2014-03-14

A meeting of the JCR Committee was held on 14th March 2014.

Those present were:  Ellen Judson (President), Solene Fercocq (Vice President), Emily Bosley (Treasurer), Hux Norman & Lizzie Gaunt (Ents Presidents), Dale Walmsley (Frep), Anna Dobson (Frep), Sunny Honda (Frep), Eowyn Elliott (female welfare), Joel Daramola (male welfare), Oli Lane (webmaster), Jenni Irons (special considerations), Sandy Rushton (women’s officer), Furqaan Kaji (Black and ethnic minorities officer), James Troup (Secretary)

Apologies: Anna Edgar (Green & Ethics), Ethan Quek (International Rep), Jacob Sen (LGBT+ officer), Joe Pape (Access officer), JCR rep to MCR

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Aims and introductions

Ellen Judson welcomed everybody to the meeting, including new members. Committee members were asked to give their names, and an aim for their period in office, these were as follows:

  • Ellen Judson: To continue to work towards reform regarding tutor training.

  • Oli Lane: to keep the website updated and update/fix the online room database.

  • Sunny, Dale and Anna: to continue working in the role of Frep, and ensure the success of fresher’s week.

  • James Troup: to fulfil the role of secretary, and aim to reduce noise levels in the library.

  • Hux and Lizzie: ensure good freshers week, and high quality Vivas with good attendance.

  • Jenni Irons: to increase awareness of problems surrounding disabilities by holding events.

  • Joel Daramola: introduce peer to peer training to widen the pool of welfare trained students, and to liaise more with the college counsellor.

  • Sandy Rushton: follow CUSU and Louise Ashwell (previous Women’s Officer) in introducing mandatory consent workshops, continue the successful feminist forums in college, and introduce a college sexual harassment policy.

  • Furqaan: improve access for individuals in minorities, by dispelling myths around Cambridge and its admissions procedures.

  • Emily Bosley: Streamline grants system to make it easier for students to understand/ use.  College are working on this, so pressure them, and introduce intermediate solutions.

  • Eowyn Elliott: introduce free yoga, and self-defence training.

  • Solene Fercocq: make sure JCR Committee runs smoothly.

  • Anna Edgar (read by Solene): ensure ethical investment by college, improve recycling, create clearer framework for role of green and ethic officer.

  • Ethan Quek (read by Solene): more international events to encourage bonding between international students, as well as integration with the rest of the college.

ETHAP (Easter term happiness action plan)

Discussion of activities/ service to be provide to keep people happy during exam time.

  • Consensus that Dr Jackson should continue with barbecues organised by the previous Senior Tutor. Ellen Judson (EJ) reminded that ideally all tutors should be invited to this event.

  • Free donuts again should be provided as previously, on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  Emily Bosley (EB) asked whether gluten free donuts could be provided.  Action: Contact the Manciple and enquire about gluten free donuts.

  • Cookies to be provided in library, by librarians, as in previous years? Action: James to ask head Librarian, Dominique Broad, whether this service will continue.

  • Eowyn Elliot: aim to provide Yoga, possibly cheap/ free, using contact from previous welfare officer, Georgia ware.  Mats can be provided by college.  Yoga generally judged to be better than Zumba, as it is more relaxing/ de-stressing.

  • Jog Squad wanted, could be organised by a non-Committee member?

  • Eowyn and Joel: welfare teas. These will continue or be increased, although will stop as exams begin, so as not to clash with other provisions (free donuts etc.).

  • Dr Jackson to give a pep talk?  Needs to be both encouraging and motivating.

  • Quiet space to be provided for meditation/ relaxation? Difficulty in providing room, as many turned over to study space during the exams.  Lecture room, terrace room and welfare room all possibilities.  Something to think about generally before next meeting.

Mental Health Workshop

  • EJ in discussion with Chris Page at CUSU.  EJ to talk to Student Mind, get professionals in to talk about mental health, as well as involving college counsellor and nurse.  Organise Mindfulness workshops, to have in the evenings during next term.  It was emphasised that these workshops needed to be presented as an event relevant to the entire JCR/college, as if they were perceived as being solely for the use of individuals with mental health problems, these individuals might avoid the event s for fear of stigmatisation. Action: Ellen to continue looking in to organisation of workshops.

  • Jenni Irons (JI) would like to give out contact details for welfare reps and college counsellors etc on business cards to distribute in pigeon holes, or at a mental health workshop.  Potential issues of privacy for welfare reps raised (see below)

  • Overall need to increase awareness of college counsellor. Action: Welfare/Freps to get counsellor to address Freshers during fresher’s week.

  • Back to welfare contacts.  EE: welfare phone to be kept 9-5 then given to porters suggested.  This raised issues of practicality, as well as the potential for abuse.  SF suggested that this would only be needed in an emergency anyway, and would then be likely to concern a matter best dealt with by porters/tutors.  Questions as to whether numbers of welfare reps should be distributed.  Apparently this worked fine for the previous welfare reps, Georgia and Nick.  Sandy Rushton emphasised that the welfare rep/ student relationship needed certain boundaries.  Concluded that business cards with numbers for Linkline, Samaritans etc. would be a better solution.

Notice Board

  •  SF: newly organised JCR noticeboard torn down.  Action: SF to send out guilt-tripping email.

Living Wage

  • Several questions over potential living wage campaign. How much are Trinity Hall staff paid? Who employs them (college or subcontractors)? Some staff receive free meals etc., so salary may not reflect full remuneration.

Action: Further Investigation (To be conducted by Anna Edgar?).

Gowns

  • EB: Gowns being bought from Ede and Ravenscroft have gone down in price.  Last year a £5 profit was made on the gowns, and it was discussed whether this should occur again, with money being used during fresher’s week.  EB has yet to see accounts, so it was difficult to say.  However it was concluded, given that the gowns would still be far cheaper than if bought privately it is reasonable to make a small profit, although it should be advertised that cheaper gowns are available (e.g from Ryder and Amies).

Action: EB to look at budget, although gowns likely to be sold for £40 with a small profit made by the JCR.

Sexual Health

  • Joel and Eowyn discussed welfare training on sexual health that they had attended with CUSU.  They mentioned that concerns had been raised by CUSU over our system whereby condoms are kept in an open locker in F staircase, as these could be prone to tampering, especially pricking, which is a serious problem that has occurred at another college, and Joel emphasised was difficult to detect.  There was a long discussion over how best to overcome this, whilst still ensuring that condoms were readily and anonymously available to students.  A number of suggestions were made including the use of an anonymous email system, which Oli Lane says he could design, with condoms being left in the pigeon holes of welfare reps, as a “welfare pigeon hole” could be easily viewed by porters on CCTV.  Putting condoms in sealed envelopes is another possibility, as is a dispenser machine, although condoms from here would be significantly more expensive, and the machine itself would cost around £160, although it is possible a pre-existing one could be adapted.  The locker system need not be scrapped, but it should be marginalised, and student encouraged to think more long term.  The risks of condom tampering should be raised with freshers during fresher’s week.

Action: EJ and SF to raise the issue and CUSU Presidents’ and External officer’s meeting.

A.O.B

  • SR raised the ongoing issue of a college sexual harassment policy and consent workshops.  Dr Jackson is happy for some statement on sexual harassment to be included in the revised edition of the Red Book.  Action: Sandy to email Dr Jackson CUSU’s sexual harassment policy as a draft.

  • SR; consents workshops. SR does not want to run them alone, so it was suggested that the Welfare reps and subcommittee members, particularly the LGBT+ officer, be involved.  The workshops would ideally be around half an hour, with 25 people present.  Need to think about gender in workshops; people may feel uncomfortable with other genders in workshop, but we must avoid discriminating against non-binary genders.  Also questions as to whether it should be mandatory, as some people may be uncomfortable with the topic of rape, although it was emphasised that the talks should be kept relatively light hearted.  Hopefully this could all be accommodated into wider sex and relationships talk. Action: further thought and investigation, Sandy Rushton, Freps and Welfare Reps.

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The last meeting of the JCR Committee for Lent Term 2014 ended at 20:30 on the 14th March 2014

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James Troup (jgt28)

JCR Secretary

Trinity Hall