A meeting of the JCR Committee was held at 5pm on the 3rd of October 2014.
Those present were: Ellen Judson (President), Solene Fercocq (Vice President), Emily Bosley (Treasurer), Hux Norman (Ents President), Dale Walmsley (Frep), Anna Dobson (Frep), Sunny Honda (Frep), Eowyn Elliott (female welfare), Joel Daramola (male welfare), 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), Anna Edgar (Green & Ethics)
Apologies: JCR rep to MCR, Joe Pape (Access), Lizzie Gaunt (Ents President), Oli Lane (webmaster)
This was a short meeting of the JCR committee, which was largely focussed on discussing fine details and answering any final questions over the organisation of Freshers week. Many of the other topics below are likely to be discussed again by the committee in more detail.
Updates from President
- Ellen Judson (EJ): the Red Book has been re-done and is available online in PDF form, not the same as on the Intranet. Now known as the “student handbook”
- EJ: a few freshers had issues with negative, discouraging first DoS meeting. EJ emailed Dr Jackson to try to address issue, and the committee should aim to reassure any freshers. Any Freshers who are really concerned should be referred to EJ.
- The committee went over ground rules/guidelines for their conduct during fresher’s week. Sandy Rushton (SR) reminded the committee not to g=give negative insider information, and not to gossip about staff and students generally. The committee were reminded that there are two underage freshers so they must be careful when providing alcohol. SR urged that any JCR member being criticised for an aspect of their conduct should not take it overly personally, whilst Solene Fercocq (SF) reminded that JCR members should not criticise each other in front of the first years. EJ reminded the committee that if a member was ill then they should not feel guilty, and the rest of the committee should be able to accommodate this.
- EJ raised a concern about the cover of the upcoming issue of The Titbit, which pertained to the compulsory consent workshops. Whilst the article did not actually seek to criticise the workshops, there was a worry that it could be misconstrued. EJ was concerned as she is responsible for reviewing The Titbit before publication, so anything written there may be seen to reflect the views of the committee.
- SR felt that the consent workshops were not a good topic for humour, and also noted that she had had to work hard to convince Tutors to back the workshops, and it would undermine her efforts if it seemed that the JCR as a whole were sceptical about them.
- Overall the committee were uncomfortable with the article, and there was a unanimous decision to ask for it not to be published.
- Action: EJ to request that the Editor of The Titbit (Will Bordell), does not publish the article on the consent workshops.
4th Year MCR Membership
- 4th year students are no longer MCR members, but only JCR. EJ indicated that this needed to be confirmed with the Junior Bursar, but for now appeared to be the case. Some fourth years were concerned about loss off access to the common room etc.
- Emily Bosley (EB), asked whether 4th years could join as purely social members, although college had said no to this.
- It was felt by the committee that whilst not ideal, it was better that the 4th years were JCR members rather than MCR, as MCR membership would entail the payment of additional fees.
- It was noted that JCR/MCR joint socials were an alternative. Hux Norman (HN) noted that MCR members were entitled to attend Viva, although questioned whether they were aware of this.
- Furqaan Kaji (FK) questioned the status of 4th year medic, they count as MCR members as they have already graduated.
- Eowyn Elliot (EE) asked if the Yoga sessions being run would be available to the MCR. SF said this would probably be the case, although they would have to check numbers.
- AE had met with Rachel from the Kitchens as part of her role on the Kitchens committee. Over summer there had been a referendum on adding a charity surcharge to the cost of formal hall, and the no vote had won. AE was surprised by this, and felt that perhaps many people had forgotten to vote.
- AE noted the need to distribute the link for EPOS to the first years.
- AE question whether LGBTea and cakes would be opened to 2nd and 3rd years. Jacob Sen (JS) felt that this would be appropriate.
- EE asked whether the first welfare teas should also be opened to other years, however in general the committee felt that this might be overwhelming for the first years.
- AE noted that she had requested more vegan options and the kitchens had indicated that these would be provided.
- AE also asked about a lower cost of formal hall for vegetarians, the Kitchens had supported this in theory, although noted that there are difficulties with the booking system.
- Everything had been organised for the barbecue on Sunday.
- AE suggested that, given the surcharge had not been introduced, we could consider throwing charity formals, which had been done in the past. Anna Dobson (AD) asked if these had been popular, and AE believed that they had been.
- Ethan Quek (EQ) reported his progress on organising the societies fayre. He said that he would need some help setting up, although it was decided that this would be organised closer to the time. EQ also encouraged members of the committee to chase up any societies they knew of who had not signed up.
- EQ stated that some non-TH societies had been in touch, EJ said she had had similar requests, and that these should not be at the fayre.
- Jenni Irons (JI) noted that the Access officer, Joe Pape, would like a stand at the Fayre, EQ said this would be fine.
- Ethan asked what the arrangements would be for taking first years to the CUSU fresher’s fayre, SF said that these kind of details could be worked out on the day, and made clear that there would be no need to escort first years back from the fayre.
- At this point EJ noted that CUSU were unlikely to attend the welfare talk, and the whole issue was somewhat confused.
- EQ noted that International night would overrun into film night and asked if this would be okay. EJ said it would not be an issue.
- EE said that Peer2Peer had said they wanted to get involved in freshers week, EE and Joel Daramola (JD) to invite them to Welfare tea
- HN noted that some toastie makers had been confiscated in Boulton House, despite not being explicitly banned. EB said that they utilised a heated plate and so should be covered by insurance. Rice cookers were asked about, however these are explicitly banned.
- JI noted that Joe Pape would arrive at Central Site by 12am the next day.
- JS discussed his plans for holding FemFo style talks for LGBT+ students, and questioned whether non LGBT+ students should be allowed to attend. Decided to survey students to find their opinions on this subject.
- SR reminded those committee members who had signed up to attend consent workshop training.
- JI mentioned that she was still looking into welfare committee contact cards.
- Action: EE and JD to invite Peer2Peer to welfare tea. JS to run survey on LGBT Forum
- EB reported on the budget for this year. Last year the budget for the JCR was £19 500, now up to £20 000. Last year £8660 was allocated to societies, although only £3400 of this was used. This year there had been £9000 of requests and EB felt that spending was likely to go up. Newspaper subscriptions etc. were £2000, CUSU subscription £3000, Welfare £500, Freshers week £1900. EB felt that the budget was, therefore, quite tight, although noted that there was £10 000 left from previous years, that had accumulated over some time. EJ felt that this was a good emergency fund, and in general the committee agreed that we should aim not to use this fund too extensively.
- SR suggested that EB could try to negotiate down costings for societies if money was tight
The First meeting of the JCR Committee for Michaelmas Term 2014 ended at 6pm on the 3rd October 2014
James Troup (jgt28)