Target: Andrew Hamilton, University of Oxford’s Vice-Chancellor
Goal: Overturn the unjust firing of Oxford librarian Calypso Nash
The “Harlem Shake” is a dance which recently gained widespread viral popularity through the internet and which has been recreated countless times by various groups of people. One such group was made up of around thirty students at the University of Oxford. At 11:30 pm at St. Hilda’s College Library, these students filmed the dance clip which was estimated to have taken no more than seven minutes. The resulting video is 30 seconds long, and has received thousands of views.
As a result, every student involved has been fined by the Dean. However, the real injustice was that the librarian, a graduate student named Calypso Nash, was fired. Students have not only called for the fines to be rescinded, citing the time of the video shoot being purposely selected to avoid disrupting anyone, but have also demanded that their librarian have her position reinstated. Various students have gone on record saying that she had no part in the video, did not know it was happening, and was in no position to stop it when it did happen.
Junior Common Room (JCR) President Esther Gosling has requested that a written explanation be given in order to justify the sacking of Calypso Nash, but the governing body of the university has refused to comment. Demand that the heads of the University of Oxford offer Miss Nash a reinstatement for this unjustified action in which she had no part.
Dear Vice-Chancellor Hamilton,
Approximately thirty students at the University of Oxford recently filmed a thirty-second “Harlem Shake” video inside of St. Hilda’s College Library. Those same students were fined as a result, and librarian Calypso Nash was fired from her position.
That the event was specifically planned to minimize the possibility of disturbing anyone at 11:30 pm on a Sunday, and lasted only seven minutes, has been enough for students to question the penalty of fines. But regardless of how you chose to discipline the students involved, sacking the librarian is an action with a complete and obvious lack of justification under the circumstances in which she was both unaware and unable to stop them. In addition, that those responsible for the decision have opted to ignore even those reasonable requests to have the action explained only further adds insult to injury.
Firing Calypso Nash is a completely unfair reaction to the action of a few students who participated in a non-damaging and non-disrespectful performance within the walls of your institution. As a responsible leader who understands the fine line between regulatory discipline and unjust punishment, please offer Calypso Nash a reinstatement.
[Your Name Here]
photo credit: Remi Mathis via Wikimedia Commons