2018-12-04 Exec Meeting
Present: Amy Kuner, Elena Martin, Ell Page, Gosh Jordon, Ella Burrows, James Cochran, Michael Power, Alex Blackwood, Lauren McNally, Masha Markova, Emma Croll, Jade Bryant
Apologies: Sarah McAllister,
Setting: Amy’s flat. I’ve just given her a hair cut and fresher Will is still here trying to make a baby Jesus costume.
1) Approving the minutes
2) Trustee proposals
4) Freshers pages/ timetable
1) Approving the minutes and action points
Josh has changed a bulb
Lauren has spoken to Hatfield about linking balls for welfare
Amy has been ignored by other presidents about linking balls for welfare
Masha has not written motion as wasn’t comfortable, passed it on to AB who didn’t do it because he wasn’t there. This is a bit of the pain because we don’t want these sort of things piling up
Amy did upload a budget within a few days
Last meetings minutes are passed
Amy: background. We are going to talk through this proposal that was drafted by one of the trustees that I’m going through to add to it. If anyone wants to give me points on these then please give them and then I will add them in. We are looking to see what our preferred documents are. When Tim sent it over it was very bias. He thinks that having a sab treasurer has only one positive point
Gosh: how is the JCR not GDPR compliant?
Amy: In the freshers’ fair, there should have been a procedure for collecting people’s names. We have records from years and years ago and someone needs to go through and see if we should still have those.
Masha: why does assistant treasurer have to be a fresher?
Amy: they don’t. but Tim put that there for continuity
Elena: that’s like making a path for one person through the JCR
Amy is going to put this down as an issue/ the fact they assume it will be a fresher- as it might not be
James: They are talking about an issue in management and accounts not regularly reviewed but they used to be until the board that used to look at them was dissolved
Amy: I couldn’t find one of Cat’s management accounts and that might be why that’s there
a. Proposal 1 – adoption of a revised organisational structure. – live in treasurer
Gosh: would they be expected to pay for their accommodation.
James: I did. The only reason they made it live out was because of fees.
Emma: would it have to be eat in?
James: one person has lived on the bailey but not paid for food which was awkward because she has to use the presidents flat. She was female welfare back when that was a live-in position.
AB: Isn’t presidents flat at a much cheaper rate, is there a way to bring that up with college – to get a discounted rooms.
Amy: we could ask but it would have to be one of the first year.
Ell: can’t they live in Brooks
Amy: the idea is being close to president
Emma: could we make a new exec position to do all the things the treasurer couldn’t do. I think Assistant treasurer could easily fill in the gaps
AB: the idea with assistant treasurer would they could also be a signatory on the accounts
Amy: so, they could do all the reclaims. I think, though, we’d end up with two people who’d step on each other’s toes.
James: the reasons we don’t have two welfare on the exec now is because they kept clashing. Only one person should be in charge
Amy: if there was a live in treasurer, then should living in be subsidised?
AB: that would be a draw back as an additional president
Elena: James lived in but we didn’t get the account in on this time so I don’t think it’s enough.
AB: something about a book keeper
Emma: what are their pros for a live in treasurer
Amy: just because there is so much time taken walking to and from places, you have to be close to the safes, you can’t walk around with lots of money, when we didn’t have internet banking last year we spent ages walking to the bank
James: the treasurer speaking to the president most days is very useful
Amy: AB and I are now best friends
Emma: where is says “The treasurer position is recruited early in the academic year, to enhance the likelihood of the JCR gaining suitable candidates.” What does that mean?
Amy: just getting it sorted for housing
Gosh: What does this mean for people who haven’t got housing yet?
James: I would run for treasurer- I want to live on the bailey
James and Emma: isn’t this just what we wanted to start with?
Masha: I think student treasurer is more appealing than sab treasurer
Gosh: there are lots of grad jobs that don’t want people taking gap years after university an that might put people off running
Amy: this isn’t a gap year, its experience
Elena: I think you over estimate people having their lives together
AB: lots of schemes wouldn’t mind
Amy: any more benefits?
Masha: this doesn’t cost the JCR so much – fewer budget cuts.
James: this is the most balanced option
Michael: worst case scenario this could just be only a little better than before. It couldn’t mess up massively
Amy: I disagree, I think it could mess up massively
Emma: it’s not so drastic, then we can revise it in two years
Masha: why don’t we have it as a two year plan? It’s not perfect but we could make smaller changes this year and then more the next year
Elena: I don’t think that will work. It will be a whole new exec who might have completely different ideas to us and not go through with the plans, then have to discuss it again and we will just go in circles. JCR exec probably had this chat not too long ago
James: we have, not this serious, but things about restructuring the treasurer role
Amy: we’ve never been on time with out audits. We need change now
AB: I don’t think this plan will mean that we do hit al the points on the reports
Elena: strongly think this wouldn’t be enough to resolve our issues
Gosh: could we have a legal exec position?
Amy: we are talking about this tomorrow with the trustees but there are other things we need people to look into- like what to do with the reserves so just having a legal exec wouldn’t work
James Plaut has found some charity investment scheme which could get us a return of 3k per year. It’s just something the treasurer doesn’t have the time to at the moment
Emma: we’ve just dismissed the legal thing, let’s go back to it
Amy: but it wouldn’t be an exec role. There is still a huge amount that needs to be done
AB: once the legal procedures are in place we don’t always need someone working on it- we just need someone like a sab person to make sure it happen each year
James: there will be new laws in a few years so there will be workload then
Amy: we’ve fallen so far behind because of a lack of a full trustee board
Masha: what about a legal trustee person?
Elena: the trustees have been looking at probono things
Amy: the views of the trustees is that trustees should just be overseeing the charity- not doing all the work
James: a legal position in the JCR could work the same way a treasurer does- i.e. sit in on the trustee meetings but not actually be a trustee
Emma: what comes under legal?
Amy: GDPR, things like that
Emma: would this be as well as assistant treasurer?
Masha: would a sab treasurer also do this legal stiff?
Amy: for the first year we’d need someone to help us, but then the sabbatical treasurer would just make sure it happens years after
We wouldn’t expect someone who ran for sabbatical treasurer to have legal knowledge
The legal trustees would just give them a list of things to do and they would do it
Amy: if we wanted to, we could have a sab treasurer and a legal person and an Assistant treasurer if we wanted
James: can we suggest this idea of just having a legal person and an assistant treasurer
Amy: if we just had one legal person it might not work with GDPR as it might not be okay for a random student to handle personal data but it’s different with an employee doing it.
Gosh: there must be a way to enforce some sort of nondisclosure contract for a legal position? Which has clear laid out sanctions.
James: yeah, it’s not a random student.
Amy is going to ask Annie about this
Gosh: because there are charities that won’t have any paid positions but
Ella: you can always have students who don’t realise how much work they are getting into and not do the job as well as they might- they still have degrees. Even if we VONCed them and got other people in that still time. It’s so hard to ensure commitment.
Gosh: there is no incentive to do the work other than your passion. Sabbatical positions have financial incentives. A sabbatical person would be expected to prioritise
Ell: we can’t tell students how to prioritise
Ella: people might just not care enough to do a good job
Amy: do we want to try and quantify this? We need cool multiplication
getting accounts in on time- rating 4
ACTION POINT: Amy to post this in the exec group by Thursday night/ Friday night (as meeting with Grey on Friday)
Before the brunch on Saturday you should read through it. Like it or comment if you have an issue
b. Option 2 – adoption of a revised organisational structure and the outsourcing of the bookkeeping function
Emma: what is meant by bookkeeping?
Amy: keeping track of everything that comes in and out
Emma: why did we cry about it when it was first brought up?
Amy: because Plaut presented it funny and it takes away teaching that skill to a student
Elena: when he first present it, it was meant to be a one year thing, which would then meant handover would bad if we went back to having a student treasurer doing it all right, might be hard to get power back once we’ve given it up
Emma: this seems like a good option…
Amy: it’s the main part of the treasurer’s role that we’d be giving away
Emma: then I don’t get the treasurers role. Would the accountant do reclaims?
Amy: I don’t get what this means – who does what bit?
James: I read this as the treasurer getting the reclaims and deciding whether to process it an then the external people would do it
Amy: if that were the case the treasurer role isn’t really treasurer anymore
Amy: this would be for every year now
Ella: could this before more expensive over time? Could this vary?
Amy: it will probably vary based on hours
Ella: would we consider changing book keepers to make sure we were getting good value and quality? Might we have to shop around accountants?
Amy: I will add that in
James: one of the issues is that it could be hard to track payments of subs and things as it’s hard anyway but then you have to transfer records and things and might not understand the student mentality
Gosh: an external bookkeeper will want things done on their time which might not be viable for a student which could throw a curve ball
James: sometimes it will be a problem when chasing involves in other JCRs there may be miscommunications and we do things informally anyway
Ella: they could argue that being informal is an issue and we shouldn’t be like that
Masha: how would another company help us out while we are being illegal? Will people not want to take us on? Can they take us on before we are charity complaint?
Elena: we already sort of have this issue with Annie on the trustee board, as she might have to step down as she’s in a compromising position knowing about our noncompliance at the moment
Amy: the trustees seem to think that being taken on wouldn’t be an issue
Gosh: surely other bodies go to these sort of firms to help the get on track again?
Ella: if it’s going to be bookkeeper and it’s going to be a big part of treasurer…James would you have applied/ run if the role didn’t involve doing so much?
Amy: I still would have applied
James: I would have applied but I would have wanted to less
Gosh: what would the treasurer still do?
Amy: they would have the budget, they can decide who to give reclaims to, all the fi comm things stay the same.
James: they would make the payments because we wouldn’t want bookkeepers as dignitaries on our account
Emma: I’m on the fence about it. I want to know more specifics about how it would function in the JCR
Amy: the treasurer role would be very different
Ella: if the t was still keeping an eye on the bookkeeper, would that still be work? Would the bookkeepers want a student checking in on them? It’s harder to coordinate with a proper business. It might be hard to manage
James: with events, you get lots of expenditure in a short amount of time. A student would know what that’s about, but an external person might not know what that’s about for a while so might not be keeping track whereas a student t would
Masha: some companies for social comm want things paid on the day
Gosh: an external bookkeeper would be more efficient than us if the t was a student
Amy: I don’t know how easy the flow of information would be from the bookkeeper
Emma: is there anything stopping the treasurer also keeping the books?
Amy: it would be a waste of time
James: a lack of motivation would stop you – it’s hard to want to do when it needs to be done
James: a lot of these issues are based on not knowing how this would work
Masha: a major pro is that we have someone with actual experience to help us out
Emma: we would still have this problem with a sabbatical treasurer
Elena: this is why we have trustees with legal experience. A bookkeeper will not care about us. They will care about doing the job we tell them to but not care about us
Masha: can we get people within the university to help us
Amy: yes. And if Milder and Aiden’s became independent we should work on getting someone to help us all with
James: pro- if we were in legal trouble because of accounts then it wouldn’t be our fault
Emma: isn’t the only red problem that we don’t’ have our accounts in on time?
c. Option 3 – Installation of a Sabbatical Treasurer
Emma: can we just not subsidised all of the little clubs subs? The ones were people only have to pay a pound or two in subs?
James: it would probably only about £100
Amy: I think about £150 saved
Elena: I think doing that is more about the philosophy of it
Masha: I have no problem with the cuts needed to facilitate this, but people think they are paying too much for Cuth’s day and don’t feel they get the money’s worth. We have to keep in mind people’s complaints.
Emma: who is going to not come to Cuth’s Day because of this?
Amy: whatever we do people still complain
Ella: Tinchy Stryder didn’t even sing his own songs
Everyone: more tributes
Gosh and Amy: something about the Green machine making money so they don’t need a higher budget
James: I actually think any changes to the budget is irrelevant as wherever it come from it will impact students
Amy: I disagree. I think it is relevant
Michael: somethings seem more justifiable
Emma: how are you getting rid of a month of president’s salary
Amy: it’s now a 12 month contact when it was 13 before. Cat changed it
Emma: we don’t have a tv licence?
Amy: Sue wants to get rid of the tv on the Bailey so we would need one in brooks
Emma: when did we spend on handovers? Why is that in the budget?
Amy: printing? But now we live in the 21st C so we don’t need it
James: it used to be socials back in the day
James: my issue is, we want expected expenditure to be as close to zero as possible
Amy: but we expect to finish the year with a 5K surplus. So, all of this come from the budget. I would rather base it on budget and have the safety net.
James: I find it so hard to think about this without the other information
Amy: I’ve simplified it for the common exec folk who haven’t been treasurers
Amy: I can expand on the benefits massively. There are somethings that aren’t quantifiable but are so valuable. There are things that wouldn’t improve things in the UAS report, but there are things that would help us in other areas that haven’t been picked up by an external body- like president support, covering the president if they went away and go to meetings in their place.
Michael: can it be argued that the VPs role could change
Elena: I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently. I’d say an awful lot of my time is just minuting which seems a bit of a waste. Other colleges have a secretary, and if I wasn’t having to do minutes I’d have hours and hours more to spend helping Amy out with other things. But, even with changing the VP role, it wouldn’t make much of a tent in the workload. I think this is the best option
Amy: I’m bias towards this option, so I want your views against
Emma: there is always issue with the handovers
Gosh: a sabbatical role could warrant a whole restructure of the exec. i.e. We’ve said before that there wasn’t enough work for a sabbatical treasurer role-
Amy: there has always been enough for the role, it’s just that it’s not all treasurer stuff. The money stuff on its own wouldn’t be, but there is lots on top of that
Emma: it gives people less opportunity to be treasurer – you only have the chance to run in your last year
Michael: this gives students even more experience about the real world/ dealing with charity finances
Gosh: the same thing could be said now that most people only have one shot at running
Elena: on the other hand, you could argue it’s a pro to be able to employ two people full time
Ella: would the sabbatical role be live in?
Gosh: could you have a live out, but have an office in?
Amy: every other college with two sabs have an office that they work in together?
Gosh: Could we have the exec office?
Everyone: it’s way too tiny!
Ella: could a sabbatical treasurer argue for all of the same facilities as the president- i.e. a flat with a living room and bathroom and kitchen etc?
Amy: the president is still the director of a charity so they have the right to all this.
Emma: could two people live in the presidents flat? It used to be like that back in the day
Emma: would the sabbatical treasurer have to be live in?
Amy: I don’t think they have to be, but then we’d have to pay them more because it’s an expensive city and it’s not a good wage
Ella: could the 5k that we spend on this flat be given to them for accommodation out in Durham?
Discussion about whether accommodation is includes in the president salary and it’s not.
Gosh: I don’t have a negative, I just don’t know where I sit on it
Amy: what don’t you like?
Gosh: I just don’t know if it’s the best use of funds considering bookkeeping prices and I’m also concerned about not finding a suitable candidate for the sabbatical treasurer role. I’d say outsourcing was the best option
Masha: I’m leading towards sab t because president could have some support. So, there are more people who are accountable for what is happening in college rather than it just being the president
Emma: the reason I’m sceptical is because I feel like the proposals are quite narrow. I think a JCR restructure could be the answer
Elena: I don’t’ think this is true. I don’t think it would bring about enough change to get everything we need fix done. Even with a restructure the exec will always be in a position where the ones with lots of work will never be fully on top of things because we are students with degrees and lives as well
Gosh: you have to remember you and Amy have been in the trustee meeting so have a different perspective
James: a sabbatical treasurer might not solve the problems in the way a book keeper would
Emma: a sabbatical role is not a like a formal formal job, so you can’t guarantee that it’s done well
Amy: looking at Grey, they have had their accounts in on time.
Elena: a sabbatical role would allow the JCR to get on top of charity compliance but then could also help with the long list of things no president ever gets on top of.
Emma: we aren’t having to decide it right now
Amy: Yeah, we just need to understand it fully before the referendum
Ella: would a referendum have to be binding?
James: I don’t think it has to be
Amy: any other negatives?
Emma: do we all have to agree?
Amy: no, we are all individuals and have different ideas about how the JCR should run. It’s not realistic
Gosh: can we have any of the trustees at the referendum meeting
Amy: the difficulty is that they are bias
Elena: this is what we have student trustees for
Gosh: would the student trustees be able to give the trustee perspective/ the legal perspective
Amy: if they want to say something about why it’s important
Gosh: people not understanding why are doing it, and its significance…
Amy: can you upload videos to the election things? I wish AB was here to answer this. We want something explaining it all, and why it’s important and what the options are, have a power point. I think that otherwise people won’t bother voting
Gosh: the election turn out is poor. The last election was 200.
Amy: the student trustees have been to every meeting and they can be there to clarity everything. And so can I. Although, when Grey had their referendum on whether they waned to be a DSO, they did have a DSO president come in and talk to them about it
Amy: any more negatives?
Michael: it’s a lot of responsibility that’s based on an election result which could be won by popularity or just getting people’s friends to vote
Emma: could say same about the president
Michael: but you can’t outsource the president
Amy: technically, you can
Amy: more negatives? Or positives that haven’t already been mentioned?
James: I will discuss this in the end
Amy: anything else?
Amy: if I was able to get more of a donation from college and we didn’t have to put that in for open days, where would you want that going back in?
Amy: the aim was that for the first year, we would pay for accountancy training, but then rely on a good handover
Ella: I think that’s important because I’ve had a shit handover. Training is important.
Gosh: it’s important everyone is trained
Emma: take more off gov comm
Amy: you use that money for printing
James: it used to be in another part of the budget but I guess it’s moved
Amy: if I had to put this budget forward in the next meeting, would people be happy with it
Emma: but to protect yourself, say that it’s open to change and be prepared for questions
Gosh: there are a couple of numbers that don’t add up
Amy changes this accordingly
Amy; for summer ball there would be a £2 increase of event.
James: I don’t think people notice
Masha: I think they do
Elena: I think it’s more about ball park figures- like they notice the difference between £30s £40s or £50s, but not the difference between £45 and £47
Amy: for Cuth’s day, maybe get cheaper bands etc
Masha: I have no problem with that but people might not like it so much
James: could put money back into a smaller increase of levies
Amy: this proposed budget actually takes us to above what we think we need for a sab t if Plauts figures are right
Pretty much everyone votes on levies being cheaper or events being cheaper except Jade. Levies being cheaper wins
4) Freshers pages/ timetable
Amy: okay so, Ell/ Lauren, you both had events at the same time. We should have a calendar that they all put things onto. The freshers’ pages are getting spammed too much and people aren’t looking at it. Having several events at once is too much.
Everyone: JCR pages are too full
Michael: we should have a limit
Elena: it used to be not to post more then every 2 hours
Amy: that’s not enough, we need even fewer posts than that
Michael: when I ran I said I’d post 5 times in the first week of epiphany term, but that would be pretty much all I’d post all year
Amy: that’s fine then
James: I propose, with our Gmail accounts, to make a shared calendar
Amy: that’s what I’m proposing I just didn’t mention google
Emma: they are being spammed, but I don’t think the blocks and having people approve posts are working very well. There are lots of students who can’t get onto the group
Amy: it’s an iffy system, facebook says some people are pending when they aren’t
Michael: what sort of things are people trying to post?
Elena: lots of club events, careers fairs and things
Amy: we should have people who are able to approve it so that we don’t have people just posting nasty things
Emma: my main issue was people trying to get into the group
Amy: I let them in if they are freshers who’ve lost things and things
James: as a group, we should coordinate to be less spammy
Amy: the main things have been like welfare having to post on specific days, and with campaigns and these have been clashing with other events also on those days
Lauren: I do use it for drop ins, but I didn’t realise I used it that much
Emma: who is making the calendar? Sarah is way too busy and that gal needs a break
James: is she the only person who has access to the gmail panel?
Amy: yeah, I guess she can do it over Christmas, it’s not pressing this week
Ella: can we get the webmaster to get a calendar on the website?
Amy: yes but people won’t look at it
Gosh: one thing that Butler do, is they have the huge SU wall poster, they have a calendar
Amy: but we can’t plan ahead with committees as we don’t know what people are going to do, also Butler put things on there before they are even confirmed – we are organising summer ball dates at the moment and JoBo are having to push for their ball to be on a certain day
Ella: can we put the fb links to events to put in the post for the newsletter so people should be able to get to them from that rather than individual posts
Amy: this is what should be happening already
James: can we come up with some sort of policy about when we can post in the pages?
Elena: I think one post per event is reasonable but with a number of hours between posts
Lauren: sometimes this is about when things get approved. Sometimes I post things early to allow them time to be approved
Amy: talk to Sarah about this because she’s so good
a)Michael: current sports and socs thing on the website is vague and its really badly written about how a society can be got rid of. At the moment I have the power to just get rid of a society which is surely a bit dodgey
Emma: did you say you’d messaged me about this?
Amy: can you put this in an email to Emma?
James the problem is just that the word “and” has been removed from the clause
Michael: that makes a lot of sense
b) Elena: can we have deadlines for sending apologies and motions at the moment it’s a massive rush and it shouldn’t be. I have apologies being sent in minutes before the meeting starts so I can’t put them on the agenda. Then also can we remind committees to send these to vice-president email rather than facebook messaging. I’d like the deadline to be midday or the afternoon, or the day before, or just something
Emma: not sure about midday for motions because there are often a lot of last minute changes
Gosh: midday on the day of the meeting sounds reasonable
Elena: I’d like midday for both
Emma: I don’t like this, because it’s all last minute. I have to send people things they need to alter on their motions and they take time to get back to me
James: but then we can have first draft and then edit it later
Emma: but I just see me getting lots of naggy messages
James: what if people have to submit things way in advance, then gov comm have a meeting days in advance and then people have time for this?
Emma: I just don’t think this is going to work, how am I got to get people to do this?
James: at the moment, the agenda is posted so late that I’m struggling to read the agenda in time – and I’m keen
Amy: all we are doing is setting a public deadline. If people don’t make that you can just be like “because I’m nice, I’ll let this go through, but don’t do it again”
James: and it should be at the Chair and Vice-President’s discretion – so people don’t keep taking the mick
ACTION POINT: Emma to put these deadlines in the description of the events. These are both midday on the day of the meeting.