Several graduates mentioned that it came as no surprise to learn of the hideous experiments taking place in Oxford University's vivisection laboratories, as the University lacks any moral compass as is shown by its track record of involvement with some very dubious organisations.
We were told of Oxford University's dealings with armament companies and with organisations that destroy the environment.
The University has previously received research grants worth hundreds of thousands of pounds from BAE Systems, one of the world's largest military contractors. They have also invested substantial sums of money in Lockheed Martin, the US arms manufacturer that is involved in the cluster bomb trade (a loop-hole in the current legislation allows organisations and financial institutions to back cluster bomb manufacturers as long as they don't invest in the bombs directly!).
Shell is a company with a terrible record on both environmental and human rights issues, and yet Oxford University has no qualms about choosing Shell to fund its Earth Sciences Lab. Members of Oxford University Alumni were so incensed by this decision, that a hundred Alumni signatures were added to a letter opposing Shell's likely influence over the University's climate change studies.
Kate Allen, the director Amnesty and also an Oxford Alumna had the following to say about Oxford University and Shell -
"By picking Shell, Oxford University has chosen an odd bedfellow. Amnesty International has consistently highlighted Shell's poor human rights record in the Niger Delta. Large parts of the region, home to more than 30m people, have become a polluted wasteland due to the activities of oil companies.
Numerous oil spills have left local communities with little option but to drink polluted water, eat contaminated fish, and breath in air that reeks of oil and gas. Yet Shell has consistently failed to own up to its responsibilities."
Oxford University have certainly been in bed with some very unsavoury organisations. One day perhaps, the university will face the fact that it has social responsibilities! SPEAK will be back outside the Sheldonian Theatre when the Degree Day Ceremonies recommence next March to remind them of this fact.