An open meeting was held on 17th of November 2013 at 18:45 in the Terrace Room.
The JCR President (Davina Moss) welcomed everyone to the meeting and introduced new students to the concept of Open Meetings.
In attendance: 74
1) Master Election
- Davina explained how the Master is retiring at the end of the year and the selection process for the new master is currently in progress. The JCR don’t get a vote on the master-ship but are asked to voice their opinions. DM and Kerry have been quizzing them on their approach to undergraduate’s role in the college and access. Of the remaining two candidates preference will be given to the ones with the most encouraging answers to these questions.
- The vote will be on the third of December.
2) Sky TV
- DM explained that Oxford persuaded sky to charge them as a charity. Cambridge now has the same deal, some colleges have already installed theirs, but we’ve been held back by technical difficulties. Tuesday has been given as a provisional date.
3) Gender equality
- Via the Athena Swan movement, Prof. Jane Clark is starting a Gender Equality Working Group. Louise Ashwell is hoping to start a more informal general equality chat group.
4) Access Update
- Alissa and Megan announced that we have had 49 signups for the shadowing scheme. The most of any college and stressed how excellent this was. Also stressed that it was important people ensure they’ve got DBS checks.
- The scheme will commence in Lent and the access team will help people organise their shadowing responsibilities.
- The alternative prospectus is taking off but desperately needs short “day-in-the-life” paragraphs about doing any particular subject. They hope for one from each subject. They’re also starting to think about format with publicity photos. All of this requires undergrad response, so email them if you’d like to help.
- Teaching committee is thinking about raising minimum offer for science subject to A*A*A. There is a worry people will be put off applying by this. To voice an opinion or hear how this develops email the access officers or Clare Jackson with pressing opinions and concerns.
- Emily Bosley asked if CUSU has a stance on this. At the moment they’re still collating opinions.
- New confidentiality agreement, now on the website to read
- Welfare supplies are always available in welfare locker but we ask that people use them responsibly as some are difficult or costly to replace
6) Green etc.
- Joe warns not to waste condoms or recycle them as made of plastic
- Encourages people to sign up for the student switch off. Currently at under 10% of student body, need extra effort and if we are successful can get more money for garden party. If you signed up last year, have to do so again!
- Central site now has mixed use recycling
- Joe now has a bird box
- Dan and Daisy encourages everyone to join the ents group
- Introduced some of the terms event like Big Night Out as well as Pub Quiz and Open Mic night (both are this committee’s innovations)
- Asked for feedback, especially on Viva’s which have had low attendance. This is an issue as we have to pay for porters to attend for safety reasons, as well as costing time and effort of the Ents committee. Superhalls are going very well, with good attendance and themes, but feedback also appreciated.
- We have many more Ents than most other colleges, potentially we could scale back and focus on better events less frequently. Viva slots would be replaced with a variety of other events like pub quizzes etc.
- People at open meeting given pen and paper to give comments which will be collected at the end. Any thoughts can also be sent by email to Dan or Daisy.
- Davina introduced the JCR budget as a whole and that JCR societies funding is open to all to peruse and comment on.
- Kerry points out all figures are maximums of how much they can use, full amounts are only given when needed and require proof of expenses from club captains.
- Christian said he will mainly go into detail for societies with big changes in funding. (I will minute in the same style, any societies not mentioned will receive similar treatment to last year)
- Access asked for extra money for student to go to schools for access days
- Badminton have reduced costs, with recalculated rates
- Basketball now joined with Clare, most cost on registration and court fees, Clare pays £550 to our £400
- Rowing asked for £200 more, which is to help reduce subscription fees and allow more people to get involved more easily
- F.D. Maurice is a new philosophy of religion society, with money going to food for lunch meetings
- Men’s football have asked for more to pay for new kit, which they were in dire need of
- Women’s football decreased by £100
- History society slightly increased but have also secured funding from fellows in order to run larger events
- Hockey have had trouble accessing their accounts, but we will grant them what they need now and they will give back the appropriate amount when they can
- Lacrosse did not send in a request. Provisionally they will be granted last years amount if they do seek it
- Music society cost mostly for maintenance of instruments
- Nat Sci society requires funding for food and drink at events
- Netball at £400, did not need any contribution last year as had left over money in accounts, but do this year
- Rugby need new kit, 75% of cost covered by development office and they will be encouraged to take excellent care of this and maintain it for a long time
- Titbit needs help with cost of printing
- Tit Hall Wool Mafia did not reply and has not yet been allocated anything
- Squash did not need any more funding
- Tennis much increased as new league system has been introduced and in order to be competitive need to rent an indoor court over winter
- Zumba and Volleyball are both new societies with relatively small requirements
- Comes to a total of £8660, an increase of £1500 pounds, mostly on new and improving societies which the JCR are keen and able to encourage
- Christian also explained how most of the rest of budget goes on freshers week, CUSUaffiliation, sky and newspaper subscriptions
Motion: The JCR will ratify this budget for the coming year
74 For, 0 Against, 0 Abstain
9) St. Clements Garden
- Students have asked if they can leave their stuff in rooms over holidays, as these rooms will not be used by college for conferencing. College believe this to be fine but don’t want to be showing unfair preference so ask for it to be put to a college wide vote. Davina will send round a vote tomorrow.
- Ed Brent says a few words in favour: Outlines proposal, they will not be allowed to stay in their rooms and must hand their room keys back. As they are not being used by conferencing it would seem a waste not to be able to use them, and will benefit not just the residents but friends who can also store things there and relieve difficulties of moving in or out. As Clems is soon to be demolished it is only being lossely maintained, making it harder to live in comfortably and in some ways this motion will balance out the discrepancy.
- Davina Moss presents a few words against to provide a counter argument and encourage fair debate. Traditionally keeping rooms is a scholars benefit, which we want to encourage. Also this was not known about before room ballot and any benefits not represented in pricing.
- Daisy Harrison raises the point that many rooms around college are not used by conferencing. Response being that college knows clems will not be used.
- Charlotte Atwood pointed out that many rooms around college have storage space for holidays and Clems doesn’t. Davina pointed out that this is taken into account with pricing.
- Alissa pointed out that Thompsons lane very difficult to park and load from, especially at times when many people are moving in or out.
- Question was asked if system could be set up to allow college in general to use storage space. Davina pointed out that this vote cannot mandate any individual student. Megan highlighted space issues in Clems, and whilst people will be encouraged to help store friends things while space is limited we cannot enforce individuals to do anything.
- Kerry pointed out that with the new Clems build being negotiated now, we do not College might back out on their previous decision that they’ll allow this to happen and we have little power to react to that, or may use it as a bargaining chip in rent want to push them too far on any one issue as it may affect future discussions. negotiations etc.
- Paul Duncan agrees, Owen likes him
- Many Clems residents raise the point that the quality of some of the facilities and maintenance is admittedly poor, and this was not made completely clear by college. In many ways leaving things in rooms will just make up for this.
- Davina will look into speed of maintenance requests and encourages people to send maintenance requests and wants to make clear that college will maintain things, but will not start on any large scale or expensive projects to fix or improve.
- Ed summed up by saying that it is the bigger maintenance issues that have the greatest effect and these are the things that won’t be fixed.
- Sandy points out that the discussion has become a comparison of who has the worst accommodations and encourages people to see this whole discussion as a one off decision that should be treated as such.
- People have asked for laundry on Cam-card. Currently a uni-wide investigation but Davina warns that progress may be slow. Alternatively a change machine in laundry room was suggested. Committee will look into this
- Zephyr said that after the vote on magazines to subscribe to, we will be getting National Geographic, Scientific American and The Week in the JCR. Don’t yet know how soon
- Davina gave a gushing and much deserved thanks to the outgoing freps and led the whole meeting in rousing applause
The Open Meeting for Michaelmas Term was held on the 17th November 2013 and finished at 19.55 and was followed by Frep-lection Hustings.