JCR Meeting 14/03/2017
TJ, MC, JC, JB, AF, Cuth’s Drama Society, Cuth’s BodCon.
I organised Chloe Holt’s memorial with help from her friends and boyfriend. This took place on Sunday 12th March and was a nice opportunity from people who had known Chloe to come together to remember her. Many thanks to EP who was a great help and provided some lovely photos for a slideshow, LS, Chloe’s boyfriend, who gave me ideas of what Chloe would have liked, and to CS for providing live musical entertainment.
The Feast of St Cuthbert was held on February 17th and was very successful. We were able to seat extra people for dinner by having a marquee in the garden of House 12 which we are very grateful for, particularly to the catering staff who worked exceptionally hard.
I am part of the University’s Sexual Violence and Misconduct Operations Group (SVMOG) and am currently looking to organise Active Bystander training for all college bar staff. The University held two town hall meetings in recent weeks on the topic of sexual violence, one for students and one for staff. I attended both and was pleased to see the University engaging with students on the matter as they were very receptive of our comments. I very much look forward to hearing the next steps at the next SVMOG meeting. However, I was very disappointed by the attitudes of many members of staff from around the Univeristy who were very quick to blame alcohol and Freshers’ Week for the problem we have in Durham. I hope to be able to change their perception by inviting them to see the hard work JCRs put into implementing cultural change during Freshers’ Week 2017/18.
Accommodation fees are continuing to rise, and not only in line with inflation. Student leaders view this as entirely unacceptable. We are beginning to look into differentiated pricing to reduce the financial barrier that prevents people from less well-off backgrounds from coming to Durham. This is in its very early stages and I will be conducting research around Cuth’s very soon. I have a meeting on Thursday evening with PresComm and senior University staff so will update you on plans after that.
DF was a great help at the start of February in selecting reps for the residential Post Offer Visit Days in March. We are very pleased with the team we have and very much look forward to welcoming offer-holders. Many of the reps volunteered their time at short notice to help out with the new Post Offer Visit Day which was on February 22nd so thanks are needed there. This new visit day caused problems at other colleges and will be reviewed by PresComm shortly.
New University Building – the University are not effectively advertising that there will be consultation on a new building taking place on Thursday 16th March. It is important that student voices are heard to make sure this new building, which will be erected in front of St Mary’s, to ensure that we get what we want as it’s our money being spent.
I will spend the Easter break planning what needs to be done next term so if there are changes that you would like to see within Cuth’s, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know so I can incorporate your ideas. My manifesto can still be found online at cuths.com/vote so feel free to ask me about how/when remaining items will happen and let me know if you have any thoughts on how to improve/add to my plans.
Finally, as people keep asking the Summer Ball will be 5th June and Cuth’s Day will be 17th June, details to follow shortly.
I had an absolute nightmare sorting out a new stash supplier for this term due to a Red Wedding-esque last minute betrayal by the company I was dealing with. I therefore went with Phoenix Print once again who seem to have improved a fair bit, so I will see how they deal with this order. As such, I am unsure whether the Epiphany Stash Order will arrive on time for the end of the term, but I will hold collections at the beginning of next term in Brooks Bar. Keep your eyes peeled for those dates, as well as graduation stash which is coming up next term!
I have been involved in all JCR committees this term, taking minutes and uploading them to cuths.com as soon as I can. I have tried to get more involved in what committees do, and I feel I’ve done ok with that and will continue to do more next term (especially after mid-May when my thesis is submitted).
The Newsletter has continued be a fun use of my time (mainly thinking up the headlines), but I will endeavour to stop getting drunk on Fridays and forgetting to post it on all the groups that evening. As usual, if anyone has any contributions or questions, send them to me at email@example.com.
The majority of this term was dedicated to planning and running the Feast, which came off wonderfully with the amazing help of A? and all of social comm, and we’ve had very positive feedback on the night and the marquee. We’ve now started planning the new and exciting summer ball which will be held on the 5th June, and Cuth’s Day that will be on the 17th June, with both looking to be fantastic already!
I’ve been continuing to maintain the accounts and have made some changes to how they’re stored, so that we will be in line with law changes in the near future. I have also refined the reclaims process so that finance comm have been able to take on part of the process.
I’m also in the process of compiling documents for the audit of 2016, and hope to send these off over Easter.
Chaired a meeting of Standing Committee to prepare motions for the JCR meeting.
Student’s Union Representative
It’s been a busy time for everyone involved with the SU this term! As the election co-ordinator for the recent SU officer elections, I had a busy time pushing for votes, and increasing engagement with the SU among students. This led to 37.35% of us voting, the second highest turnout of any college! I’ve also been pushing University wide surveys, to help the union find out about student opinions on current issues, of which we were commended on having yet again the second highest turn out. At assembly this week I voted on behalf of Cuth’s about numerous issues, including the ratification of new societies, of which there are always new one’s being created! If you’d like to get involved with the union, or find out about how you can set up a society, feel free to get in touch.
Sports And Societies Chair
Sports and societies photos will be on the 13th may, this date was changed from this coming Wednesday due to most clubs expecting a low turnout. Arts and culture week (the week leading up to cuth’s day) will be involving sports and socs in a greater capacity this year – keep an eye out for info and opportunities. Sports and socs formal next term too yay.
This term Outreach Committee has continued to run fundraising events, including the Retro Stash Sale, and selling blindfolds for the Dining in the Dark Formal, together which raised several hundred pounds. I have also been advertising volunteering opportunities in the wider university offered by the SCA. Finally, I have been looking into possibilities to set up a sustainable volunteering project to start next year, working with the college and getting in touch with St Cuthbert’s Hospice.
This term the Postgraduate committee have been focusing on our biggest social event of the year – our annual Inter-MCR formal where we invite Postgrads from all other colleges to join us for dinner and entertainment in Cuth’s, even the Chancellor Sir Thomas Allen joined us for the evening! Following last year’s theme, we hosted a second murder mystery formal, which wrote ourselves, and we based it on the board game Cluedo. I am happy to report the evening was a great success! And I would like to say a huge thank you to the Postgraduate Committee and all those involved for all of their help.
For academic events, we applied to the Colleges office for some additional funding to host a series of events and trips over the rest of the year, and we will begin planning these next term.
Male Welfare Officer
We’ve had two great campaigns so far this year. The first was the LGBT+ History Month text a toastie campaign, which was a huge success, and we answered a lot of people’s questions about LGBT+ issues. We’ve also just had SHAGWeek, and we’re now looking at planning campaigns for next term. I’ve been busy as usual, and I’ve also been looking into some more different ways to help the JCR outside the usual college and SU paths. I attended the vice chancellor’s “town hall” on sexual violence to find out what the university are doing to combat it (they’re making the right first steps but there’s still a long way to go), and I was also part of a focus group about accessible education with the new PVC for education (there’s nothing conclusive to report back yet, but I’ll let you know when there is). As always, if you need me, drop me an email.
Female Welfare Officer
Considering the exam and summative stress it’s not a surprise that drop in hours have been very busy. Due to this, I have decided to run a ‘deliver a daffodil’ campaign next term. Anyone can have daffodils delivered to their friends’ doors with a little note of encouragement. I have organised notes to be designed and made that can be attached to the flowers and have spoken to Durham Market about ordering a LOT of flowers. I have also been looking into running a drugs awareness campaign in Cuth’s, contacting local police officers for advice and looking at what other college’s have done (thanks to MC!). SHAGweek has been busy and a huge thank you to LM who pretty much held the whole week together. I approved and edited all posters leaving everything else to LM and the rest of the team, which was hugely appreciated. I have also been trying to organise a de-stress petting zoo at Cuth’s (which would include a llama!!!). Two other colleges have followed suit and are running self love campaigns so a massive thank you again to everyone who got involved! The love is spreading.
This term we’ve continued to tidy up the library by clearing cupboards which haven’t been looked at in years – we’ve found some cool stuff including library records dating back 1954 and a centenary edition of Cuth’s Kaleidoscope from 1988! We’ve also been making our way through the massive pile of donations, cataloguing them ready for use. For those who ordered books, this has been placed and should hopefully be arriving this last week of term.
Although the library won’t be open during the Easter holidays, I’ll be in Durham for most of this period. If like me you find yourself in Durham to do work and need a book, just drop me an email and we can arrange a time for you to collect it.
Did not send report.
Automatic Vote Of No Confidence
VONC – motion that all elected people have to attend meetings. JeG. Academic rep. Absent since start of the year from postgrad committee. SS – wants to pass VONC and fill position next term
VONC passed, position is now free
JCR Environment Committee Roles Motion
This motion aims to aid the expansion of the Environment Committee, by providing more solid roles, to delegate responsibilities more evenly so tasks can be carried out more effectively and efficiently.
This JCR notes:
- That currently the Environment Rep is the only set position within the committee, and with the implementation of more initiatives there’s a lot of pressure on the role.
This JCR believes:
- We, as a college and community, have the power to have an amazingly positive impact on the environment. Through the permanent expansion of the Environment Committee, Cuth’s can begin making a meaningful and lasting difference.
- The Environment Rep needs the support and help of a structured committee to achieve their aims.
- Clear knowledge of responsibility would help keep the committee strong.
This JCR resolves:
- The Environment Committee shall consist of:
- The Environment Rep
- Social sec
- Head of Social Media
- Publicity officer
Proposed by: PC
Seconded by: DF
PJ – want to make more roles within environment committee permenantly, make it expeanded. Less responsibility on envi rep. Need to expand and be more productive. Treasurer, social sec, head of social media, publicity officer, secretary. Make roles all official
Alistair – how are positions elected. Answer – within meetings. Passed on general aye
Fourth year cuths student join postgrad committee. Proposed SS – Postgrad committee officially expand to 4th years – masters or year abroad. Other MCRs have similar model. 4th years should receive emails directly, help to sustain postgrad community. Half livers in next year
– Masters course is part of postgrad remit. Should be integrated as passed of postgrad community. Passed on general aye
Motion for Cuth’s Debating Society
We propose to create a Cuth’s debating society. Currently, the only option for students to participate in debating is through the Union, which can often be an intimidating and isolating experience, and usually requires past experience. As a result, the society will encourage individuals to gain confidence and to gain knowledge of formal debating structures.
- To provide an inclusive and supportive environment, for Cuth’s people who want to develop their debating skills, or for Cuth’s people who want to expand their general knowledge by watching debates.
- To promote personal confidence in public speaking, especially to those who lack this ability.
- One debate at least once a fortnight, speakers would be chosen on a voluntary basis, where they would be given two weeks to prepare their argument.
- Depending on numbers, we would provide a session for those who wish to develop and learn more about debating, which would be ran by more experienced members.
Proposed by: FC and EMM
Seconded by: CH, HD, EY, KR, VS, MM, EM, TD, AH, AB, VN, LF, OB, FT, KW
RD – plan to run training? Depends of levels of interest. Passed on general aye
This JCR Notes that:
- During every round of elections candidates must print off 21 posters and 2 manifestos
- This costs the JCR roughly £5 per candidate if they use university printers, assuming they all reclaim this cost as part of their campaign budget
- These posters are immediately thrown away after the 64 hour election period
- In the last round of elections 345 posters/manifestos were printed and thrown away
- All candidates posters and manifestos are widely circulated on social media and manifestos are available to be read on devote
This JCR believes that:
- Printing off posters is an unnecessary financial cost
- Printing off posters is an unnecessary environmental cost
- Elections and candidates are sufficiently well advertised through social media to make the printed posters obsolete
This JCR resolves to:
- Rewrite section 4 (posters and manifestos) of the Method I election rules as following:
- POSTERS & MANIFESTOS
1) The JCR will reimburse the cost of printing from a University printer only and only upon the production of a valid receipt.
2) Posters shall be no larger than A4 and should at least display –
- a) the name and signature of the candidate,
- b) a photograph of the candidate,
- c) the name and signature of both the proposer and seconder (electronic signatures accepted)
- d) the position the candidate is running for, and
- e) the official St Cuthbert’s Society crest.
3) A total of 2 posters shall be placed across St Cuthbert’s Society with –
- a) one poster in 12 South Bailey JCR,
- b) one poster in Brooks House Bar, and
4) A total of two signed manifestos shall be placed across St Cuthbert’s Society with –
- a) one manifesto in Brooks House JCR, and,
- b) one manifesto in 12 South Bailey JCR.
5) The removal or defacing of a candidate’s poster(s) by any member of the Society (except by the SRO or one of the JROs) is forbidden.
6) No other posters shall be printed and displayed by the candidates
– To enforce these rules in this coming round of JCR elections
CH – takes too long/waste of paper. Two manifestos and 3 posters. See them on fb anyway. RH – issue with next motion about social media. RJ – how many posters? Three posters – one in 12, one in brooks, one in the bar. Amend motion to 3 posters. Posters in JCR, where pool table is. M?– should have one in brooks JCR and one in bar. Amendment to 4 from M?. Passed to make it 4 posters. A?– where are they? Getting rid of ones in houses/parsons buildings. No opposition to amendment, general aye passed. Comments or qs on amended motion
– turnout? CH- Turnout depends on election, last one was about 400. RH– is turnout getting better because of having posters? CH- Physical posters aren’t getting people to vote. LJ – not fair to have them just in JCR and bar in case people don’t go to them. Election turnout is so low anyway, shouldn’t make it worse. A?– posters ripped and on the floor – waste of time and paper. MC- engage, freshers are part of 20%, more engaged because they live in. We’d have to target livers out, taking away the posters wouldn’t make a difference. M?– would miss them if they are not in houses. Necessary at parsons – to not go to brooks bar. CM – people might deface them anyway, should be put up by candidates. RH– parsons is the issue, cut bailey houses. AB – amendment – so much paper is the issue. Still need something for people to see, amendment that each round of elections, still locations, ‘there are elections’. CH– people see them on social media. M?– change to 7 posters – bailey bar, bailey JCR, each parsons building and brooks jcr and bar. Amendment passed on general aye. No further comments or questions. Passed on general aye. Horray
Method 1 Elections Motion
This JCR notes:
That current election rules state that campaigning on social media is permitted.
This JCR believes:
- The students of St Cuthbert’s Society would benefit from banning social media usage from Method I elections (excluding the presidential election).
- Posting by candidates and their campaign teams only increases coverage to their own followers, promoting the unfair exercise of voting for your friends.
- A vote should be for the best candidate and in order to encourage this, advertisement of elections should always include information about every candidate.
- It should be the responsibility of GovCom to neutrally remind the JCR to vote and who is running.
- Social media spam will be reduced and no voter can be persuaded by one candidate’s manifesto without seeing the others.
- Candidates who feel at pressure to find a campaign team and have a presence on social media will no longer be dissuaded to run for this reason.
This JCR resolves:
- No member of the JCR will be permitted to advertise JCR elections on social media (excluding members of GovComm)
- GovCom may post bust recordings/manifestos/posters in the fresher’s/postgrad groups and advertise elections at their own discretion.
- Any GovComm post must always include the same materials (if submitted) from each candidate.
- Husts will be recorded using the JCR camera.
- If any candidate’s bust is not successfully recorded through technological fault or personal reasons approved by GovCom – no busts will be shared on social media.
- All posts including any bust recording will be posted from the JCR page and deleted from social media once the election has been announced.
Proposed by: CM
Seconded by: JB
Cut out social media. People voting for friends on facebook. Only social media presence should be done by gov comm. Record husts. Manifestos, posters. Spam is too much. Trial run for next election. Huge decrease on turnout, then scrap it. Other jcrs don’t post on social media. Campaign team is scary. Discourages people, shouldn’t be about popularity. A? – how do we decide whether it works or not? CM– gov comms discretion. LJ – shame – doesn’t allow people to say that they support someone, cant endorse if they feel that someone is good for the role. Stops engagement, inhibiting free speech, shoudnt be a popularity contest. CM – bad to show that you support someone, should be reading manifestos, not because you support someone elses view. Can show that you support someone, just not on social media. Not trying to inhibit free speech. M? – already have bans, cant speak in the bar, other than going to peoples rooms physically. People’s opinions can be trusted and respected. Logistically difficult. Cant see all posters if ones posted first. RH – posting at certain times of day. A? amendment – just freshers pages, should be allowed that club captains can post at that discretion, post written by gov comm. LJ – if someone in boat club is running, more likely to post it. A?– speaking on amendment – opportunity to post more on sports and socs, reduce spam. No opposition. Passed on general aye. RD – how are we going to moderate it? CM – fair point, same issue with current system, still have rules. MC – if we decide to take away social media posting, all she would do is post big group message – cant police that. PJ – candidates have done well with the same system. People have been discouraged from running for stuff, dwarved by people who have big campaign team. A? amendment – cant restrict posting on news feed. Any JCR page is postedwith gov comm message. No member of JCR apart from gov comm and captains can post on groups. RH – are we just blocking page spam? RH – not allowed to post anything on fb. MC – social media is good for turnout. Understand reason for limiting it. Alistair – people can post on their own pages. Would be significantly reducing spam. LJ – formal opposition– this is far too complicated. S? – already restricted people’s ability to post on social media. EC – isn’t this amendment what happened last time. not intrusive to post on personal pages – not getting notifications. Vote on amendment – can post in facebook pages, written by gov comm, on sports and societies. At discretion of captains, and can post on own page. Amendment passed on general aye. Motion is now – to make it so that the only post that you’ll see on fb will be members of govt comm on freshers pages, and then captains on sports and socs advertising that there are elections. Can post on personal pages. No more comments or questions. Passed motion on general aye. Woop
Sports And Societies Chair
ABl – Hi im ABl. Second year engineering. Had 2 method positions – green machine and jro, been very involved. 6 different sports and societies. Captained a team squash. Sport is huge part of cuths life. He wants to be part of it. What would he do – standing orders – sports and socs has 5 jobs – third job is to publicise jobs, promote involvement, most important, wants to focus on that most. Wants to promote teams to more people – have a list on freshers pages, of sports results, good to know how good people are, undefeated teams etc, good to promote success, end of every year, have a big report online/printed – all events/drama productions etc, read whats happened. Promotional video to get freshers involved
RJ – Hi im RJ. Involved in cuths – opened day rep. Sports – swimming and bodcon. Drama and art. Aware of challenged. Assistant male welfare. Need to be well organized. Need to be a good communicator, effective emails, need to be consistent. naked calendar – need to start earlier, happen not in busy academic time. JCR camera used. Be persistent and keep nagging. Early, no rush. Introduce give it a go – epiphany term, when people are settled in , get more people involved. People don’t want to go alone, walk down with them, exclusivity charter, facebook posters to post results. Treasurer – make sure budgets are sorted at the beginning of the year
Questions – want to both get freshers involved – how would you get postgrads involved? RJ – freshers fair isn’t good term, rename it, make it seem open to postgrads, post in postgrad group, make sure everyone knows that there is a postgrad groups so that captains can advertise sports/societies. ABl– post in groups, exposure for postgrads, engagement, get in early
VC – interested in moving to England, interesting to see different cultures. Love aspect of being in cuths – international students have been integrated well, to continue this and integrate them even more. Qualifications – part of international committee, worked on round the world event, represented students for house at school – house captain. Fundraising events, lots of experience in event planning. Comfort in sticking to culture and language, address this, events that don’t involve drinking, emphasise international student support, not just fun events, helping them, drop box for anonymous suggestions of problems being an international student, not overstep welfare boundaries, international centric. Came to freshers week for internationals – not a lot of events for them, need to buy cooking equipment etc that cant buy from home, take them to ikea in freshers week.
Questions – what event for freshers that’s no drinking? Movie nights, board game nights. Get together without drinking. How would you encourage more involvement? Important to advertise that anyone can join the committee, people feel that they cant, people feel outnumbered, stick to their own culture, emphasise that international students are welcomed. Make things easier in freshers week – what else would you suggest for students having culture shock – have talks/forums – meeting for anyone, drop in hours, better to have arranged meetings, learn about problems that people may be facing
Cuth’s Day Manager
Al? – postgrad student, involved on social comm, inter MCR formal, Feast, planning for ball and cuths day. Organized and dedicated, finished classes for the year. Who would you have perform? – Beyonce. What is the most important thing for cuths day? Better than the last one. Finding out what its about, have own interpretation, make it that bit better, have everyone enjoy it