A meeting of the JCR Committee was held at 5.00pm on 27th April 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), Ethan Quek (International Rep), Jacob Sen (LGBT+ officer), Joe Pape (Access officer).
Apologies: Anna Edgar (Green & Ethics), JCR rep to MCR
- Solene Fercocq (SF) discussed the results of the referenda recently conducted on the boat club rooms and scholar’s benefit. In terms of the rooms, than option for no rooms for the boat club received the most votes, however the 3 option allocating some kind of room received more votes in total. Allocating a single room to the boat was suggested as a compromise. In terms of the scholar’s benefit, the results generated a large number of comments, although the results generally favoured replacing the free vacation residency, which is being removed, with increased grans of money.
- SF and Ellen Judson (EJ) suggested raising the benefit to £350, and increasing the book tokens to a value of £100
- Sandy Rushton (SR) noted that book tokens could be used to purchase things in book shops other than books
- It was noted generally that the usefulness of book tokens depend on a person’s subject. It was also noted that it was undesirable to raise the size of the benefit too extensively, as it is not intended as a financial incentive.
- EJ suggested £50 book tokens for those achieving a 2.I could be introduced. This was met with general agreement.
- Eowyn Elliott (EE) suggested that if peoples first Firsts and 2.Is were receiving benefit, the minority with 2.IIs and 3rds could feel marginalised.
- Emily Bosley (EB) noted that awarding tokens based on 2.Is/2.IIs could be problematic, as Natural Sciences students in the first year do receive split second class results, on 2nds.
Easter Term Happiness Action Plan
- In response to previous questions about gluten free donuts, Anna Dobson (AD) had ascertained that they available on request, but was unsure of the requests procedure. SF suggested that fruit could also be made available. Action: Anna to investigate further.
- EJ update on mental health workshops, there have been some delays with people getting in touch with her, so she will keep the committee updated
- EE update of Yoga, yoga has been successful.
Action: EE to investigate use of Master’s Garden for Yoga
- EJ – JCR need to sign off on plans for Wyng Gardens. Noted that all rooms ensuite, and there were no rooms specifically designed for people with disabilities. There are also 4 steps down to the laundry room, addition of a ramp suggested. Wyng gardens would have an elevator.
- Jenni Irons (JI) felt that the elevator was a positive, although it would be important to check the size.
- Joe Pape (JP) asked about disabled rooms at other colleges. EJ had looked into this, and believed that whilst Trinity Hall has more than most, the fact that these are located at the Wychfield site if problematic.
- Joel Daramola (JD) and EJ both voiced concerns over the pricing of rooms, believing that as they are all ensuite and in the centre of town, they may be priced above New Build, which is generally considered to be very expensive. SF felt it was important that there was a range of prices available.
- JI questioned whether, as there will be more rooms in Wyng Gardens than in Clems, space could be made to accommodate disable rooms. It was concluded that the committee should recommend the addition of some disabled rooms in wyng gardens, with a specific number to be negotiated.
- SF felt that the number of kitchens in Wyng Gardens was fine, 10 people per kitchen is reasonable, and better than the provision in Boulton House.
- EJ also noted that there would be a common room in Wyng Gardens. In terms of security, there would be CCTV covering the entrances to Wyng Gardens, but it has also been suggested by the college that in the interests of security, CCTV be present within the common room, particularly as no porters will be on site.
- AD questioned how the CCTV would be observed, would footage only be accessed by the porters after an incident?
- EE noted that only having CCTV on the entrances would not protect the security of property left in the common room
- SR questioned whether the common room was intended as a “party room” as at BoHo, or a common work space, more like the crescent room.
- Jacob Sen (JS) asked if there were plans to make the room card accessible. It was believed that there weren’t, although this would be suggested.
- A vote was take on whether there should be CCTV in the common room. The results were 2 in favour, 16 against. SR noted that her no vote was not a flat out rejection of CCTV, but of the current proposals, and that she would prefer to see certain qualifications. Several others agreed with this assessment.
Action: The JCR Committee to make several recommendations. Disabled access rooms should be introduced, as well as a ramp to the laundry room. The pricing of the rooms is to be questioned. The current proposals for CCTV in the common room are to be rejected, with a view to further negotiation. It is to be recommended that a card scanner be included on the doors.
- EB updated the committee on TVs across the college. The TV in the JCR is now working, although not receiving sky, so this is to be investigated. However, the TVs in New Build are not working, and this currently falls under the remit of the JCR. EB would like to pass this responsibility to the college or residents. The TVs would cost approximately £150 each to replace, and it was noted that most members of the JCR do not have access to these TVs
- JI asked who had initially purchased them. EJ was unsure, although believed it to be the JCR.
- SR questioned whether the TVS were included in advertisements for conferencing in New Build, as if the college are utilising them in this way, then she felt they had a responsibility to pay.
- EJ stated there was a general need for more information. Needed to clarify who paid the license, the history of the TVs and their relationship to conferencing
- EB also mentioned the possibility of cable TV in Wyng Gardens, and felt that if this facility was to be advertised to conferencing guests then the JCR shouldn’t pay. EB also noted that it terms of repairing any TVS the JCR should be able to make use of the College’s electrician rather than using external personnel.
- Hux Norman (HN) felt that the needs of New Build residents should not be financially prioritised.
- EE felt that the residents of New Build should pay, preferably in small instalments.
- SR felt that the TVs were not the JCRs responsibility.
Action: EJ and EB to do some research. Find out who has paid for the TVs previously, how they are utilised in conferencing, and canvass the views of New Build residents.
Sex and Relationships Workshop
- Following the successful trial run of the workshop that morning by SR with the JCR committee. Implementation of the workshop to be discussed with Dr Jackson, as well as the introduction of a sexual harassment policy. SR thanked those who had completed the “Cambridge speaks out” survey, which confirmed that there are issues in Cambridge regarding sexual harassment.
- EJ noted that she has mentioned these issues to Dr Jackson in the past, and Dr Jackson’s response has been positive/enthusiastic.
- SR noted that the welfare committee needed to sign confidentiality agreements, and publicise that this had been done. New welfare posters featuring the new committee also needed.
Action: Sex and Relationships workshops and harassment policy to be discussed with Dr Jackson. Welfare reps to sign confidentiality agreement, new welfare posters to be produced.
It had been proposed by a member of the JCR that a small additional charge be levied on formal hall tickets to be used as a contribution to charity
- EE felt that this would be unlikely to reduce attendances as people tend to attend them only for special occasions
- EJ noted that they are expensive anyway and the amount to be levied, perhaps 50p, is not a huge addition, especially as many people are unsure about the cost anyway
- EB liked the idea suggested by the member of the JCR of a high effect charity, i.e. one where the charge levied goes to purchasing something specific.
- JP felt that if an opt out clause were provided few would utilise it.
- Ents presidents Hux and Lizzie were happy with the idea and did not raise any concerns
- SF suggested that we should pick a few charities, and then put this to a vote for the whole JCR
- EJ suggested a malaria charity
- EB felt it might be useful to publicise this by theming a Superhall around it
- EE suggested a food based charity. SR suggested that this could be local, e.g. a food bank. Representatives of this charity could address the JCR.
- EJ also suggested that the representatives to the Kitchens committee find out why our formals, especially guest tickets, are so much more expensive than other colleges. SR noted that the kitchens might profit from increased attendance with lower guest tickets. JP noted that this would reduce the issue of guests attending under the names of members of the college.
Action: Kitchen committee members to discuss cost of formal halls. Potential charities to be researched.
- JD and EE – Sunday the 11th raised. EJ enquired whether tutors would be invited, to which the answer was yes.
- It was noted that the kitchen should be asked to produce more cakes and fewer sandwiches as people prefer these.
- SF asked whether welfare teas would stop once doughnuts were being provided. EE and JD concluded yes, as the previous welfare reps had had difficulties in clashes between the two.
- SF – referendum, EJ to send an email reminding. Referendum looking for several changes: a new campaigns and societies officer, the introduction of CUSU societies support, getting rid of the old role of CUSU co-ordinator (as this was felt to be an ill-defined role), increase the freedom of student representatives to change CUSU in order to make it more responsive, introducing more student oversight into CUSU finances, and more transparent trustee oversight.
- SF felt the referendum was a positive step, and want to get people interested.
- EJ noted that some objections had been raised, some felt that the Sabbatical officers shouldn’t be organising a referendum and that that was the responsibility of the student representatives, only five days had been given from the council vote on the referendum to the referendum itself, as opposed to the usual seven. Some have also asserted that the referendum represents more of the bureaucracy with which many students have become dissatisfied.
- EB questioned whether a permanent campaigns officer could be problematic for the autonomous campaigns, although EJ felt this role would only support them.
- JI noted that not much appeared to be happening with eh disabilities campaign and noted the vacant officer positions.
Action: SF to print of info from “Yes” and “no” vote Facebook pages, put them in the JCR and possibly the dining hall queuing area as well.
- HN and Lizzie Gaunt (LG). Organisation going well, although HN and LG having difficulties as they are not signatories on the Ents bank account. A key problem with this is that the signatories left the college a number of years ago, and one is possibly living abroad.
- EB suggested a letter from the Junior Bursar would be useful. SF noted that getting some form of signature from the original signatories might not be impossible
- EJ noted that in the meantime ticket revenue could go through the JCR account. SR felt that cash only transaction could be used, as college members will be billed to their accounts anyway. This was felt to be feasible.
- EB noted that if the Ents presidents could not access the right funds in the meantime, they could be tided over with the JCR account
Scales for Porters Lodge
- Sunny Honda asked about the possibility of scales in the lodge for measuring baggage, especially for international student.
- SF noted that the scales were unlikely to be expensive, perhaps £40. People were in favour of this use of funds.
- EB suggested that they be stored in the plodge on a sign put basis. EB also questioned whether the same could be done with yoga mats.
International Student’s storage
- Ethan Quek asked what the arrangements would be over summer for international students. SF stated that baggage would be stored at Wychfield. SF also noted that this had been problematic in the past as the amount stored meant she had difficulty accessing her belongings in the past.
- EJ noted that there was a desire from the college to alter arrangements for vacation residence. Residence only to be granted with a specific reason, although it had been assured these reasons would be broad, although judged on a case by case basis. EB raised the scenario of coming early to utilise cheap flights, and it was felt that residence would be likely to be granted.
Action: Ellen to raise the issues discussed with the Junior Bursar
The first meeting of the JCR Committee for Easter Term 2014 ended at 6:00pm on the 27th of April.
James Troup (jgt28)