In a crowded conference room. I knock over multiple pieces of feast art in my attempt to find a seat. Noone has to sit on the floor now that we’re not using EM’s flat.
Present: EM (President), SA (Outreach Chair), CG (Communications Officer), AJ (Librarian), MW (Social Chair), RJ (FCO), AC (Sports & Societies Chair), EE (International Rep), SW (Chair), ES (Senior Welfare Officer), SM (Postgraduate and Mature Students’ Committee Chair), JC (Vice-President)
Absent: JR (Facilities Manager)
Another shed!? – EM
EM: Previously I wanted the space outside the conference room to be a bike shed. SC says no because access would be through the house. So that space could be used for something else, I’d like another shed.
AC: Can we build a climbing wall there instead? Hild Bede have one.
SM: Could we use it for Bailey wardrobe?
EM: If we move the staging from under the stairs we could use that space for the wardrobe.
AC: I like the shed.
Action: EM to investigate sheds.
The SU Vonc situation – CG
CG: Update. TP is an SU trustee, and he often speaks to SU reps individually about bad things about the SU president. At our committee meetings an SU employee comes, so we also have our own informal meetings. TP recently told us all the info he had collected. We didn’t think the motion would pass but wanted the issues to become public knowledge. TP wrote the motion and we sent them to our SU reps. Someone leaked them to Durfess. The motion was edited and resubmitted before the deadline, and we were told the motion couldn’t go ahead because it might influence KM’s career. So it’s no longer happening.
SW: How much of it was true?
CG: It’s unlikely to be untrue.
EM: A lot of presidents had an issue with the lack of evidence, but a lot of the issues were people feeling intimidated and bullied, and individuals saying that is enough to warrant something notable.
SM: I’ve heard that some of it was true but about another officer.
CG: I think it’s been resolved.
EM: No, it’s been pushed under the carpet.
CG: The whole situation is one example of why we’re always annoyed at the SU. SU reps have submitted so many motions this year that the SU has refused to allow us to discuss.
EM: I have some worries about this. If you guys think this is very unreasonable then we need to push to take it forward further. If no one can VonC an SU sabb, that’s a massive issue.
SA: We should be able to discuss this regardless of the situation.
SM: I’ve submitted a motion to try and make Assembly more democratic. It will create an open forum where anything can be discussed by anyone.
ES: I think leaking was a bad move, but if it’s going to be put forward then as long as it’s grounded in evidence. There were things posted that I knew weren’t true.
EM: It was partly about attacking the SU using KM as a target.
ES: I think it’s important that officers should be held accountable, but there should be evidence behind the accusations.
EM: Yes, but it should be discussed not pushed under the rug without anyone addressing the accusations.
CG: We’ve discussed submitting no confidence in governance and grants because that might be better. I’d like to meet with SU staff to tell them what I don’t like.
Brooks Bar Art – EM
EM: I want art in Brooks bar. I like the idea of old timey Durham themed paintings and pictures. Maybe in black and white. Do we want to spend money on it or get students to do it?
MW: You could make a Brooks bar art prize.
EM: That would mean it changed often.
SM: There’s a lot of art upstairs that the Vice-Principal wants to get rid of. We could use that. Art soc are also doing something Durham themed this term.
EM: We’ve also discussed having something related to women in Cuth’s. Maybe female artists.
AJ: It seems strange to narrow it down to just women.
SM: Art is already female dominated.
SW: Exclusively pictures of EA.
CG: What about a women wall with a theme of empowering women.
SM: We could have a review panel.
SW: Could we put up photos of women in Cuth’s? Maybe a photo collage?
EM: It would be nice to do something deliberate.
AC: We could have some of our most successful women’s sports teams photos go up.
EM: Maybe some celebration photos would be better.
Women at Cuth’s – EM
EM: We have the inspirational women speakers at formals but not much else. I want some more ideas.
CG: Woman of the week in the newsletter.
MW: We could raise money for a women’s charity.
CG: We could invite female alumni.
EE: We already do.
SM: Are there any cool alumni photos we could put on the Instagram?
SW: Could some of the early women write something for us?
SA: We could have an all female high table.
EE: Not many people know the history behind women being allowed into Cuth’s so we could do something about that.
SA: We could do an event with FemSoc on Women in Cuth’s through time.
RJ: Even 3 or 4 from the last 50 years would be enough to be interesting.
SW: It would be nice to do something fun as well. This is meant to be a celebration.
AC: What about current women’s rugby vs alumni? Like Dads vs Lads.
SA: I wouldn’t want to play rugby against any alumni.
AC: Maybe rugby is a bad choice, but another sport could work.
CG: It’s quite far in the future, but in Cuth’s week we could have a women’s day where there’s a panel of some alumni, and maybe a pub quiz. And loads of other stuff about women.
EE: We could do some art with the minutes from when they were first allowed here.
EM: There is a free day in Cuth’s week.
CG: We could have an all female garden party. For students and alumni. We could invite back some of the inspirational speakers. I’m sure EA has a lot of powerful female friends. Drama society could do a play on women’s issues. Welfare and FemSoc could do stuff. It could be a festival of women.
SW: Can I suggest that we just go to FemSoc and ask for ideas.
SM: I think there would be a clash with the garden party if we did it in Cuth’s week. People wouldn’t want to go to two events in one week.
Liking Posts on Facebook – CG
Cailtin: Please react to the newsletter on facebook because then facebook thinks it’s more relevant.
JC: You should post it as the JCR then share that to freshers’ groups.
Instagram Schedule – CG
CG: Sometimes the Instagram looks like it’s just posters. We should try to space things out more. And maybe have something regular. We could also do Cuthsgratulations on Instagram.
EE: If you want to make it more aesthetic, you could have a branding package that goes on all our posts.
EM: I like that there isn’t a common theme. That would make sense for a company, but consistent branding can stop people from reading.
EM: It would be nice to celebrate people more. They don’t have to be in the newsletter. It would encourage people to post more if every third post was a celebration. If there was an event coming up, we’d need to be consistent.
SM: I like that. It’s a pain putting images on the newsletter.
CG: I use Greta Thunberg as an example.
EM: it’s the wrong green. And the border should be thinner.
Exec Conduct During Elections – SW
SW: If you’re running for an election, please don’t wear your exec polo in the meeting. If you’re not running, you’re meant to be impartial, which includes social media. So your options are react the same to all the posts or react to nothing. It looks bad even if the person running is your friend. Be mindful of your conduct.
EE: Someone got ronned in Trevs. What is the policy if there’s just one person running?
SW: Just don’t react.
EM: Also, anyone that’s running will have their exec report read about by me. So submit it short. And when you read them out, make it short and snappy without umming ahhing. But please send me a short version of your report before the meeting (via email).
JCR Survey – SW
SW: We did a survey. We had 80 responses. It’s not just about me, I think everyone now needs to look at it and see what they can do based on the responses. I think it would be nice to show that we’ve listened, so by the last JCR meeting of this term it would be good to prepare a report on how you’ve responded to it. We’ll put them all together. Just to show that we’ve listened and responded. I’d also like to produce some infographics.
EM: I have some infographics. It’s on the exec team drive. I suggest looking at it by question.
SW: Do we want to also post the whole thing? It feels slightly wrong to hide the responses?
AJ: We could put it on the website and post a link when we respond?
EM: I’ve picked out the responses that I think are important, but there were some that weren’t particularly relevant. If someone came and asked to see the full results we could show them. But it’s not a useful data set to share.
SW: Ok, so let’s share the infographics and tell people they can have the raw data if they wish. I’m keen to make sure it doesn’t look like an attack when we do respond. Remember that not everyone has the same level as engagement as us.
RJ: There were some good ideas coming out of it. There’s a lot of study space in Cuth’s that isn’t used, so we might do a video on Instagram showing everything that’s available.
SW: Would it be helpful to have a set of actions?
RJ: We could make an action log.
EM: It is fair, it’s important to acknowledge what people think.
EE: One of the comments said that JCR banter is off putting.
EM: We’ll never completely shake off the image of being cliquey when the exec will know each other quite well. It’s more about trying to tell people that we’re also inclusive and welcoming and interested in other people’s ideas.
EE: I thought it would be good to do an open house thing that was suggested in one of the responses. We could have an open forum where we talk about the responses and how we’ll address it.
EM: We could find a time when most of us could sit in Brooks to allow people to come and tell us their ideas.
SA: I think that would be quite intimidating.
AC: it could be only a few people.
EE: I know people that have made comments, so I could message them to tell them that it’s happening.
RJ: Maybe 3 on the Bailey and 3 in Brooks would be better.
SW: A lot of us already have drop ins but not many people come.
EM: We could also post on Instagram while it happens saying what ideas we’ve been given.
RJ: We should also address some of the misunderstandings on Instagram.
EE: A lot of keen people read handbooks, but making a video to explain things in the video might be helpful.
SW: I would like this to become at least an annual thing.
Action: EM to do Instagram stories with the infographics and some responses.
Action: Everyone to work out how they’ll respond to the survey and share it with EM and SW.
Communities Officer – JC
JC: Hopefully you’ve already read my motion about creating a communications officer to chair a committee of minority reps, which will include the international rep. Any thoughts?
ES: I don’t think it would be necessary to still have international welfare rep.
CG: That makes senses.
EE: Based on what I’ve seen of that position, that would be sensible.
EE: I’d also like an international committee set up in time for freshers’ week. And that could be present during freshers’ week.
SW: Could we have freps for just international week? In my second year the international rep was on my frep team and didn’t really know what was going on.
RJ: A lot of colleges have a team dedicated to welcoming international freshers. I think we could have an international team. But I think they might as well frep for both weeks.
EE: I’m then concerned that if international rep is no longer exec, it might demotivate people from running.
MW: But it might motivate other people.
EE: I don’t want internationals and ethnic minorities competing for the role of communities officer, and it turning into a fight between minority groups.
SM: Hatfield’s communities officer is also the SU rep. They had a straight white women and it didn’t quite sit right.
SW: The same is true of any of our minority reps.
JC: It’s written that the communities officer should identify as a minority. It’s deliberately vague and weak so that we’re not trying to police it, but hopefully it will communicate that we want people holding the role to identify with some minority community.
SW: I’m fairly sure that the caucus voting motion will be re-run this year. I guess this is something we should think about in this context.
ES: It makes it a lot clearer if it then becomes the positions in that committee that are voted by caucus. Who would do the handover? I think it should be me and EE. Between us we should be able to coordinate.
EM: They could also receive the handovers from all the minority reps.
JC: Current short list of names is communities, liberation and equality.
EM: What about rep rep?
ES: No one understands liberation as a role.
EE: I like communities because sometimes people think they can only go to events if they identify as that group. But actually we want anyone to come. And I think communities encourages that. I want a name that’s for everyone.
EM: Today in gov comm, three out of four freshers were very confused by this.
AC: We could change communications.
SM: Other college’s communications officers do very different things.
RJ: Communications is mostly SU and livers out.
SW: We could ask for suggestions.
EM: Let’s run it as communities, but aim to rename either communities or communications at the following meeting.
SM: We’ve all forgotten about awards suggestions.
Action: SM to make a google doc for this.
RJ: Tell me if you want to buy anything that’s for long term benefit. Also let me know any thoughts on your committee budgets. We’re currently planning to spend £10k per year of our reserves.
EE: Some colleges have scholarships. Could we contribute to some?