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Melissa "Oregon" Shawcross
Melissa Shawcross

Portrayed By

Charlotte Ritchie

First Appearance

1.01

Last Appearance

4.06

Relationship Status

Single

Relationship History

Tony Shales (former affair)
Dylan Shales (ex-boyfriend)

Friends

Vod
Kingsley
Josie
JP
Howard
Candice
Alison (formerly)

Occupation

Student Union president (formerly)
Literature student

Housing Status

Student house (The Fresh Meat House)

Other Names

Melissa (real name)
Wingman

Melissa Shawcross (aka Oregon) is one of the main characters of Channel 4's television series, Fresh Meat who lives in the share student housing with many of the other characters.

Oregon is a literature student and, like JP, from a privileged background. An idealist, Oregon is paranoid about how she is perceived by her peers, and believes that her privileged upbringing will negatively affect this. When she first arrives at university, she gives herself the nickname "Oregon," makes a clear effort to hide her background, and immediately befriends Vod, the most outgoing and party-loving of the housemates.

Oregon attempts to emulate Vod in as many ways as possible, enthusiastically agreeing with every anti-establishment or anti-elitist view Vod expresses even if she is guilty of what Vod is criticising. Despite discovering the truth about Oregon, Vod remains genuinely fond of her, and the two are close friends. She embarks on an affair with her lecturer, Tony Shales, and later unknowingly forms a relationship with his son, Dylan. The relationships end at the end of the second series. Oregon fancies herself as a political activist, but often displays a lack of world-wariness or understanding of contentious issues.

After spending most of the third series running for Student Union presidency, she discovers the difficulty of the post, and spends the early part of the fourth series trying to enjoy the power of the job, despite the obvious lack of respect she commands, and budgetary problems. Eventually, her arrogance and unwillingness to admit her own mistakes lead to her being impeached from the post, and rejected from the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship in the USA. Her horrific final year is capped when she is awarded lower second-class honours (a "2:2"), far lower than her parents expected of her, and when she attempts to apply for a master's degree, she is given a place on Tony Shales's course purely because of his desire to get back together with her. Vod ultimately stands up for her to her overbearing mother, and the series ends with Oregon moving to Laos to write a novel, with Vod accompanying her.

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