JCR Committee Meeting
A meeting of the JCR Committee was held at 10:30 AM on the 13th June 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), Anna Edgar (Green & Ethics)
Apologies: JCR rep to MCR
Updates from Previous Meeting
- Ellen Judson (EJ): With regards to the Televisions, it has been confirmed that the College will be responsible for all televisions, including those in Wychfield New Build
- Special considerations for exams – Discussed with Dr Jackson, who will investigate further.
- Boat Club Rooms: Discussed with Junior Bursar Glenn Sharp, the Boat Club is to be given the use of a set. This is contrary to the Committee’s suggestion of a single room, however it was concluded that it would be undesirable for the captain to live alone on central site.
- Clock: hopefully a clock, perhaps in a crescent shape, will be placed in the dining hall at some point in the future
- Vacation Residence – Directors of Studies have suggested applying to other colleges until the situation at Trinity Hall has been clarified.
Disabled Students Allowance
- Jenni Irons (JI): Jenni explained to the committee the importance of the DSA in supporting disabled students at university. The government have proposed changes to the DSA, wanting HE institutions to bear a much larger portion of the responsibility, removing some non-medical help such as note taking services, Computers no longer to be paid for as standard, limitations will be placed on accommodation funding, and the definition of disability will be modified to exclude those suffering from dyslexia and dyspraxia, who currently comprise a significant proportion of those receiving the allowance.
- JI objected strongly to the changes and felt that we need to inform the JCR.
- Noted that standing DSA agreements will continue unaltered.
- In terms of response, there is an online petition which has thus far attracted around 14000 signatures, there’re is an NUS survey, and a template letter provided by the NUS to be sent to MPs.
- Ellen Judson (EJ) asked whether College would be likely to fill in the gaps in provision. JI felt that this was likely, and that overall the wealth of the University of Cambridge meant that these changes would have less of an effect here. However, JI was stills strongly interested in the changes as a national issue.
Action: JI to email JCR about changes, with links to the petition and template letters etc.
Formal Hall Charity Surcharge
- Anna Edgar (AE) reported back on the proposed formal hall surcharge. The Kitchens have agreed to its implementation. Following this, AE wanted a referendum on the charge as well as the charity. With regards to a charity, AE noted that College already donates a significant amount to local charities such as homeless shelters, and that an international charity might have a higher impact with the money donated.
- With regards to the referendum, Solene Fercocq (SF) enquired whether it would be worthwhile for the JCR to invest in buying a Survey Monkey membership. As this is comparatively inexpensive, the committee agreed to this.
- Ethan Quek (EQ) enquired whether the overall price of formals could be reduced in any way.
- SF noted that this had been raised with the kitchens and the costing was quite complex, and difficult to reduce. The possibility that the JCR might use some of its budge to substitute costs was raised.
Action: Oli Lane (OL) to investigate survey monkey, AE to produce a survey canvassing the JCR on the proposal of a surcharge, and the charity to be aided.
- AE has met with the housekeeping staff to discuss housekeeping arrangements, housekeeping and the college as a whole a broadly happy with the current arrangement, and AE felt that they had come across as being reluctant to implement any changes. They were especially reluctant to introduce any changes which might create extra work for the housekeeping staff.
- AE’s suggestions for improving the system was to have, rather than recycling collection on one day, have general waste collected on Mon, Weds and Fri, and recycling on Tues and Thurs. Shared recycling boxes in kitchens would be the responsibility of a nominated staircase representative, as at other colleges. This representative could also be responsible for maintenance requests.
- EJ questioned whether a representative would be necessary; e.g. with maintenance requests.
- Eowyn Elliot (EE) noted that the recycling in kitchens between four in New Build was not an issue, however it was a worse problem in Boulton House and Bishop Bateman Court.
- Sandy Rushton (SR) felt that clearer instruction were needed regarding recycling, and suggested some document could be produced. Ellen suggested that Anna might do this.
- AE also noted issues with the recycling bins, as whilst students separate paper and general waste in their rooms, only for them to go into the beds. Emily Bosley (EB) noted that this was not how the bedmakers should be handling the rubbish.
- Beyond this, AE suggested that boxes could be put in the porter’s lodges, as well as in BBC, to collect non-perishable foodstuffs for local homeless charities. This could be done at Christmas as well. This was agreed to be a good idea and EJ suggested Anna ask the porters.
- SF noted that by this point AE had a great number of tasks, and it was suggested that some be delegated.
Actions: AE to continue to investigate recycling situation, and discuss collection boxes with porters. EE, Joel Daramola (JD) and Dale Walmsey (DW) all agreed to assist AE in these tasks wherever necessary.
- EJ suggested that a gift be purchased on behalf of the JCR to thank the outgoing Master and his wife. Ellen suggested that a tree could be planted in the gardens at Wychfield, or else given to the master. It was broadly agreed by the committee that a tree to be planted at Wychfield would be appropriate.
Actions: EJ to discuss the planting of a tree with the gardeners.
Fresher’s Week Arrangements
- The committee discussed the arrangements to be made for Fresher’s week at length, and in great detail. Included in the minutes below are key points made, as well as the various outcomes agreed upon by the committee.
- It was discussed when different people should arrive for fresher’s week. It was concluded that not everybody needed to be present when the first tranches of mathematicians etc. arrived. It was decided that EJ, SF, EQ, DW, Anna Dobson (AD) and Lizzie Gaunt (LG) would be present from the arrival of the mathematicians. EB, JD, EE and AE should arrive when the Natural Scientists arrive. The rest of the committee should aim to be present by the 1st of October.
- EJ noted that the JCR committee would be reimbursed for accommodation.
- EJ – CUSU are running a ball in Fresher’s week, the fresher’s should be informed, although it was decided that, to avoid confusion, it should not be included in the actual fresher’s week timetable.
SR – met with Dr Jackson to discuss sex and relationships workshops.
- Dr Jackson was broadly keen, although College are reticent about making the workshops mandatory, questioning for example, what sanctions would be introduced for missing the workshops (SR indicated there would be no sanctions). As a compromise, the JCR will be able to characterise the workshops as compulsory, but the College will not enforce this.
- SR will send the consent pack to tutors.
- Discussion was held over who would be trained for the seminars; there were 12 volunteers overall from the committee.
- SR was clear that the workshops should occur after the welfare talk.
Entertainment for Freshers
- There was a wide ranging discussion, with chief concerns being maintain interest, and avoiding the emergence of a “NatSci clique”. Suggestions included Frisbee, rounders on Jesus Green, quizzes. EB provisionally agreed to the purchase of a JCR croquet set. Survey results from the First Year Reps indicated the relative popularity of last year’s events. The Casino night was noted to be very popular, whilst club nights divided opinion.
- It was agreed that club nights, should be accompanied by film nights and pub trips to accommodate those of different tastes. It was agreed that 2 JCR committee members should run the pub trips and film nights, whilst the rests should do shifts in the clubs.
- Tours were discussed – it was agreed that these should be more extensive than in previous years.
- It was felt that last year’s college treasure hunt was of limited success, but it was agreed that this should not be discontinued. Pub scavenger hunts were agreed to be successful in the past.
- AD felt that the use of the term “squashes” for introductory events was confusing, and that this should be discontinued, or else freshers be informed of the meaning of this term.
- EJ felt that second years should be encouraged to exercise restraint, especially in terms of alcohol consumption, during “family night”. EE reminded that “parents” should be asked to check dietary requirements and phone numbers of freshers.
- The ents team was agreed to be in charge of organising the quiz
- EJ – Thursday welfare tea should be an opportunity to meet whole welfare tea.
- SR noted that Freps should assigns staircase reps, to be present before the firsts Viva.
- It was also noted that the committee needed to decide on the colours of hoodies and T-shirts, this was to be discussed online.
Official College talks
- Tutors and Directors of Studies to be informed of specifics. Relevant parties to be invited. Furqaan Kaji felt that a general “surviving Cambridge” talk, similar to one delivered by ex-JCR President Davina Moss last year would be beneficial.
The main outcome of this discussion was the production of a detailed timetable for Fresher’s week, detailing different activities, as well as who needed to be present at certain times, and who would be in charge of organising certain events. This timetable has yet to be typed up, but the committee has access to it in photographic form online, courtesy of SF.
Actions: Further actions needed include contacting relevant parties for official talks (EJ), investigating purchase of certain games, e.g. croquet (EB), and further actions to ensure the training and preparedness of those volunteering for the sex and relationships workshops (SR). Preparation more generally should be continued by the whole committee.
The Second meeting of the JCR Committee for Easter Term 2014 ended at 12:40pm on the 13th June 2014
James Troup (jgt28)