Conflict of interest at Fresher’s Fair

George Binning

The Officer Training Corps (OTC) clashed with the Stop the War Coalition (STWC) in their bids to win over new students in the Freshers’ Fair.

Though all student societies had been briefed by the SRC to keep to their stalls, there were reports that the OTC and the STWC were roaming freely round the Main University Building.

While the OTC tried approach potential recruits, the STWC followed close behind attempting to dissuade the Freshers.

Gavin Lee, SRC President, confirmed that both parties had been asked to stop their rogue operations.

He said: “OTC and STWC were asked by members of the SRC to stop blocking stairwells and doorways. Both organisations were asked to respect the same set of guidelines; this includes staying at one’s stall.”

Guardian spoke to an Officer Cadet, who asked to remain nameless, about the incident. Having represented the OTC at the Freshers’ Fair, he was keen to stress that recruiting for the the OTC was a separate venture to the Army.

He explained, “The Officer Training Corps does not necessarily lead to the army, it equips is members with a range of useful skills.”

Stacey MacMullen, speaking for the STWC, disagreed, saying: “The training in the OTC ultimately prepares its recruits for war.”

Both groups were quick to clarify that there were no personal vendettas between them, and that their differences were purely ideological.
The Officer Cadet maintained that as a member of the OTC, professional conduct was a priority.

He explained, “We do not want to get into a tit for tat exchange with the Stop the War Coalition. We are so different it would be a futile exercise. However some of their members are in fact friends of mine.”

Stacey MacMullen held a similar view.

He said, “We are not soldier haters, we have nothing against their members. Neither do we feel it would be possible to engage in constructive debate with them as we have such polar points of view, that is why we tried to persuade freshers instead.”


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