jesus’. After some enthusiastic shouting about how I had at last encountered my Lord and Savior I was politely informed that the object was in fact a poster and that the message was some kind of metaphor. In my disappointment and anger I created the ‘This is Penis’ poster.’Not all are offended by the efforts of OICCU however with one anonymous student claiming, ‘I like that they’re making the effort to reach out to us, even if it can be a little over-enthusiastic at times. They mean well and I find the appeal of free lunches and toasties on demand pretty convincing in return for a half hour of pleasant talk.’A first year student at New College commented, “Although I understand that the Christian Union is well meaning, the indiscriminate dissemination of ‘This is Jesus’ books seems to be nothing other than an explicit attempt to convert non-believers. I – and almost all others to whom I have spoken – have reacted against this, as it seems inappropriate in a diverse society in which we should all be entitled to our own views and beliefs.“As someone who is Jewish and is open about this, I find really quite offensive the insinuation in the quotation attached to the book that “the truth will set you free,” implying that as a non-Christian I am somehow in chains, not emancipated, and destined for hell. Once again, I realise that there is no malicious intent behind the actions of the CU, and in general most people appreciate the philanthropic works of the Union, but I felt this was somewhat misguided.”Second year Alexander Lynchehaun remarked, “Christians are annoying at the best of times, but this week has been something else.”
× EGG DROP — Ms. Narese’s & Mrs. Baker’s 4th and 1st grade classes at All Saints Catholic Academy joined forces in November for STEM with a joint class Egg Drop. Students brought in materials found around their homes and worked in groups of 2 or 3 to create a capsule that could hold an egg and withstand a 15 ft. drop. Twelve out of eighteen eggs were successful and made the trip uncracked.
Remi Garde is contemplating changes in a bid to plug Aston Villa’s leaky defence after a “painful” defeat at home to Watford. Press Association Garde’s reign as manager got off to a positive start with a clean sheet and a very creditable goalless draw at home to Manchester City at the beginning of the month. But since the Barclays Premier League resumed after the international break Villa have suffered successive defeats to Everton and Watford, conceding seven goals in the process. Villa were awful last weekend at Goodison Park where they were three goals behind at half-time before eventually losing 4-0 and despite a much improved all-round performance on Saturday, Watford exposed their defensive frailties once more with a 3-2 victory at Villa Park. Garde admitted it was “painful” viewing against the Hornets and was clearly frustrated by Alan Hutton’s “silly” own goal midway through the second half which surrendered the initiative and presented Watford with a 2-1 lead. Villa remain bottom of the Premier League and without a win since the opening day of the season and Garde could look to try to remedy that by making changes at the back for the trip to Southampton next weekend. “I have some possibilities so I will have a look (at making changes) but I don’t know for the moment,” said Garde, who has Jores Okore available after injury for the first time since the FA Cup final and will soon have Tiago Ilori competing for a spot in defence too. “I have many players who can play also at the back, not too many in all positions. But some are possibilities for me, I will see. “It is not always individuals though, it is sometimes collective. But also as individuals, for sure, they have to improve their level. “That is not a criticism, it is a fact. Everybody has to improve his level and the team will be better. “We want so much to score that we gave the opportunity to counter-attack too easily. “The first goal was the most difficult to digest for me because it is not a question of tactics, it is just a question of clearing the ball in front of your box and we have to learn from that.” Watford boss Quique Sanchez Flores made his own defensive switch for the game at Villa Park, handing Juan Carlos Paredes his first Premier League start in place of Ikechi Anya. It was a surprise move by the Spaniard but Sanchez Flores explained the importance of his squad will come to the fore over the coming weeks. “Anya has played every game this season and sometimes players have to rest a little bit and watch the match from the bench,” he said. “Paredes has played very well and in the last five matches he has been playing 20 minutes and his performances have improved our system. “So this was the moment for him to play. It was the same for (Nathan) Ake and for (Adlene) Guedioura. We need options. “We can’t play the whole season with just 13 players. We need 17 players ready if we want to keep going.”