In EM’s flat, too early in the morning. I’m very hungover and still in pyjamas. SP is emotional that he might never see us again if he’s not allowed to return from India.
Present: JC (Vice-President), SP (SRO), BT (JRO), EM (President), SWC (Chair), WE (Stool)
Apologies: SG (JRO)
*We realise SP only sent the motion to SWC*
JC: I think it should be a simple majority not 2/3 because currently gov comm out number the other people.
SWC: So it’s not really an appeals process.
SP: There are quite a few things I’m unsure about. Currently the appeals process requires 2/3 majority. If it was a simple majority it would be easier to overturn.
SWC: I’m not convinced that all of gov comm should be on the tribunal. They’ll already have had a say. Maybe one or two representatives. And I think it would be better to make it smaller. We could remove the JROs and the stool.
SWC: I’m not convinced that exec members will want to be on this.
SP: I was thinking of it being more people just saying they’re avi.
EM: Are trustees unconscious bias trained?
SP: Trustees are apolitical and separate. But exec members are seen as more political. But that’s also a reason to not involve trustees.
SWC: I am opposed to external trustees being on it. The distance of trustees would probably reassure people that the appeal is being treated fairly.
EM: That would give it some gravitas, but I’d prefer it to be exec members.
SP: So there already exists a complaints procedure that trustees deal with.
SWC: We could do a mix. 2 trustees and 2 exec members.
JC: That would also mean that gov comm and none gov comm were equal.
SP: There are 3 trustees. Should we change the exec members every term, or have 2 for the whole year?
BT: I don’t think enough people would want to do it to change termly.
SWC: Not many decisions are appealed to this level, and I think consistency is better.
SWC: I think all appeals should go to this tribunal.
SP: I agree. It creates less controversy. We shouldn’t not allow appeals.
SWC: Trustees who are abroad can be dialled in, or we could choose the two who aren’t.
SWC: What if it’s a tie?
SP: Maybe it should require 5 votes of 8 to overturn it.
SWC: I don’t think gov comm should decide who sits on it. Trustees can decide amongst themselves, and maybe the president should choose the exec members?
Motions and deadlines
SWC: JC spoke about this during the election. I think I’ve never implemented a deadline because it could make the situation worse. If everyone submitted motions by the deadline and there were a lot, I wouldn’t be able to put them all in one meeting and people would have met the deadline. Currently it’s first come first served as late as I can accept them.
JC: I think it’s good to be able to announce the agenda reasonably far in advance of the meeting. I though a deadline for motions would be the best way to do that, but if it’s not then that’s fine.
EM: There used to be a deadline for motions. It was 24 hours before so the agenda could be published 12 hours before.
SWC: Gov comm operates on a tight timeline. Last week we met on the Sunday and the meeting was on the Monday. So either I make all the amendments, which I don’t think I should. Sometimes we can’t meet earlier. I try to get motions as quickly as possible.
JC: I think it could be nice to have the deadline quite far in advance, so that there’s enough time for us to discuss motions and people to amend them.
SWC: It’s hard to know about having too many submissions. We’ve had a lot of motions this year. In reality, I think it’s unlikely that there’ll be too many motions for a meeting. Sometimes one person needs 3 motions. I’m up for trialling it. We could set a deadline 3 or 4 days before the meeting. If it doesn’t work we can stop it.
JCR Meetings next term
SWC: My thoughts are that we can’t predict tomorrow let alone next term. I think we should leave it and change our plans over Easter if needed.
SP: Agree for now, but we could consider making things more virtual. If it seems like we’re not coming back next term, we could have a super meeting at the end of term for just elections.
SWC: I don’t think we can do that this term.
SWC: I think we should wait and see.
The budget meeting
SWC: Me and RJ were discussing doing it in an afternoon instead of the evening, but still have the bar open. And then having the motions and elections in a separate evening. If it doesn’t work it doesn’t work. A lot of people leave after their society’s budget.
EM: I thought that because no one bothered with ratification they should all submit empty budget forms.
SWC: I don’t think RJ will want people submitting empty budgets.
JC: I like your proposal.
Restricting posts on social media
SP: I ran a candidate’s experience survey. Some of the concerns they brought up was the pressure of making lots of posts when the opponents are posting. Spam is a problem. So an idea we could apply is a limit on numbers of posts during certain time frames. That will minimise spam and remove the pressure to run an intense campaign.
WE: I don’t hate it. It can become spammy.
SP: One thing that kept coming up was a desire to remove social media campaigning altogether. This is a good compromise step.
EM: I hate this. If you have online campaigning, have it. Don’t tell people how to run campaigns. Tough shit if you don’t like that your opponent is posting a lot. That will be even more pressure. You can’t schedule posts. People need to get over the fact that there’s spam. This will be more stressful.
WE: In the US, elections are completely unregulated. I kind of agree more with what EM said.
EM: People absorb some information from manifestos.
SWC: I’ve heard people say they don’t vote for people because they spammed, people have strategies that they stick to. If anything is less fair if we restrict posts because if someone is already better known they have more reach through those posts.
BT: People know that spam is off putting. I think it might put people off being on campaign teams.
SP: I prefer cutthroat politics. But the JCR doesn’t. It’s become obvious that people hate social media campaigning. But this is kind of a smaller step.
SWC: I’m worried about turnout.
WE: I think campaigns are different here. Regulation is ingrained. I think that people should be free to post. Part of being a good candidate is adapting and reaching people.
EM: If you limit online things, people will just wander more in person. People don’t like people they don’t know coming to the doors.
SP: If people are annoying with spam, they’re just a bad candidate.
EM: I think that people will try to make those posts stay. Some of the most spammy things I see are when the same posts keep coming up.
SWC: I appreciate that you’re trying to address these concerns. But I think this isn’t the best way to do it.
EM: Social media campaigning wasn’t the most stressful part of my campaign.
Restructure of the JRO role
SP: The distribution of responsibility is very arbitrary. It would be good to make the role more meaningful. Currently they just let people in and out of the room. There’s so much more they could do. Maybe we should have a schedule.
EM: One of the issues is that people that don’t know much about governance run. People don’t know the rules they’re checking for.
WE: My position is effectively just to sit on gov comm. As a fresher that’s what I was looking for. It’s good not to do much management.
SWC: I think EM is right though. What’s important is what people get from the role, not what they know when they start. I can’t really teach people the rules. Something just isn’t really working.
EM: People run without knowing they’ll need to work for it. There are people on the committee who spend the whole year as a JRO without knowing where the orders are.
SP: Standing orders are often sent out, but they don’t really read them. A lot of it is about proactivity. The positions are usually held by freshers.
WE: We could have a way to integrate the standing orders better into the positions.
EM: Maybe have a compulsory governance session.
WE: Or tell people it’s part of their job to read them early on.
EM: JRO is a position where you can get away with doing very little.
WE: Maybe we should just have a few meetings early in the year where we go through the orders.
SWC: It used to annoy me how broken the rules were. That’s why I started caring about them.
WE: If people feel like their position holds a lot of responsibility, they’re more likely to care about it.
SWC: It’s good to have some less involved positions, as long as they can throw themselves in if they want to.
SP: JROs see discussions happening all the time. A lot of them will want to contribute more.
EM: It’s all very nice to say that someone is involved but doesn’t want to do much, then they’re holding positions that they don’t contribute to then that’s detrimental to the JCR.
WE: I was saying that I want to make an impact, but don’t have the time to commit to a big role.
JC: I think the election calendar should be redesigned, because I don’t think it’s been thought about for a long time. In my opinion, I like 2.1 being president, FCO and vice-president, then 2.2 and 2.3 being the rest of the exec, and non-exec in third time.
SWC: I don’t think that’s a bad idea. This time round the candidates for senior welfare officer couldn’t run for male or female. We did try and plan this this summer, but I think it does need a restructure.
WE: Do we have enough meetings for senior welfare, then a gap then male and female.
SWC: Yes, senior could be 2.2 then male and female 3.1. If splitting the budget meeting becomes a thing that will make this easier.
SP: For the first meeting of Easter, I don’t want too many because it’s often during exams.
SWC: I think this a big thing, maybe a few of us should sit down and discuss this.