Brooks bar, before BROOKS FRIDAY. I’m hyped for the new IPA in the bar, but will have to wait. AC is late as usual.
Present: EM (President), JC (Vice-President), RJ (Finance & Compliance Officer), MW (Social Chair), ES (Senior Welfare Officer),SM (Postgraduate and Mature Students’ Committee Chair), AC (Sports and Societies Chair), CG (Commmunications Officer), JR (Facilities Manager), SW (Chair)
Apologies: EE (International Rep), SA (Outreach Committee Chair), AJ (Librarian)
Clothes Rail (RJ)
RJ: We want to buy a clothes rail for Cuth’s wardrobe, costs £35. Exec can approve. From Amazon.
Admin Budget (RJ)
RJ: Want to add an admin budget. Up to £100.
Grand plans for term (EM)
EM: Really annoyed at absences. Like to hear big commitments and what people will need from others. That way we can plan collabs.
MW: Now have a comm, ball coming up, help needed on the day (Tuesday 19th November).
SW: Do we buy tickets normal way?
MW: Yes, exec not guaranteed tickets but reduced price.
SW: Do we need to help if we don’t get tickets?
MW: I’ll provide more details nearer the time.
JR: I’m busy forever.
EM: Exec should also be involved weekend before.
SW: JCR meetings. 21st is next one, then 17th Nov, then 5th Dec. That’s it.
JR: Trying to sell gym kit. One machine that’s valuable, everything else is broken. Want to buy new gym kit from reserves. Going to advertise hires more. Looking into Durtech. Sort out staging.
CG: Only thing I’ll need help with is housing. Will do a housing talk and a speed-dating find-a-housemate. Want to create a culture of not stressing about housing because I was really stressed last year. Will do a take your time to sign campaign including facebook profile picture frame. Tell freshers housing isn’t an issue. Can sign today for this year. Also newsletter, please send me emails. Naming of new college; Last term SU assembly passed motion saying they want new college to be called Mo Molan. Want to do same in JCR.
AC: Naked calendar, need a photographer. Will have a look at give-it-a-go. Missed boatclub already. Sort out instagram. Currently have lots of followers, but not many posts. Stories are better. Take pictures to help. Had a good meeting with EM and DG (Social Chair 17-18) about Outgoing and society tours. #tour. Seems affordable.
ES: Waiting for welfare applications, interviews next week. Looking into campaign manager’s ideas. Spoken to Assistand Principal about liberation type campaigns rather than just welfare. Maybe one on ally-ship. When will housing talk be?
CG: In a few weeks.
ES: Keen to help, because it’s a massive welfare issue. HJ (Men’s rugby club captain) been in contact about rugby club getting involved with Movember style campaign. Also want to do a coppa-feel type thing.
SM: Will have a committee soon. Someone interested in treasurer. Please post on the postgrad group on facebook. Feedback form said people would rather stay in postgrad group instead of join freshers’ group so need all communication in postgrad group.
RJ: I don’t need your help.
JC: No big plans, so just use me to help with your things.
EM: Helping MW with events, pres meetings, lots of drama about South College and buildings. New catering system is causing drama. Collingwood are starving.
South College Name (EM)
EM: I sent an angry email to other presidents, they had a big conversation with new Principal. Seems lovely but worried that there has been very little student consultation. All his information has come from University Council. Slipped lots of decisions through in handover period between presidents. Name is definitely going to be South College, no longer a working name. Hoping for a donor in future who will pay lots of money. My views are that I don’t like it. Been told that they’re looking for £14-15 million. That’s half the price that a Cambridge college was renamed for. Don’t know how realistic it is. My view is that calling it South College is a massive middle finger to every other college, shows University’s negligence. Mo Mowlam and South College are both free names, one represents someone great, the other represents a direction. Why not go for the name, even for a gap name? If they still want to auction it off they should give us a timeline. Ie. should know by the time students start arriving. Need 50 students to move there from Cuth’s. Some presidents think South College is fine, some are completely against donors, I disagree. I want your thoughts.
CG: I think an extra £15 million would do very little. We pay £8k on accommodation, half of that isn’t even spent on accommodation. So students will see very little of that money. So stupid.
EM: Have said that if they auction it that money should go to students.
EM: To populate South College they are going to make it appealing to students from other colleges, so a certain number of students need to transfer. There are certain incentives including money. There will be returner flats available. We need to encourage 20-50 students to move.
SW: So will it be full from the beginning?
JR: Or what?
EM: Some students will go there regardless. It’s a really exciting opportunity for people that didn’t manage to do things here. Chance to be first welfare officer at a new college for someone that couldn’t do it here.
JR: What happens if we don’t send enough students?
RJ: Don’t think it will be hard to sell. Seems quite appealing. I expect we’ll get 50 people. Enough people don’t like Cuth’s and will want a new start.
SM: There’ll be people who have lost elections and feel disenfranchised with Cuth’s.
ES: There’ll be people who don’t give a shit and will take the money.
EM: They need diversity so incentives.
SW: Do we have any leverage here? I think name is important but it’s not a concrete thing that will affect students. Can we advertise enthusiastically only on conditions?
EM: Unlikely. Some presidents are in favour of JCRs committing to calling it Mo Mowlam and rejecting University decision. Needs concerted effort.
SW: Is every college’s relationship with University similar? How difficult would it be to get all colleges on board?
SM: Are we capped at 50 people? What happens if it’s over-subscribed.
EM: Will mostly be quite arbitrary.
CG: Can we do some sort of action to pressure the University? Write letters to Vice-Chancellor? What can we do? Need some sort of action. Make our voices heard.
EM: I took this attitude to pres comm, but we weren’t all on same page, so came away to discuss with execs. We can meet with Principal. If we can decide on something then we should commit to a route. But currently we’re not in agreement. Do we care about South. Is Mo Mowlam better than money for students? We need to decide on what we support. Soon.
SW: When will it open?
EM: Next year.
SW: Is JCR automatically DSO?
SW: Pressuring DSOs to become independent is a form of rebellion.
EM: Need to watch Mildert and Aidan’s first.
ES: Important to take action, but would require co-ordination. Could only give students if they co-operate. But would need co-ordination. Need people to create culture, otherwise people will be disenfranchised.
EM: We can’t really stop people.
Action: EM to put poll on exec poll giving different courses of action, and everyone to vote. EM will take result to pres-comm.
Journals & Newspapers (RJ)
RJ: Do we need them for Bailey and Brooks?
SM: Maybe a couple here but some on Bailey?
RJ: They’re quite expensive. National Geographic is £27 per year. New Scientist is £49 per quarter.
SW: Don’t think people would be happy to have that much spent on Journals.
EM: Could we have a system where they’re moved between sites?
RJ: If we don’t want to do it we don’t have to.
EM: Something affordable would be good to have, but could be out of date.
SM: BBC History also isn’t expensive and they don’t go out of date.
RJ: Lets get one journal regularly (Economist) then National Geographic which is cheap and accessible, plus one newspaper on Saturday and one on Sunday.
AC: It’s still money, and I don’t think many people will read them.
MW: I would.
SW: Should be 2 different things.
CG: What about vogue?
All happy with RJ’s suggestion.
EM: Could get old National Geographic from book shops.
PG Levy (RJ)
SM: Want to ask what we can do next.
SW: My understanding is that it’s such a basic thing that maybe it shouldn’t need to go to JCR meeting.
RJ: Just properly applying 4th year policy.
SM: People are asking me this year, what do I do say? Some people have paid.
RJ: Can re-imburse people.
JC: Isn’t this in the Financial Procedures Policy?
RJ: Don’t know, but it talks about time here. May be ambiguous.
EM: Edit should be made to clarify.
RJ: What if someone takes a year out? I like it the way it’s written.
JC: Needs to be clear.
SW: Standing orders are not clear.
JC: Levies shouldn’t be in standing orders because it changes every year.
SW: I change the orders all the time. If it’s been through a JCR meeting it’s fine.
JC: I disagree, it should be explicitly passed to modify the orders.
SW: When we pass the budget it should include levies, then the standing orders can be edited.
EM: I think it should be clear, but can tell the trustees we’ve decided.
Action: EM to tell trustees our decision.
SM: Do I tell returners that this is the policy now?
EM: Don’t think trustees will have a problem.
Lengths of answers to questions in husts (RJ)
SW: I think sometimes people answer questions for too long. I want to talk to SP (SRO) about this. He should tell people to be concise and be more assertive in stopping them. Doesn’t need a motion, can just see how it goes. Other option is just to run a motion limiting time people can speak for in answers. It’s a bit stricter, requires more effort but might be easier to please people and people might stick to it better.
MW: I think the way people ask also impacts answers. Some questions encourage a lengthy answer.
SW: SP could paraphrase question to make the answer more direct. Maybe a bit complicated though.
CG: I don’t like the idea of limiting time because some people take longer to think than others. Some people would really struggle. Would prefer informal.
SM: I think informal wrapping up would be good. Some people use questions to say things they didn’t have time for in their hust. Time limit might be a bit stressful though.
SW: I agree that that would be better as a first step.
SM: SU has time limits and some people don’t get to finish points which is sad.
Durham Grant Ball Tickets (MW & ES)
MW: We’ve spoken to JS (Working Class Students’ Rep) about changing last year’s motion regarding Durham Grant reduced ball tickets. Durham grant has changed, original motion doesn’t reflect changes. Now on a sliding scale.
ES: Didn’t have an issue with motion, just don’t think it was well thought out. Last year 61 people claimed discount, a lot more than expected. Considered capping the number, I thought it was better to reduce discount. Don’t think it’s sustainable as it is currently. Social Comm needs to be able to deal with it.
MW: Don’t want the ticket prices to have to rise for everyone else.
ES: At summer ball 50% more people used it than expected. Have drafted a motion, last time assumed 4.5% of dinner tickets apply to grant, we’ll instead assume 6.75% based on last year. Social comm will budget for this, so if we reduce discount numbers will balance.
SW: What if more people claim it again. Will there be a cap?
MW: Not currently, Michaelmas will be a new trial. Hopefully will be fine. I still overestimate.
CG: Is there a cap?
ES: Reduced discount hopefully removes need for a cap.
MW: Additional stress of limited discounts would be bad for people.
ES: If fewer discount tickets are applied for, money that was put aside can go to participation fund.
AC: What if there are more?
MW: I budget for contingency.
JC: Can we have a floating pot for this to absorb variation?
ES: A percentage can be applied to every ball ticket so it’s sustainable. Should be its own contingency.
MW: £2 added to every other ticket.
AC: Last time was first time, next time more people will know, will that affect percentages?
MW: We can amend number if needed.
Method II Sanctions (SW)
SW: We had a complaint after recent JCR meeting, claiming that there had been a negative comment about another candidate during answers. SP said that even a 20% dock wouldn’t have affected result. We don’t have any sanctions officially for Method II. My suggestion is that from now on we write down vote.
EM: SRO should do that. Used to be in minutes.
SW: We should make a habit of always recording numbers.
EM: Suggestion that SRO is more on it with shutting down comments that could be perceived this way, they should be shut down on the spot. Not much more we can do.
AC: Are we going to tell SRO what to look out for?
SW: It was specifically linked to negative campaigning, linked to standing orders. SP knows standing orders. He’ll be able to do this.
CG: Can we agree to post on instagram about Method II elections? People don’t know rules.
EM: Should have Cuth’s elections instagram.
MW: People don’t know rules.
EM: Some definitely don’t.
ES: Answers should be specific to individuals.
CG: Can I make an instagram post? A lot of freshers are put off by not knowing the rules.
EM: This is SP’s job, don’t do it for him.
SW: I’m working on an FAQ and cheat sheet.
Action: EM to speak with SP about doing his job.
SW: Elections are now heavily weighted to 1.2 instead of 1.3. Can I move elections without consulting JCR?
JC: I think it’s fine because some of these meetings were originally extraordinary and were scheduled before rule changes. So for this year not a problem.
SW: Can I speak to people to arrange this?
EM: Yes. If people aren’t happy, leave it. We’ll just have fewer questions.
RJ: Can someone second my motion about Method I elections becoming 48 hours.