In EM’s flat, and it’s the first meeting of the year. Everyone seems refreshed after their break. AC and EE are late as usual.
Present: EM (President), MW (Social Chair), JC (Vice-President), SM (Postgraduate and Mature Student’s Chair), ES (Senior Welfare Officer), RJ (Finance and Compliance Officer), SW (Chair), JR (Facilities Manager), SA (Outreach Chair), CG (Communications Officer), AC (Sports and Societies Chair), EE (International Rep)
Apologies: AJ (Librarian)
Responsibilities at Feast and Refreshers – MW & EM
MW: You all have to come, help on the day and help clear up. Last year we had an issue with this. So be better than them. Please help. Otherwise it takes until 5am to clear up. But it’s quick if everyone stays. Be drunk, I’m always drunk when I clear up. During the day, you can pop in and out and work around commitments.
MW: Also, please help for silent disco on Saturday. Set-up, transition and tidy up. Start setting up at 7pm.
MW: Feast is on 21st Feb.
Common Room Grant Application – EM
EM: Basically, the SU has a pot of money that common rooms can access for campaigns if they are across colleges. Maximum of £500 for each campaign. Can also be used for collaboration between common rooms. They want people to do something for Valentine’s Day. Please use it.
Wendy House Opposition – EE and EM
EE: WN is asking about it. I don’t know what the plans are. He felt weird that the Wendy House might go. He says we need to keep our traditions. I offered to help him allow people to express their opinions. I don’t know how much say we have over this.
JR: Some information would be very good on this. There are lots of rumours.
CG: We’re not demolishing the Wendy House, and there’s only 5 people that live there but hundreds of people could use it if it’s repurposed.
EE: My point is more that people in Cuth’s should have more input.
EM: College are trying to reduce numbers anyway, and this is an easy way to do it. It’s not being bought; it’s just people won’t live there. There’s desire for more music rooms. A downstairs room would likely be soundproofed, and then upstairs could be used however the JCR wanted. Whether this happens is not up to students. This isn’t even definitely going to happen. So it’s not appropriate to inform people at this stage, because we don’t have concrete information. I don’t know why WN is making a fuss about this now. Some people that lived in the Wendy House have said it would be nice to do this.
EE: It would still be good to clarify this to people now.
EM: The University owns the buildings, not us, and if they’re giving us the house for nothing that’s a good deal.
Awards Committee – JR
JR: Most of the awards at the end of the year are normally decided by the president, right?
RJ: S&S some other people have a say but not DLB.
JR: I think there should be an official committee to handle it. I haven’t considered details. Especially for DLB. Some people think that DLBs go to a certain kind of people every year.
SA: Who decides who’s on the committee?
MW: There are only a few people who are able to see the bigger picture here.
JR: That’s why there should be a range of people.
EM: It’s part of the chair’s role to sit in on that sort of thing.
SW: I know you want a range of people, but this has been raised and never goes further because it’s very difficult to put together a suitable committee when most of the suitable people are under consideration. The trustees are quite separate, and I don’t think they’re informed enough for this. It’s a very difficult thing to put together.
EM: A lot of people in the JCR won’t understand the differences between different roles.
MW: The president does see everything so it’s good for them to decide.
EM: For the other awards, if you wanted more people to help decide then who else would you want?
JR: There could be a method II election for that.
SM: I agree about DLB, but to get rid of the clique view we could have more awards.
CG: I liked the honourable mentions last year.
SA: People could submit their own awards.
SM: We could just think this term.
Action: Everyone to think of one additional award.
RJ: Maybe we could formalise the nominations process a bit more? Post a list of 3 or 4 nominees for each award.
SA: It might feel like people have lost then.
SM: Maybe for sports and socs but not people.
RJ: So we’ll keep it as it is, and when we read it out we’ll say who else was nominated.
JC: I think it is fairly manageable to make a small committee to decide on DLBS. Now that we have two sabs, we’d only need one additional person who isn’t graduating, and I think that having a small committee would make it much fairer.
EM: That’s fair. It does get discussed and checked with people anyway.
CG: if we were to do that, it might be nice to attach a document at the bottom detailing how we make it fair.
EM: I agree with that, we could probably make a committee but it shouldn’t be set in stone as to who it is. Probably president, FCO and one to three non-graduating members.
JR: President should be able to pick the committee, which is better than them picking the awards.
EE: We could have some method II positions for that.
ES: How do you campaign for that?
AC: President could put people forward for a vote?
SW: Voting isn’t the answer to everything.
ES: I think it’s fine at the president’s discretion. People will see how have been picked and the president will want to avoid backlash.
CG: To make sure it’s fair you could get everyone to sign a document saying they promise to be fair.
EM: I think we’ve established consensus that people that choose DLBs shouldn’t just be a fresher who picks a BNOC. And they haven’t seen the rest of people’s time here. So the best options for this would really be someone from another college to sit and verify that everyone has been discussed equally. That could be very effective and would make things fairer. They could work in college or be from another college.
SW: I don’t think it would work having someone from another college. If people want to criticise they will. People are allowed to have opinions. If people think there’s widespread corruption in the JCR that’s their problem. There’s always a speech about why people get the award. The people on the exec have all been elected.
EM: So there will be a committee of president, FCO, and either one or three other non-graduating people with obvious oversight.
Handovers – RJ and EM
EM: Start thinking about your handovers. I want there to be more structure to the handovers. Some people’s were more comprehensive than other’s. Maybe some mandated headings would be useful. For example, a social media containing passwords and when people should post things. So could you all please suggest some headings? For example, wider responsibilities.
SM: Freshers’ Week.
RJ: Accounts and passwords
MW: How to use facebook
EM: Budgets, holding committee meetings
JR: Reclaims and purchases
EM: How to act in a JCR meeting
SM: Should those last two be in a general thing for every handover? Then only one person has to write it.
EE: Key contacts and staff members
Action: JC to put this in a google sheet
RJ: I think it would be useful to keep handovers for each year on the drive. It’s often helpful to go back and read old handovers. So we would want people to leave their handover in their folder on the drive.
EM: By the time you come to write this, you’ll hopefully know who you’re writing it for. Please include as much detail as possible.
RJ: Nothing is too small to include. As a JCR, we don’t do a very good job of handovers in general, and we lose a lot through this. It’s really important to pass all the information you’ve learned on to the next person. I’d like to have a strategy for each role for beyond your year. When I was sports and societies chair, I found it hard to work with social media. I could have suggested that my successor create an Instagram to rectify that. So you give suggestions for fixing problems you’ve identified.
EM: It would be good to also link this to the headings from the wider Cuth’s strategy and try to make things fit.
RJ: I think it should either be a long term strategy section or a what I learnt section.
TOOO MUCH WOOORRRKKK – EM
EM: If you have too much work, tell me or RJ beforehand and we’ll help. But please don’t leave it to the last minute. Tell us about big exams and deadlines in advance.
RJ: Sometimes a big job for you might not be a big job for us.
SW: The plan has changed for photos for Cuth’s needs you. Get someone to take a nice photo of you. Preferably somewhere nice and outside. Wearing your exec polo. And we’ll create a banner for them. Descriptions should be detailed but short enough that people read them. Then change your profile picture in the run up to your position’s election. Please encourage people to come to JCR meetings.
RJ: If anyone knows anyone who might want to run for webmaster or green machine manager, please encourage them to do so.
SM: I think the election for webmaster should be moved to before summer of their year of office.
EM: Good idea.
SW: Tell your committees to fill in my survey.
EM: Please use the team drive more.