A meeting of the JCR Committee was held at 5pm on the 29th of November 2014.
Those present were: Ellen Judson (President), Solene Fercocq (Vice President), Hux Norman (Ents President), Catriona Miller (Frep), Dominic O’Neill (Frep), Jennie Towler (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), Jacob Sen (LGBT+ officer), Anna Edgar (Green & Ethics), Charlotte Attwood (MCR rep to JCR), Lizzie Gaunt (Ents President), Oli Lane (webmaster).
Apologies: Joe Pape (Access), Ethan Quek (international rep), Emily Bosley (Treasurer)
The new Freps, Catriona Miller, Dominic O’Neill and Jennie Towler were introduced.
- Ellen Judson (EJ): Last lent, had to decide whether 4th years were members of the JCR or MCR. Decided JCR to avoid the college fee. However 4th years would like to be in both, but the MCR had difficulties passing a vote.
- EJ now writing to Dr Jackson, unsure about the college fee. Noted that in CUSU 4th years are members of the grad union
- Charlotte Attwood (CA): MCR have just got a new committee, possibly more positive about the JCR. 4th years had not previously been invited to MCR open meeting on the issue.
- 4th years mostly upset about the way the issue had been handled, and would like to be affiliates of the MCR (i.e. allowed to use the common room and attend certain events)
- Solene Fercocq (SF) noted that 4th years were not on the MCR list. Grad Hall an issue and 4th years could book it but pay more, as Gradhalls are subsidised heavily by the MCR. Noted that it would be good if college made clear what would change for you as a 4th year, e.g. regarding accommodation, the KFC.
- EJ noted a request from a graduate to (re)join the JCR. This was passed unanimously.
- CA noted that the main aim of the new MCR committee was to work effectively with the JCR.
- SF asked if it would be good to have tea with the JCR.
- Lizzie Gaunt (LG) stated that she wanted to do more Ents jointly with the MCR.
- EJ had received responses to the welfare survey and planned to write to the master detailing issues. EJ asked about potential improvements, raising the idea of a trained special considerations tutorial officer.
- SF noted that college might not want to hire a new member of staff, SR stated that an existing Tutor could be trained.
- EJ to find out if CUSU offer any training of this type
- SR asked how the Freps felt about their tutors. Catriona said she felt slightly intimidated.
- SR noted an issue with her own Tutor who had departed unannounced.
- Jacob Sen (JS) stated that there should be an appropriate handover between Tutors. SR said that tutors don’t generally feel as responsible for students as DoSs do.
- EJ noted that a new webpage by Oli contained info on university procedures, SF said this should be publicised. Eowyn Elliot (EE) noted that the Benn bursary online form had been re-done. SR said that some students might want to discuss the reasons for a bursary face to face, rather than setting them down in writing.
- SF had produced a draft of the online form for the committee to look at.
- SR said that there were too many options for timing, and that perhaps the people should just enter
- dates. SF agreed.
- SF asked what to include on an email sent to the JCR, and noted responsibility for rooms. SR said that people should use a separate form for any block of time requested. Emphasise that the scheme was being provided as an extra benefit by the JCR and entailed no guarantee, and that it would be first come first serve. EJ said to emphasize that people with special considerations, international status etc. could still talk to college. It should be emphasised that the money will be sorted out between the two parties and should not be more than the room rent.
- SF asked if we should pay for a survey service. Survey monkey too expensive and google forms can be filled out more than once. Oli Lane (OL) felt this might not be necessary, as it’s possible referenda could be done through CUSU’s voting system in the future.
- EJ noted that the new vacation residence scheme by college didn’t seem to be working well. SF noted that it would be useful if tutors were more aware of what college offered, SR noted that all this was in the Tutor handbook.
Action: Email JCR about subletting scheme
Blurred Lines ban
- SR: an undergraduate had complained about the song “Blurred Lines” being played in the JCR.
- SR said she would be happy for the student to pursue a ban, but would prefer not to be directly involved. It was felt that they would not necessarily need to discuss the issue with college, but with Wendy and the Ents presidents (who agreed not to play the song). EJ said to ask MCR Ents presidents as well.
- JS: CUSU LGBT now have a BME rep, and want to define LGBT rep roles across the uni and exert more control, about which JS was ambivalent.
- Contrary to popular belief, provision of pregnancy tests by CUSU has not changed.
- JS noted the new LGBT parenting scheme and LGBT history month, the change in the “Spectrum” night out.
- JS raised the issue of a genderless constitution, which SR supported. EJ noted that to change the constitution would require a referendum and consultation with the governing body.
- The issue of gender welfare officers had not been brought up again in CUSU.
- Lizzie Gaunt (LG): Ents presidents should get superhall free as they essentially have to attend. EB noted that they could get half of the cost reimbursed already by the JCR.
- Hux Norman (not in attendance), had noted that the gym doesn’t have much equipment and would like to suggest some additions.
- SF said that Hux should write a detailed proposal. SR felt that it might also be good to conduct gym inductions during the fresher’s week sports taster day.
- OL: website currently hosted by the Student Run Computing Facility, which runs on donations. JCR should donate £50. EJ noted that we were lacking Emily, but the committee was generally happy to pay. SF wondered if we could raise some more money as well, or send out a link asking for donations.
- EJ noted the controversy over the campaign to boycott Ede and Ravenscroft over their use of fur. It had transpired that there was no farmed fur and some of the accusations in the CUSU campaign were possibly libellous. CUSU was going to vote to remove the motion. SR noted that fur farms had been central in the motion.
- EJ asked about another motion, to show solidarity with students in Mexico, which the committee supported.
- SR: femfo going well. SR asked if women’s listing could be sent to the whole JCR. JT was happy to include anything in normal listings.
- EJ – JCR Facebook group? ST felt that it would be better to make the existing JCR page more active by liking and sharing posts.
- SR “Whose University” campaign, dealing with the apparent low priority accorded to students by colleges, in relation to conference guests and even tourists. SR felt this was not a big issue at TH, but still relevant. SR asked if the committee was interested in being involved somehow, which they were. Jenni Irons said that the issue of disable rooms in Wyng Gardens could be raised.
- Joel Daramola noted that bike lights could be bought for £8 from CUSU.
- EJ: Elections – send out email and organise hustings. SF: invite Dr Jackson and the Master to open meeting.