2013-03-09

JCR/ 2nd Meeting Lent 2013/Minutes

JCR COMMITTEE

A meeting of the JCR Committee was held on 9th March 2013.

Those present were: Davina Moss (JCR President), Zephyr Penoyre (Secretary), Kerry Corley (Vice President), Alissa Lamb, Megan McPherson (Access Officer), Joseph Chroston-Bell (Green Officer), Dan Jones (Ents President), Josh Armstrong (JCR Rep to MCR), Sandy Rushton, Nick Hands, Joel Daramola (First Year Reps), Christian von Drehle (Treasurer) Oliver Lane (Web and Publicity Officer) Solene Fercocq (International)

Apologies: Sukhmani Khatkar (JCR Rep to MCR), Nick Harvey (Male Welfare), Daisy Harrison (Ents President)

Davina Moss (DM) welcomed everyone and everyone introduced themselves to the new members of the JCR
Committee.

– Davina Moss said CUSU has negotiated deal with Sky TV to get their service for charities rate. Currently waiting on A call from Sky but should be installed and running by next term.

– DM brought up the issue of the living wage, a Cambridge college specific minimum wage , saying that the MCR has thrown it’s support behind it. College does review salaries every year, but not at the start of the financial year so the college wage often overtaken by rising living wage later in the year. All agreed that we would be happy to support campaign. Josh Armstrong suggested we should be careful that college don’t make up deficit by cutting other peoples wages.

Funding for access and societies

– Megan McPherson requested JCR to set aside money to support access work. Difficult to fund many people to go on access visits around the country. DM aksed how much they would need and how much other colleges contributed. MM said she would investigate this but could we instigate a simple reimbursement system. Kerry Corley suggested we would have to set a cap on this if done this way. MM to investigate further.

– MM also enquired about college funding for the printing of a feminist magazine partially written by Tit Hallers. Christian von Drehle said that it depended on the proportion of Tit Hallers involved and DM suggested applying to be a college society dependant on this proportion.

Website

-Oli Lane gave an update on the JCR website, which has been constructed in a very convoluted manner and appears near impossible to find sources of content and breaks very easily. JA suggested to get in touch with Tom
Long, who created it, and offered to get in touch with him.

– DM suggested possibly paying for a new website to be built. OL questioned what was needed of it, whether it could be slimmed down and simplified. Committee agreed it needed to function as an information database, prospectus to possible applicants and have links to any website needed by the undergraduate community.

Sandy Rushton suggested that if we don’t fix it now problem will only reoccur. Zephyr Penoyre said it would be relatively easy to build a sufficient but simple site ourselves. JA suggested we ask other colleges how they did theirs and possibly borrow the templates, especially to get in touch wit MCR equivalent Malcolm Scott. ZP suggested individual posts (welfare, access etc.) should be personably responsible for all their content on the
website.

– The committee agreed a new website was needed. DM said we would be willing to have it professionally done if needed. For the moment OL will investigate building a new website or borrowing from other colleges.

Charities representative

– ZP raised the idea of instigating a charities representative in college, to be in charge of distributing information to college members and aiding charities logistically in university wide events, e.g. Having a pigeon hole in which checks could be deposited. He proposed that it become part of the Green and Ethics Officer’s remit, which Joseph Chroston-Bell was happy to take on. The rest of the committee agreed it seemed worthwhile and appropriate. JCB will take on responsibility and that it would help expand the Ethics side of his duties.

Future Plans

– DM encouraged every JCR members to go away and think of one or two things they will seek to change while in their position and to bring these back to the committee to discuss and begin upon.

International students in freshers week

-Solene Fercocq suggested moving the date international students are encouraged to arrive by a few days, as international students have more logistics to sort out and otherwise might miss social events. SR said that they should be prioritised in Freshers Week to help them integrate. SF cautioned that we should avoid double booking of events. JA said that he had seen very efficient and helpful advice packs given to international students before, and perhaps we should consider producing one. SF agreed to look into creating such a pack for Tit Hall international students, JA offered to help.

Erasmus students

– We also discussed what happened to Erasmus students in Freshers Week. DM said most colleges put erasmus students with first years in terms of housing and try to integrate them as much as possible. It was decided to work to include them in all international events and Freshers week.

– DM said it was much more difficult however to house them with first years, as they are only randomly allocated a college long after balloting and there is limited room on central site, mostly reserved for freshers,  preferentially given to undergrads in final/ exam years, with two rooms set aside to temporarily house people in special circumstances (broken leg etc.). ZP raised issue that they are perhaps most likely to fail to turn up for academic year. It was agreed that a well spread allocation of erasmus accommodation works well enough and don’t want to prioritise over other years.

Changing rooms

– This raised the general issue of changing rooms during the academic year, a process that is difficult for college to keep track of but may be advisable in certain situations. MM suggested we need to carefully define these situations if we want to pursue this. It was agreed no space on central site but possibly in BBC and clems.

– ZP suggested that when balloting, people planning to degrade should be encouraged to ballot to younger years site. DM agreed that it would be good to extend switching period to two weeks, after which 4th years assigned, for students degrading. She will investigate further and noted that a replacement for Doreen Kunze should be here in October to help with such issues.

Frep involvement

-SR, on behalf of the freps (also Joel Daramola and Nick Hands) said it would be good to be more involved in access and other college concerns. MM asked for their help with the planned alternative prospectus. DM suggested they investigate which committees etc. they could get involved in.

Holiday room rental and storage

– MM asked for investigation into where in college are rooms actually used during the vacation as unused blocks of rooms don’t necessarily need to be cleared out. Otherwise storage could be made easier and more accessible, especially for non international students. Georgia Ware pointed out that geographic distance isn’t the only factor when considering difficulty in vacating rooms.

– MM said that it was more a logistics issue than monetary, suggested band pricing for rooms where a slightly higher rate could be paid for rooms that could be kept over holidays. Alternatively, storage solutions in rooms, such as locking cupboards and under bed storage should be more prevalent. DM said this was being added to any renovated rooms. SF said that this could be accelerated faster than the renovations itself, as well as suggesting that it was important any storage solutions should be on ground floor or easily accessible.

Updating website content

– DM asked for all updates for the website to be sent to OL asap.

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*Action Points*

– Sky TV should be installed at new rate by Easter term

– JCR supporting living wage scheme

– Access will investigate how other JCR’s contribute to access schemes

– Webmaster will look into rebuilding website ourselves, or otherwise having it remade professionally

– Green Officer will now also act as Charities Representative as part of their duties

– JCR members will think up and bring to the committee the issues they’d like to address during their term

– International Officer will look into creating an international specific guide for new arrivals

– Freshers week committee will think of ways to better include Erasmus students

– President will investigate extended post balloting switching period for degrading students

– Freps will assist in the writing of the alternative prospectus

– Use of rooms for conferencing in the vacation will be investigated to try and improve storage options

– Webmaster should be supplied with any updates to access, welfare and any other parts of the website

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The second meeting of the JCR Committee for Lent Term 2013 ended at 18.40 on the 9th February 2013.

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Zephyr Penoyre (jp576)

JCR Secretary

Trinity Hall