Agenda for JCR Meeting 17/06/14, 2pm, Bailey Bar

Apologies
Minutes from the previous meeting
Reports from Executive Committee
Motions
Song Apologies Minutes from the previous meeting Reports from Executive Committee

Not Applicable.

Motions

The Budget 2014/15

See attached. 3 Options are presented to the JCR with the JCR Fee increasing to £50 being presented as the preference by the JCR Treasurer, BH.

Each Sport and Soc will speak for 15secs on why they should receive their budget.

There will be options to amend any aspect of the motion, including to amend it to either the £35 or £43 option and change any of the details.

BH – Finance Comm have presented three budgets, but would recommend increasing the levy paid by incoming students. Our levy is currently £35 per year, which is the lowest in Durham. Next year we will have a projected 385 new students (325 UGs and 60 PGs). Our expenditure, especially for sports and societies is increasing every year. As the university is taking in fewer students, the grant they give to each JCR, which is based on the proportion of students, is decreasing. Bar profits, of which the JCR receives a third, have also decreased. In recent academic years a restructuring of when the levy is collected gave us a surplus, but this is no longer the case. In brief the three proposals are: to keep the levy at the current level (£35), in which case sports and societies funding would have to be capped and the amount spent on facilities and events would have to be cut; raise the levy slightly (to £43) in which case we would no longer get newspapers in the JCRs and would not subsidise Cuth’s Day (meaning ticket prices would increase); a large rise in the levy (to £50) which would give us the budget agreed by Finance Comm. This would leave us overall in the mid-range of JCR levies, which currently range from £35 to £68. In this meeting we will discuss the levy first and then discuss whichever budget is then appropriate.

For our income, the grant we get from the University has fallen to £8,823 per year. The income from the services charge depends on how high the levy is set. Currently we run events as fund-raisers, which means they are not eligible for VAT and provide us with a surplus.

Under expenditure, we currently get three newspapers a day at both sites. The handbook may now be sent in digital form, so we have reduced the budget for it. Items bought for the Green Machine can be rented out to other colleges to recoup some of the cost. Our library fees are extremely high as we are the only fully student run library and pay all of our librarians. To reduce this expenditure, finance comm., the librarian and librarian elect have suggested that junior librarians should now work as volunteers and only senior librarians should be paid. The welfare budget has increased to allow them to run more campaigns. The Presidential salary has increased to allow for a handover month. The President’s flat has to be budgeted for in case college stops paying for it, which would take the President’s salary below the minimum wage. We are getting some accounting software and training as we are an independent organization and so do not benefit from the help offered to DSOs. Previously there has not been a specific admin budget, which is an oversight. Insurance, which includes insurance for the boat club, has increased as we are insuring more things. Booking bug is the online system we use for ticket sales and merchant services refers to card payments. If we keep the levy at £35 per year, sports and societies expenditure would be capped at £16,000. We have also ring-fenced around £2,500 to pay for any legal fees, postgraduate or international events and any new sports or societies. A £50 levy would give us a slight surplus each year and this is the change I am proposing.

Questions

GC – How would that compare to other colleges?

BH – Currently the lowest (ourselves) is £35 per year and the highest is £68 per year.

AL – Would this only apply to incoming students?

BH – Yes, but this could be amended.

HLE – What about PhD students who pay yearly?

BH – Yes, they would be affected and it could change while they are in Cuth’s but the billing system is organized by the University so we can’t immediately control it.

HLE – So PhD students could end up paying more every year?

BH – We would have to try to arrange something with the University.

EP – With high rent and student debt, won’t people simply opt-out?

BH – Compared to all other JCRs it is still very reasonable and given how much we offer, represents excellent value for money.

MT – In response to HLE, the fees probably won’t increase again soon, and paying £150 over three years just for a gym membership would be good value.

DJ – Do other JCRs have to set aside legal fees?

BH – Only the independent ones, so Grey.

GC – This is quite a steep increase, we want to keep the levy as low as possible so that we can stay inclusive, so I would suggest £43 per year.

BH – In the grand scheme we still offer good value, £50 per year means we don’t damage Cuth’s Day, we have also lost bar profits and the grant.

LM – I prefer £50. Although I agree we should try to be inclusive by staying as low as possible, we do offer more than any other JCR.

SC – I prefer the option of £43. In the past Cuth’s Day hasn’t always represented obvious value for money, unlike the sports and societies, which is why we give them more money. JCR fees are a hidden cost of student life.

GC – If the subsidy for Cuth’s Day was completely removed, expenditure would be cut by £3,000 so to keep the same ticket prices we would have to have fewer acts and not use the Wendy House garden. To keep it at a similar level ticket prices would have to go up from £22 to £26. Although this is a small increase, I think we should avoid increasing the cost of our events.

BH – It would be a shame to lessen Cuth’s Day. £50 allows us to secure the future of our sports and societies and there would be less flexibility with a levy of £43 per year.

Amendments

GC – I propose we increase the levy to £43 per year.

SC seconds. BH opposes the amendment.

The amendment is overturned on a vote.

HLE – I propose that we mandate the treasurer to clarify the situation regarding continuing postgraduates.

JS seconds. There is no opposition.

The amendment is passed on a general aye.

MT – Anyone who will still be here in future years should pay the difference between the current levy and the increased levy (i.e. £15 per year for the rest of their time in Durham).

NR seconds. BH opposes

BH – I believe that we have a tacit agreement with the current students that the levy would be £35 per year as they have paid that in advance.

MT – I just think it is unfair that current students are voting on an issue which will negatively impact on future students, but won’t affect the people voting on it.

The amendment is passed on a vote.

DW – Where will the extra money go?

SC – Into the reserves.

EP – Can we insert a clause saying that the previous amendment will be pending legal advice?

BH seconds. There is no opposition.

The amendment is passed on a general aye.

The amended motion is passed on a general aye. The levy for incoming students is raised to £50 per year and continuing students will pay an extra £15 per year, pending legal clarification. The Treasurer will clarify the situation regarding postgraduate students.

 

Budget – One member from each sport or society will have fifteen seconds to speak on behalf of their sport or society

Art Soc – We want to spend £325 on new materials and £250 to put on more workshops.

Badminton – We need money for courts and training.

Big Band – We need kit repairs, new music and kit transport.

Boat Club – We have more entries so need to spend more, but have reduced the cost of repairs.

Choir – We need new music.

Cheerleading – We need mats to be able to perform safely.

BH – The cheerleading budget is only for pom-poms.

AR – The £100 plus our subs will pay for mats.

Climbing – Climbing is an expensive sport with lots of hidden costs, like paying for transport and shoe hire, we want to make it as inclusive as possible.

Cricket – We have to pay league fees and hire somewhere to train.

Dodgeball – We are a new society so need new balls and space to train.

Women’s Football – We have to pay to enter tournaments, also for a First Aid kit and new shirts.

Hockey – We have to pay for pitch hire and umpires.

Mixed Lacrosse – We have to pay £125 on a first aid kit, balls and equipment.

Netball – We need new balls, bibs and umpires.

Pool – We are reclaiming match fees.

Rounders – As a new society we want 6 balls, some bats and some posts.

BH – The posts will be paid for through subs.

Men’s Rugby – We have to pay ref fees, hire the rubber crumb, buy new balls and tackle pads.

Women’s Rugby – We have to get a first aid kit, ref fees and scrum training.

Squash – We want new balls, new racquets and court fees.

Tennis – We want new balls, new racquets and court fees.

Ultimate Frisbee – We need new Frisbees.

Volleyball – We have two new teams and need to pay league fees.

Questions

Art Soc

DW – Why are subs so low?

BH – That is slightly misleading, non-Cuth’s students will have to pay more for workshops etc.

HC – Are you sure about the number of members?

MH – It’s hard to know exactly, 40 people are regulars, but there are probably more people involved.

The Art Society budget was passed on a general aye.

Badminton

AL – Why are there so many different subs?

Unidentified member of badminton – There are different levels for men’s teams, mixed teams and social players.

DW – If you haven’t got any new members, why are you asking for more money?

Unidentified member of badminton – We want to get some coaching

SC – 64 members seems very high?

Unidentified member of badminton – We have 24 competitive members and 40 social members.

The Badminton budget was passed on a general aye.

Big Band

IG – Do you not make a profit from performing?

JS – Yes, but it is unpredictable.

DW – Do you spend JCR money on a tour?

JS – No.

NR – How much do you spend on new music?

JS – £150.

EP – Does that include PRS?

JS – No.

NR – You seem to be asking for a lot of money?

BH – The kit transport money can only be used for charity events.

NR – What is the equipment money spent on?

JS – It depends on demand, the money is used to repair anything that breaks. It is unlikely that all of it will be spent.

DW – Why are you asking for provisional money, which could be used by other people?

CP – Other clubs can still access the ring-fenced money.

BH – The repair budget does tend to be used.

MT – It seems confusing that the music room gets a budget and big band get a repairs budget, who owns what equipment?

BH – The music room budget is for refurbishment, not repairs.

Big Band’s budget was passed on a general aye.

Boat Club

EP – What do you mean by events?

FR – That means races.

IF – Why have subs gone down?

MF – They haven’t, they were also £65 last year, the £70 refers to an optional extra which means you can spend £5 more on subs to get a rigger jigger.

DW – That is more than most colleges give to all of their sports teams, how do other college boat clubs manage?

BH – They have to pay for race entries individually.

SC – They pay much higher subs.

IF – What is the breakdown?

BH – [GET THIS FROM BH!] [sic]

The Boat Club’s budget was passed on a general aye.

Choir

FM – How much do you get from events?

NR – This has been the first year we have made money from events, normally we go on a tour which costs us money. We spend the JCR money on music and printing, any money from concerts goes into the reserves.

The Choir budget was passed on a general aye.

Cheerleading

The Cheerleading budget was passed on a general aye.

Climbing

DW – Why are you asking for so much when subs are so low?

JB – Our subs have gone up this year and the amount we’re asking for has gone down.

IG – How do you pay for your travel?

JB – It is self-funded.

CH – Other expensive sports have higher subs.

JB – We would alienate members.

JH – We only climb once a week so get less from our subs.

EP – Which centre do you use?

JB – The Durham Climbing Centre, which is the closest.

LI – What is the money spent on?

BH – [GET BREAKDOWN FROM BH!]

DJ – I think the climbing centre is cheaper on other days?

JB – We have already done a deal to reduce the cost.

SC – How much would it normally cost for a student to climb?

JB – At Durham Climbing Centre it would be £7.50 per climb, we pay £4.50 per climb.

DW – Why are subs so low?

RK – There are a lot of hidden costs like transport to the centre and shoe hire.

CP – Can you estimate how much you are paying?

JB – Per climb it would be £5.50 plus the £4.50 paid by the JCR.

IG – Some clubs have a constant stream of members, climbing will be new for most people so won’t have a reliable source of new members.

JT – What is the difference to climbing with the University?

JB – They are less inclusive to beginners.

JH – At the University you have to pay much more for insurance and trips away.

CH – Can I suggest an amendment that subs be increased to £20 and the budget changed accordingly?

MT seconds. JB opposes.

The amendment is defeated on a vote.

MT – Can I suggest an amendment that subs be increased to £15 and the budget changed accordingly? The number of questions about subs seems to show that people aren’t happy about them and it would be more balanced if we are increasing our levy.

NR seconds. JB opposes.

The amendment is passed on a vote.

The amended motion is passed on a general aye.

Cricket

The Cricket Club budget is passed on a general aye.

Dodgeball

EP – Will dodgeballs last?

Unidentified member of the dodgeball team – We are getting them from the same suppliers used by Trevs and they should last if treated well. The price at Freeman’s Quay is uncertain which is why we want some leeway in the budget.

The Dodgeball budget is passed on a general aye.

Women’s Football

The Women’s Football budget is passed on a general aye.

Hockey Club

LI – How is the money spent?

AK – Pitch hire costs £30/hour, then umpires and practice slots.

SC – Team Durham might be giving you fewer games.

AK – That’s unlikely to happen.

CP – If circumstances change the budget can be changed accordingly.

The Hockey Club budget is passed on a general aye.

Mixed Lacrosse

AL – Why are you asking for less money?

Unidentified member of the mixed lacrosse team – Last year we need sticks, this year we don’t.

The Mixed Lacrosse budget is passed on a general aye.

Netball

AR – Why are there different subs?

BH – Competitive and social

HC – Where is the £44 that has been cut going to come from?

BH – Subs

Unidentified questioner – Where do they train?

Unidentified member of the netball team – We train at Cuth’s and play at Maiden Castle.

LI – Why are there different fees at Maiden Castle?

CP – It depends on the surface used and what Maiden Castle set fees as.

The Netball budget is passed on a general aye.

Pool

AL – Why are subs so low?

BH – They only reclaim the match fees that they put in, so break even.

EP – Who maintains the table?

BR – The JCR.

The Pool Club budget is passed on a general aye.

Rounders

BH – Subs will be used to pay for posts

The Rounders budget is passed on a general aye.

Rugby

BH – [GET BREAKDOWN FROM BH!]

HC – Will this go down in future?

FM – The pads should last but we will need new balls every year.

DW – Can we add an extra £40 for ref course, £30 for scrum clinic and £121.50 for training on the rubber crumb?

FM seconds

Unidentified questioner – Why pay for the ref course?

DW – It is a league requirement.

EP – Do we have enough money for this?

BH– Yes.

AG – Why are you asking for less to use the rubber crumb than hockey?

DW – We only use half the pitch

The amendment is passed on a general aye.

The amended Rugby Club budget is passed on a general aye.

Women’s Rugby

BH – Castle may agree to pay half as it is a joint team.

FM – The refs have agreed to charge less for women’s matches next year.

Unidentified member of the women’s rugby team – We haven’t been told about that.

BH – If that happens, we can change the amount later.

IG – Why don’t they train on the rubber crumb?

Unidentified member of the women’s rugby team – All of our matches are on grass, so there is no point training on the crumb.

The Women’s Rugby Club budget is passed on a general aye.

Squash

AL – Why has it increased?

Unidentified member of squash club – We need to update our equipment.

TS – What have Finance Comm removed?

BH – Nothing, the subs have been increased to cover the difference.

The Squash club budget is passed on a general aye.

Tennis

The Tennis Club budget is passed on a general aye.

Ultimate Frisbee

IG – How many Frisbees will that get you?

Unidentified member of Frisbee – We estimate 12.

Unidentified member of Frisbee – We also need a first aid kit and first aid training.

IG – Normally individuals pay for their own first aid training.

BH seconds an amendment for Frisbee to have an extra £15 for a first aid kit.

The amendment is passed on a general aye.

The amended Ultimate Frisbee budget is passed on a general aye.

Volleyball

JC – We would like an extra £200 to use a half court at Freeman’s Quay for two terms as we can’t use Maiden Castle.

MC seconds

Unidentified questioner – Is there a Volleyball league?

JC – Yes, we came third in it.

The amendment is passed on a general aye.

The amended Volleyball budget is passed on a general aye.

EP – How do we pay for the papers?

BH – We have a yearly subscription that does not include the holidays.

IF – What about men’s football?

BH – Last year they didn’t collect subs, so this year their subs have increased to £25 to cover that deficit. They did not submit a budget in time, but money has been ring-fenced for them.

SC – If they don’t submit a budget to us, they won’t have a team next year.

BR – Has the amount ring-fenced increased from last year?

BH – We didn’t have a ring-fence last year, which caused problems for new societies.

JT – Why are we having an audit?

BH – As the treasurer doesn’t get any formal training or help from the university, we’re getting the local firm who audit Grey’s to come in.

CO – How much will it cost?

BH – We have a quote for £1,600.

The budget is passed on a general aye.

BH receives a round of applause for his hard work.

CP – As this meeting has been very long, I would like to put a time limit of 30 more minutes on the rest of this meeting. Any business not completed in that time will be postponed until the next meeting.

SC seconds.

The procedural motion is passed on a general aye.

 

Honorary Life Membership Motion

This JCR Notes:

That DLBs are only awarded to graduating students.
That JCR Meetings may award Honorary Life Memberships.
That EH has chosen not to complete her studies at the University of Durham.

This JCR Believes:

That EH has been an exemplary Welfare Officer, especially considering the extenuating circumstances of the summer term.
That EH has contributed greatly to the JCR through her enthusiasm and willingness to participate.
That EH deserves some recognition for these contributions and would be most welcome at any point to return to Durham and St Cuthbert’s Society.

This JCR Resolves:

To award EH with Honorary Life Membership of St Cuthbert’s Society Junior Common Room.

Proposed by: MF

Seconded by: SC, RR, MT, CR, AL, LM, JG, TH, GH, FW, ST, AC, BH, TS

MF – Having been here for seven years, I’ve seen quite a few Welfare Officers, some of whom (like SC) have been very, very good, but none of them has come anywhere near doing as good a job as EH has. She has done a consistently outstanding job, and the levels of support she has offered and effort she has put in have never dropped, which is frankly amazing considering the number of Welfare Officers who either have to resign their duties early or become raging alcoholics (SC again…). When others might have cried ‘enough’ or allowed their efforts to drop off occasionally, she has maintained the same incredibly high standards from the very first day. In fact, she has raised those standards as the year has gone on, and never failed to meet them. Furthermore she has had to deal with difficult and tragic circumstances, which have been unparalleled in recent memory, and all at a time when, as most of you will agree, academic commitments become more pressing. Her willingness to continue offering incredibly high levels of support deserves reward and recognition. She has been the proverbial pillar of strength and I am sure that many of us would have found this year considerably more trying without her unstinting efforts. I know that SC could go in to much more detail about just how amazing EH’s work has been this year, and just how well she has coped with such a stressful position, and I am equally sure that most of you could have given a much better speech on her behalf than this, which surely is evidence, if any were needed, of just how invaluable she has been. A small silver cross itself is not much of a reward for such unstinting work and devotion, but it symbolises the thanks and recognition of 1,300 very grateful people, and I implore you to bestow that thanks and recognition on EH.

The motion is passed on a general aye.

HR presents EH with her Honorary Life Membership.

 

Memorial Plaque Motion

This JCR notes:

The tragic passing of Luke Pearce.
The profound impact Luke had on all those he met at Cuth’s.

This JCR believes:

That Luke will be sorely missed by many members of the Society.
That a memorial plaque, similar to the one erected for Tom Radmore, would be a lasting tribute to Luke.

This JCR resolves:

To erect a plaque in Brooks Bar in memorial to Luke.

Proposed by: CR

Seconded by: MG

CR – This is fairly self-explanatory, we’d like something similar to the plaque in memory of Tom Radmore that is above the Bailey bar.

AL – What would be on it?

CR – That hasn’t been decided yet, we’d ask his friends and flatmates what they thought was appropriate.

BH – How much will it cost?

CR – The memorial plaque for the war was £50, so something similar?

JLW – The boat club recently bought one for £30.

Amendment

BH – Can we say that the plaque will cost not more than £50?

CR seconds

The amendment is passed on a general aye.

The amended motion is passed on a general aye.

 

Unincorporated Organisation or Incorporated Organisation

This JCR notes:

That St Cuthbert’s Society JCR is currently classed as an “Unincorporated Organisation” as a Charity meaning all trustees (including student trustees) are considered personally liable for legal action taken against the JCR.

The existence of a class of charity called “Charitable Incorporated Organisation” (CIO) which allows a Charity to exist as a legal entity and therefore legal action can be taken first and foremost against it as an entity.

That if St Cuthbert’s Society JCR were to switch from an Unincorporated Organisation to a CIO it requires the dissolution of the current charity and the transfer of all money and assets to a CIO with similar charitable aims.

The attached Constitution, in a CIO format, intended to be a governing document for a charity with similar charitable aims.

To dissolve as an Unincorporated Organisation and transfer all assets to a CIO will take 66% majority of members voting.

That the JCR has never had a full trustee board and the President has sat on the board of trustees despite being a beneficiary of the JCR.

This JCR Believes:

That it would be easier to recruit a full trustee board if the JCR were a CIO as trustees would not be put off by the great personal liability they bear under the current system.

That it is preferable to be a CIO as the JCR would not have to fund trustee insurance to reduce the personal liability of the trustees.

That the attached CIO constitution is a better document in terms of content and provisions (providing for video conferencing of trustees and postal and proxy voting for the JCR) so will allow the JCR to be more flexible in operation.

That the attached CIO constitution allows the JCR to comply with the Charities Act 2011 by better laying out trustee responsibilities and removing the President as a trustee.

This JCR Resolves:

To take a referendum on whether St Cuthbert’s Society JCR should wind up and transfer all assets, money and membership to a charity set up as a CIO bearing the same name and taking the attached CIO constitution as its governing document.

That if the referendum comes back in favour of the of the winding up the current charity and transferring of assets, money and membership to the new CIO charity that all effort should be made to maintain the governance of the current charity where it is not supersede by the new constitution.

Proposed by: SC

Seconded by: MT

MT – We are changing the type of charity we are so that the trustees are no longer personally liable. Under the current system we haven’t had a full board because they don’t want to be personally liable. This will also remove the president from the board and so avoid any conflict of interest. It would also mean that we wouldn’t need trustee insurance. The new constitution clarifies voting and takes technological advances in to consideration. In order to wind up a charity, we would need 66% of 5% of our members to be in favour of it. Ideally we would like to make the changes during the summer so that we can have everything ready for next year.

Unidentified questioner – Why has this not already been done?

SC – It wasn’t originally an option.

EP – Are we dissolving the charity and if so should we have a larger quorum?

SC – Currently we are only asking for the usual number.

Amendment

EP – Quorum should be 10%

CR seconds

BH – This isn’t as big a change, it is more legal, rather than structural.

SC – That’s quite misleading.

NR – What impact will it have on JCR members?

SC – None really.

NR – Turn out might be lower then.

AL – Would we need 75% majority to change the constitution?

SC – Yes if the new constitution is adopted, currently we only need 66%

The amendment is overturned on a vote.

The motion is passed on a general aye.

 

Website Motion

This JCR notes:

That there is a sports and societies section of Cuths.com with very little content
That website administrators are in the process of creating a website login for every sport and society to allow them to edit a page for their club

This JCR believes:

That Cuth’s sports and societies would benefit from having website pages for each club as it would be easier for new members to get involved
That each club should be responsible for their own page

This JCR resolves:

To nominate either one member of existing exec or a new member of exec for each sport and society who is responsible for ensuring that the website for the club is up to date and informative.

Proposed by:JC

Seconded by: MT

EP – How technically minded would people have to be?

JC – Not at all, you would have a log in for each club, then it is just like using Word.

IG – The boat club already have a good website, could it not just be linked to?

JC – Yes.

LI– Who would be chosen?

JC – I would suggest the secretary, but it would be up to the clubs.

The motion was passed on a general aye.

At this point the thirty minutes allowed for other motions had passed and so the meeting was closed with all other business postponed until the following meeting.

 

JCR Welfare Officer motion

This JCR notes:

That to run for the position of Librarian or Bar Steward, a candidate must have worked in the library or bar respectively prior to running for the positions.
There is currently no requirement for welfare officers to have been members of the welfare committee prior to running for welfare officer positions.

This JCR believes:

That the welfare officer positions are of great importance to the members of the JCR.
That the role of a welfare officer is one that requires welfare experience.
That it is essential for a welfare officer to have been a member of the welfare committee prior to standing for election.

This JCR mandates:

That prior to standing for election, potential welfare officers must have been a member of the welfare committee for at least one term.
The Chair to update the standing orders accordingly.

Proposed by: CR

Seconded by: EH

 

Body Conditioning Society Motion

This JCR notes:

The lack of a society dedicated to general fitness
The lack of a society which incorporates aspects of Pilates whilst working to improve general flexibility and strength
The great desire of several Cuth’s students to improve their fitness without participating in a competitive sport
The ability of students to create societies and clubs for the benefit of students of the society

This JCR believes:

That the students of St. Cuthbert’s society would benefit from a society dedicated to improving general body fitness, strength and flexibility

This JCR resolves:

To create the for Cuth’s to indulge in the healthy activity of body conditioning
To temporarily appoint ReR (@durham.ac.uk) as Cuth’s Bod-Con President until someone can be elected in a general meeting of the society.

Proposed by: RR

Seconded by: SG KH HP LL ED LM EH EW ES JAE ES GL HC SB

Song- Thank God Van Mildert Didn’t Want Me