JCR Meeting 19.45 Cuth’s Bar
1. Apologies & Absences
Apologies: AL, JG
3. Matters arising from the previous minutes
MT – President
Charitable status: Met with accountants to discuss switchover to Incorporated Charity and this is on track to take effect 1/1/15. Recruited and met with 2 Student Trustees. Putting together rustee info pack to aid recruitment of external Trustees.
Outreach: Assisted the Outreach Chair with setting up Outreach Committee
International: Assisted the International Students’ Rep with setting up International Committee
Assisted with the organising and running of the Michaelmas Ball, including execution of the event on the night and compliance.
Attended University training on compliance, risk assessment and event planning, to ensure our events are safe and compliant with University regs.
Promoted the Silent Disco services more amongst colleges, and have seen an increase in rental as a result of this.
Represented Junior Common Rooms and St Cuthbert’s at the Collegiate Way conference, hosted in Durham.
Reformed the formals booking system in conjunction with the College.
Over Christmas I plan to: clear out the Exec Office to create a useable working office for myself and Exec members, codify expectations for executive and non-executive officers, create a term planner with key dates, plan a Re-Freshers event for the first week of term, examine the practices of other colleges relating to JCR Meetings and attendance, ensure a smooth transition of our changing charitable status, work with the SRO to advertise Method 1 positions in a clear and accessible way to ensure high application rates.
MF – Treasurer
Submitted the VAT return for August-October. We’ve had the accounts for 2013 returned by the accountants and I’m preparing the financial statement to submit to the Charities Commission. One of the accountants recommendations was that we look at de-registering for VAT, so I’m now looking into whether we can do that. The accounts for the last academic year have been submitted to College Council. Finance Committee are working through the expenditure so far this year, and I hope to be able to email all of the sports/societies/committees over the holidays to let them know how much money they have for the rest of the year. I will also be contacting any club/society who has not yet paid subs.
HLE – Postgraduate Rep
The last Research Forum went very well, with some excellent talks by BK, FH and EH. The Reading Group went well, although was perhaps not as well attended as it could have been, and we will be trying out different times for future meetings. PG Comm are currently organising a number of events for postgraduates, including a walk to Finchale Abbey and a Christmas meal. We are also looking to run some events at the start of next term, as a ‘re-induction’ for postgraduate students, so that the JCR, its sports, societies and organisation can be promoted to PGs again. This will potentially also include an Inter-MCR event too. Ideas for a Chinese New Year celebration have also been considered, and we will be working with JCR International Rep to facilitate this. The next big event on the horizon is Cuth’s Inter-MCR formal (4/3/15), which PG Comm are currently planning.
RR – Social Chair
This term the main focus of Social Committee has obviously been The Michaelmas Ball. All members of the Committee contributed to what was from most accounts a very successful evening. I would especially like to thank Millie and Jenny for all their help on the day of the event. Financially, the event made a surplus of a few hundred pounds which will be reinvested for future use. Going forward, we are looking to organise a number of smaller events this term and next, beginning with a Christmas Market before the end of the term.
EH – International Rep
The international committee has now been set up and have had two meetings, the first of which we discussed what more the JCR and college can do to support both international and Erasmus students, and the second was used to discuss Christmas events for this year. I have met with EA and PB and fed back the views of the committee regarding what they want from the college. They’ve taken the suggestions on board, so we’ll see some more college events for international students next term. I’m writing an international handbook which will hopefully be ready for the start of next term. It contains advice like how the NHS works, how to book train tickets and financial and visa information. Obviously, most people will probably be confident with these areas already, but it can be passed down to the next international rep and it can be sent to students once they receive their offers and before they arrive to the UK. International students have priority for one of the Christmas formals, so I’m planning on organising an international takeover of the Bailey Bar for a Christmas party. I’m also contacting the Jewish society to investigate doing a Hanukkah celebration.
JC – Sports & Socs Chair
This term has gone well for sports and societies, with several new societies being created which already boast large membership. The majority of my time this term has been spent supporting sports clubs as they find their way through Team Durham’s rules. First aid has been a big issue this term but I can now announce that most clubs meet the requirements. The naked calendar unfortunately had to be cancelled due to a lack of interest, with only 3.5 societies replying. I am also proud to present the new rebranding of some aspects of college sport into Team Cuth’s which will represent all parts of the JCR, not just sports, where captains can post weekly results and important events. As part of this, there will be themes to go on future stash designs and all content will also be on cuths.com. Team Cuth’s will be launching at the start of next term.
HR – Vice President
All the minutes for this term are now on the website, ripe for your perusal. I’ve sold a large amount of mens formal wear, the money from which will go back into ordering a new load, possibly scarves as well. The newsletter has been going down well and NB received a lot of positive feedback. Next term I hope to increase the number of contributions from students – photos, news stories etc.
AH – Outreach Chair
– Did the Housing Talk last Tuesday, had a good turn out, hopefully got the message across to first years about waiting and thinking
– Did the college family formal, seemed to be successful, everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, planning to do another one next term
– Expanded Outreach Committee so we have 8 new members and we’ll be having some events happening this term and next
– Currently planning a Find a Housemate event which will be on December 5th
TH – Union Rep
In the last few weeks I have seen Cuth’s University Challenge team to the Quarter Finals, where unfortunately they lost to Castle. I have been in contact with the Union about a new aspect of their ‘Give it a Go’ scheme, which could see Union societies coming to Cuth’s next term as a way to link colleges with each other and University-wide societies. I have also been in contact with Union Representatives in other colleges, as the responsibilities of the role are fairly limited at the moment. We have discussed how our roles differ and what we think this position should entail. We are hoping to take our ideas to the Union Officers for discussion. The Union itself is also reviewing the role and I will hear feedback about this in the coming weeks.
AL – Librarian
All of the books from the first order have arrived, and the next order is being conducted on the 30th November. The printer in Refounders has now been fixed as well. This week the library staff will be trained in cataloguing the new books that have arrived. This should ensure that all of the new arrivals will be on the shelves and ready to take out early next term. Cuth’s Library has also played host to the newly formed ‘Cuth’s Book Club’, and last week’s discussion focused on ‘The Great Gatsby’. The book club will be meeting again after Christmas and discussing George Orwell’s ‘1984’.
JG – Female Welfare Officer
Have been running weekly open door sessions and working on writing and implementing a sexual violence zero tolerance policy with the Communities Officer of the Student Union which will be brought to Assembly this week. Next step is to get our first campaign going with our Campaigns Team
CR – Male Welfare Officer
Organising first campaign week- focused on Uni life ‘getting better’ I.e. first term isn’t how the rest of uni is Met with WED comm to finalise Union endorsed stance on consent/lad culture. In contact with local NHS trust to establish a condom fairy style service for livers’ out – C Card
LM – Chair
Participation has been good this term – nearly all of the method two positions have been filled, lots of motions have been passed and sports and societies have been ratified. Of course, there’s always room for improvement. I’ve been working with TR on this, and we’ve taken on the feedback we’ve received. I decided to trial this meeting in the bar, so please do let me know your thoughts compared to the Dining Hall. From next term, we’ll be combining JCR meetings with other events such as the bar crawl tonight.
a. JCR MEETING MOTION
This JCR Notes
– That JCR meetings regularly struggle to make quorum.
– That there are many officers of the JCR who have been elected to represent different areas
– Only members of the executive committee are mandated to attend JCR meetings
This JCR Believes
– That JCR meetings should be well attended, in order to get a diverse range of opinion.
– Absence from a JCR meeting will prevent an officer from best representing the areas of the JCR there were elected to represent.
– That mandating all elected officers of the JCR to attend JCR meetings will substantially increase attendance.
This JCR resolves
– To mandate any JCR officer who has been elected via method i or ii elections to attend JCR
meetings or send apologies
Proposed by: CR
Seconded by: HR
IM – Would it discourage people from running?
No, it’s only 3 hours a term
SD – what roles are they?
All elected in a JCR Meeting
MC – How would you police it?
Have a sign in sheet with a follow up procedure for absences
ACS – Don’t we want to reach the people who aren’t already involved?
Hopefully they’ll drag their friends with them
RC- not everyone is representative, surely its just taking up more of their time?
Everyone is representing people or a part of the JCR, no one has no reason not to be there
i. Amendment: Each sport or society should send 1 or 2 members
Opposition to amendment: You’re making people come just to make up the numbers, it’s not worthwhile – they should be here for a reason
NR – We don’t want to force people but it’s part of their responsibility, and it will be combined with better meetings – they’ll come to start with because they’re obligated but carry on because they’re fun
ii. Amendment to the amendment: Whichever society sends the largest proportion of their sport they would get a £100 reward at the end of the year
Opposition to the amendment for the amendment: We’re overcomplicating things, hard to police
Vote on amendment ii: 4 for, overwhelming majority against
Amendment ii thrown out
Vote on amendment i: 7 against, overwhelming majority for
Amendment i passed
Further questions and comments on the amended motion
AL – Will it be in action for people already elected?
It will be strongly suggested but will be officially in place for next year
MT (in support) – Just encouraging people isn’t enough
SD (in opposition) – For certain committees it might put people off running
Vote on amended motion: 13 against, 34 for, 2 abstentions
Amended motion passed
b. SOCIETY EXECS MOTION
This JCR Notes:
– The standing orders require sports and societies to have an exec containing a president, treasurer and secretary
– That some JCR sports and societies have good reasons to not fit this model
This JCR Believes:
– That the guidelines on sports and society execs should be more relaxed to allow greater freedom to the people running these clubs
– That certain roles are still required within club execs
This JCR Resolves:
– To update the standing orders to the effect that sports and society execs should include people designated to the following roles, in addition to any stated elsewhere. Any one person on the exec may be responsible for more than one role:
– A person who takes overall responsibility for the club and its actions
– A person who attends the treasurer’s training in Easter term
– A person who is responsible for managing the finances of the club
– A person who communicates with the Sports and Societies Chair
This JCR Mandates:
– The Chair to update the standing orders accordingly
Proposed by: JC
Seconded by: MT
Questions and comments
MT – Worry that the role of president and treasurer are combined
AN – Would you need a minimum number of people on the exec?
MF – pointless motion, you’re just changing names
Someone doesn’t need to be in charge, they just need to be responsible for it – hence the roles are slightly changed
JF – point of clarification:
There would need to be a minimum of 2 people on an exec – one in charge of money, one responsible for the society
Motion passed on a general aye
c. CAMPAIGNING/ELECTION RULES MOTION
This JCR notes:
– Currently the election rules policy document states that online campaigning is not permitted apart from one to one messaging and writing a personal Facebook status to the effect of ‘voting is now open’.
– Currently it is only the JCR Chair and Senior Returning Officer who are entitled to post to the effect of ‘voting is now open’ in Facebook groups.
This JCR believes:
– Allowing candidates to personally campaign would increase voting numbers
– Alowing candidates to personally campaign could increase competition, visibility and excitement around JCR elections
This JCR mandates:
– To change the current election rules to allow people to campaign online in whatever manner they wish to.
– To include a clause that defamatory or provocative anti-campaigning against candidates is not allowed under any circumstances.
MF – Is it just because people aren’t using the existing rules to their advantage?
No, you just can’t convey the enthusiasm
MC – Would you make it more specific? Unfair as people might have better skills – facilitating people with better skills
That can be worked out in the specific election rules
Amendment i: You can only post in public freshers’ groups, otherwise it’s just a popularity contest dependent on how many friends you have
AN (in opposition to amendment) – all hype is good hype – everyone’s names are on the voting page anyway
Vote on amendment i: 26 against, 15 for, 3 abstentions
Amendment thrown out
Further questions and comments on original motion
AL – Surely it favours those with technical skills?
The person who is good at managing their time or good at commanding an audience are often the best for the job, everyone has skills, you use your own skills to the best of you ability
JC – It wouldn’t make elections fairer – you’d just get a lot of people to vote for them. Whereas right now you might get let people but theyre voting on the candidates
People don’t read the manifestos anyway, they just vote for their friends
AN – Increased visibility is what matters not creativity
MT – Videos are particularly good at getting people to vote but they’re not necessary skills for any role – keep all the existing rules but also to exclude videos
Details will be looked at when rewriting the election rules
Amendment ii: Create an election rules standing order so a JCR meeting is needed to change rules in the future
Amendment ii passed on a general aye
Vote on amended motion: 10 against, 29 for, 8 abstentions
Amended motion passed
– Assistant Brooks bar steward
– 2 Student Trustees
– Environmental Rep
Second year geographer, active member of the environment committee and have been filling the role since ella stepped down recycling for bailey houses, fairtrade formal, film screening
Vote for Environment rep: overwhelming majority for
AO is elected
– Social Comm
Cuth’s Feast Manager
second year maths, frisbee team, was ball manager, good working knowledge of college events and good events contacts, treasurer for dance events, ran 6th form leavers’ dinner
MF – what are the differences between the feast and ball and problems associated with each?
Numbers – you can sit a lot more people for the feast – potential ballot system
HLE – a lot of PGs are only here for one year, what can we do to attract more postgrads?
Allocating a certain number of seats for postgrads, but it needs to remain proportional
AN – would you do a similar thing for internationals?
RR – events are quite formulaic (dinner and ents) – would you stick to this?
Would discuss with social comm, don’t want to overcomplicate the event
drinks reception, an event in the run up to the event
it extends the job but would be good to look in to.
MT – what specifically did you learn from being ball manager?
working in a committee, people want to be involved and it’s important to delegate
Vote for feast manager:
32 for JF
1 for RON
JF is elected
1 finalist rep
does english, has spare time, good communicator
MF – would you try and contact a big company or go for smaller companies?
Would aim for graduate employers and local employers
MC – how would you deal with companies who don’t reply to your initial emails?
Send a follow up email and then jump ship
RR – how do you sell this to a company – what do they get?
Graduate companies, we’re a good uni, they want their name associated with our events, offer a stall at events
JP – would you email or do you have other strategies?
Email would be the best option
MC – do you know if we have any existing connections?
Perhaps deloitte but need to look in to it
Vote for Sponsorship Officer:
33 for RC
5 for RON
Rhys is elected
– Post Grad comm
1 general rep-
– 2 more junior DUCK reps
7. Any Other Business