President – CM
This term I have cleared out a lot of JCR spaces in order to improve storage space. I have been discussing college discipline procedures and am working on improving student representation starting with a focus group I am currently setting up. I have been supporting the exec in various ways e.g. with Refreshers week. I have been working with the University’s Diversity, Equality and Inclusivity department to put together a guidance document for making naked calendars. Finally I have been working on college communications and am currently updating the Memorandum of Agreement with college.
Vice-President – HJ
A quiet beginning of term so far! Although I’ve attended several different committee meetings including a trustee meeting and writing up the minutes. I’m also starting to sort the stash order for this term – no dates finalised yet but should be in the next few weeks. Also there’s some stash left to be collected still, so if anyone reading this realises you’re one of the people that forgot, send me an email and we’ll sort something out!
Communications Officer – ALJ
Since the last JCR Meeting I helped with the organisation of the 12 Days of Cuthsmas which I think went pretty well. Had a chat with our new webmaster and have divided up some of the jobs that need to be done to update the website, which are ongoing. Had a meeting with some members of staff about getting Common Room achievements and activities more visible on university social media, and I think I’ll be organising a Cuth’s Takeover Day in the first week of February which is cool! I’ve also been writing the Newsletter and going to the SU Meetings (although I missed the last Assembly because I was ill so apologies about that).
Sports and Societies Chair – RJ
I have continued working with Team Durham ensuring we’re entered for all the right teams and leagues. My sports & societies reporters are making a board to display of some of the successes from last term. Naked calendars have been selling well in aid of Gateway North East.
Social Chair – DG
Over Christmas I was sorting out the Refreshers events which will have hopefully been a success by the time this goes out! As always thanks to social comm for all their hard work. We’ve started organising feast, for which dinner tickets will go on sale Sunday 28th January.
Librarian – CL
Since the last JCR meeting, I have done the Epiphany term book order for all of the students who requested books. Overall, I ordered 56 books, coming to £1,572.07. These should be ready to collect within 2-3 weeks after they have been delivered and put on the system. Furthermore, I have re-shelved some of books and have continued to take old books off the system. Finally, I have continued to keep the library stocked with drinks and snacks, and am considering branching out into healthier snacks.
Outreach Chair – EM
Naked Calendar = success (don’t know how much raised) but going towards Gateway North East
Action plan for Framda sorted- School performance showcase in March; “Theatre Through the Ages”
Another Charity Pub Quiz on Sunday of Refreshers
Been planning MisMatch ready for Easter term/ post exams
International Rep – VC
Over the holidays I organised a Facebook group chat to connect people who were staying in Durham for the holidays, and this term the international committee will, amongst other things, organise an event to celebrate Chinese New Year.
Senior Welfare Officer – ClS
The campaigns team are working on SHAGweek, and on a Self-care/exam prep campaign. We may even be delivering free food to people who give us good exam tips!
The welfare officers have met with SU, and there is going to be a University-wide push for self-care.
Over Christmas, I wrote up some policies for Librarians and bar staff. I’ll be discussing these with Phil and Cat.
As usual, we’ve been delivering sexual health supplies. Also, for anyone ordering – if you’re ordering to the Bailey, they should be in your pigeon holes the following Monday. If you’re ordering to Brooks, they should be in the pigeon holes by the next Wednesday. If you need something more urgently please let us know and we’ll try our best to get them to you sooner. You can also pick up sexual health supplies from our drop-ins (which are on cuths.com/welfare).
Also, if you think you may need exam concessions, contact college Student Support, or university Disability Support for more info as to how to go about doing this!
Treasurer – AK
Lloyds finally gave us access to online banking in December (only 6 months late…). We could not use Sage, the accounting software, without internet banking and it needs Lloyds’ permission to export our accounts. Due to all of these issues, I have done a large amount of the accounts by hand and have spent hours doing that! We should have sage sorted within a few weeks and so once that is sorted I can get finance comm to start helping compile the accounts
JCR Chair – AF
I’ve had a quiet Christmas break. After last term’s antics the standing orders are finally up online (thanks to the Web Manager!!) on the cuth’s website for you all to admire. This term I’ve been prepping for this big JCR Meeting, we’ve been one man down so I’ve also been helping out with SROing (thanks to our JROs for their support this week.) I met with Gov Com to discuss speeches for election candidates and have plans to refine standing orders with Gov Com later this term.
Postgraduate and Mature Students Rep – AJ
Events planned for this term include:
Two research fora
Inter-MCR murder mystery formal
Cultural trips to Barnard Castle and Newcastle.
I will also be working with the college on a postgrad specific careers day and to put on an event for Mature students.
Facilities Manager – CW
Chandler Sports are sending an engineer next week in order to repair our treadmills finally. In other news for the gyms, we are in the process of ordering a load of new equipment including screens for the rowing machines, new benches and the potential long-term investment of some good dumbbells.
In regards to music we have already had an acoustic night which Piers organised and he’s doing a fantastic job, this allowed us to take a look at some equipment that may be needed such as a new mixing deck. Dialogue has also been established with DGa to get the ball rolling on improving some things.
Tech wise we’ve had two successful silent discos with more booked in, an external one and our own both which went very well and allowed us to take a look into lighting and cables that may be important to buy in and can be rented out. JG is taking to his role really well and seems to have some great ideas to take things forward. Also purchasing 100 new headsets.
Trustees recently held meetings with the Presidents of Johns, Grey and the Chair of College Council.
A full board meeting was held 19th January.
– Supporting Treasurer with the annual ‘audit’ of the charity’s accounts
– Governance overhaul: a new draft constitution for the charity was tabled. Will have no noticeable impact on the JCR as a whole. Full update to follow later this term.
– Talks with College Council are underway to review and revise the Memorandum of Agreement that governs the relationship between the university and the JCR.
– The Trustee Board has now been restructured to consist of a Legal Sub-Committee, Finance Sub-Committee and Nominations Sub-Committee. The Board also adopted a set of byelaws (majority of which are only relevant to the Trustees) which will be uploaded onto the website.
– Recruitment campaign underway to recruit some new external trustees
AJ cannot attend due to illness.
ALJ also gives her apologies.
There are no motions
Finance Committee Members x 3
– 3 candidates: SN, JT and request new candidates
– SN: does economics, want to get involved in the JCR and the finance committee sounds interesting. Want to make sure that the money being put into the college finances is used correctly and invested in the right places. Was part of the student council working on budgets for societies. Was a part of an NGO and have experience from that.
– JT: first year – organised – have organised multiple events, Christmas fair and music events. Was finance manager in young enterprise team. Can work well under pressure. Want to bring some new ideas to the committee – team up with the social committee and want to look into fixing things that need to be fixed e.g. gym and bar.
– AK: what’s the most important quality for a finance committee member
– JT: time management and being really organised
– SN: really important to know what you’re working for – know the work you put in. Commit to it.
– AB: if a society was struggling for members, how would you adjust their budget
– SN: must be something wrong with the society, try and bring something new to it to make it more exciting and attractive. Market the society more to the college.
– JT: promoting and getting the idea out about the society. Make sure second and third years know about it. Putting posters on the freshers page.
– BOTH ELECTED
– Social Rep
– DSU Rep
– International Rep
– General Rep
– NO CANDIDATES
– Finalist Rep
– NO CANDIDATES
– Postgraduate Rep
– Two candidates: DT and request new candidates
– DT: postgrads have other experience and there isn’t much emphasis put on them and they’re not involved as much. Not much aimed at them, I want to advocate for them.
– CL: what would you do?
– DT: tbh our events are pretty exclusive, although marketed a lot to freshers. Maybe make it more personalised to postgrads so they know they’re being targeted
– AF: how do you think we could get more postgrads to come to the JCR meetings
– DT: for postgrads, they normally say they’re not going to be here long enough to bother and there isn’t much emphasis on drawing them in. I think similar to before, a little bit of attention goes a long way.
– DT ELECTED
Senior Welfare Officer
– Candidates: LM and Request New Candidates
– LM on year abroad, so EC reading in her place
– EC: apologies for my absence. I’m LM on my year abroad. Would love to be senior welfare officer next year – I want to help you guys as much as possible I’m and empathetic and caring individual. Assistant female welfare officer and secretary for mental health organisation, but my main ongoing passion for people. I know I have the gumption and goals I can. What I want to do: Create welfare skype account so people can ring or message in without coming in person. Good for people on year abroads. Want to make cards for freshers so they know who we are. Want to make consent pledges alongside the consent workshops, showing the promises we’ll make for how we’ll improve awareness. Want to do a treat yourself self care campaign. Mental health Monday scheme – first Monday of each month talking about a particular mental health issue. Want to continue the fab work that the welfare team has been doing over the past few years.
– Candidates: AB, SA and Request New Candidates
– SA: Second year chemist, so used to working with numbers. Current member of finance committee, so good understanding of what the job entails and how it works. Chillax treasurer so have been on the other side as well. Have frapped and open day repped as well – want to be a keener bean. Was a finance manager for my charity trip. I’m incredibly organised, enthusiastic and I’ll make sure to do my best. I’m approachable, and I think sports and socs treasurers will be fine talking to me. Want to make a facebook page for all the treasurers. Advertise the participation fund more, which gives students money towards subs and costs in case they have financial issues. Want to work with the trustees more to invest the reserves more in a sustainable manner. Do treasurer training in Easter term rather than beginning of the year.
– AB: third year engineering. Took me two months to get involved the JCR and I haven’t looked back. Have committed whole-heartedly to the college. Spent two years as a member of gov comm, running elections and rewriting the standing orders. Want to commit even more time to the JCR. I’m very dedicated – last year I took up two method 2 roles, JRO and green machine. Open day repping and frapping – have been a leader, so I will be able to manage the team. What I’ll do: requires dedication and hard working. Will make sure that all reclaims are done within five working days from submission. Want to promote the role of finance committee a bit more – emphasise that it’s a no experience role. It’s about contributing to the discussion of how budgets should be done, and not about just plugging in numbers.
– JB: are you planning on living in or out?
– Both: living out
– SC: if a large sum disappeared from the accounts: what would you do.
– SA: hope I’d be organised enough not to miss it. Would talk to everyone who had access to the accounts etc
– AB: I doubt it would happen, but the question is where it’s actually gone. Hopefully a simple answer of incorrect spreadsheet – may need to involve police
– DGa: structurally, how would you ensure sports and socs kept independence when spending budgets
– AB: so when they submit their budget, they do it based on their subs and what they plan to spend it on. Finance committee can veto the budget if it’s silly. If they don’t fill their budget, spend less, then it goes into their reserves.
– SA: they’ll never be completely independent, but they do submit their own budget to finance committee who discuss it and make any amendments
– OW: JCR levy – would you advertise it better/reduce it?
– SA: don’t think it can be reduced, but I’ll make it clearer about what you’re paying and what you actually get out of it
– AB: yeah if it could be reduced it probably would have been – again make them aware what you get out of it and how much it contributes to your life in college so then people can make the decision for themselves
– DG: how would you improve the budget meeting?
– AB: get as much adjustments to budgets done beforehand as loads of amendments could be made and drag the meeting on, so more general votes rather than discussing subs prices etc. Also make a glossary of the important things that come up in the budget meeting e.g. reserves and things.
– SA: meet with treasurers so they know what they’re doing so the deadline is met for submissions. Try and get all the amendments done before the meeting.
– KH: if you had a spare £10,000 that needed to be spent, what would you put it on?
– SA: look into making more study spaces if possible. Look into improving brooks bar. Make sure to communicate with the team so that everyone agrees.
– AB: yeah make sure to bring it up with exec. Try and do it on something long term e.g. brooks bar which has been discussed recently.
– Candidates: EM and Request New Candidates
– EM: hopefully you know me, I do climbing, frepping, pool, and current outreach chair. A few points on my manifesto: want to rename the handbook, so that people know it’s not just about freshers week and is about everything. Include maps, proper noting formats. Want to commit to a frep video cos that seems like a lot of fun and make frepping less stressful. Vice prez role needs rejigging after the creation of communications officer, so I’ll look at it and make sure the workloads are spread about evenly. I’ve chaired a committee this year, so that’ll be helpful for minuting. And hopefully I’ll be helpful on the committees too. It’s a role that needs to be filled by someone really passionate about cuths and the JCR.
– MC: main role is to support the president, could you elaborate on how you would do it?
– EM: by being enthusiastic and willing to help. I’m a big fan of little tasks and would always be willing to help if they get too stressed.
– CM: what’s your biggest learning curve as exec and how would you apply it to the role
– EM: make a balance between being optimistic and realistic with your aims. CM and I setup FRAMDA, and I think I thought about the bigger picture rather than the little things and the logistics
– JB: you’ve done a lot in your role, how would you find being on outreach but not running it?
– EM: well it would be sad as the work I’ve done I’ve worked hard on it and I love it, but would find it interesting being on all the different committees and not having to commit to one thing all the time will be a relief.
President of the Society
– Candidates: AK and Request New Candidates
– Proposer: CW
– CW: AK would be fantastic – genuinely kind person that cares. Seen firsthand that she’s always willing to help like in open days and freshers week – she’s resilient and determined. Been treasurer this year, which is a hugely intensive position – one of the closest roles to college and president – deals with so many different people and has a lot of responsibility. Involved in many societies e.g. baking, bodcon and boat club. She’s always getting involved in college events. She can unify people and build a strong college. She’s highly competent, very caring and can keep her cool.
– AK: want to apologise as I’ve got tonsillitis – AK, maths student, treasurer and keen bean of cuths. Am the right person for cuths, dedicated , care bout your opinions – getting involved is the best things I’ve ever done and want everyone to feel this way. Why me? Good question – who I am – approachable, comfortable speaking to everyone and will put my heart and soul into cuths. Experienced withing the jcr as treasurer – know how each element of the jcr affects students. Spent so much time doing treasurer this year, but I’ve worked around issues and come up with solutions. I’ve loved being involved, open day repping and frapping twice – been on finance comm, bodcon treasurer as well – I’ve had a lot of perspectives. Promises: many components to job of president, and I want to improve all aspects of cuths. JCR – first and foremost, I’ll start weekly drop-in sessions so everyone has the opportunity to raise concerns. Want to make postgrad committee via application to increase numbers and reduce length of jcr meetings. Will advertise positions on social media in advance so people are prepared. Want to invest in tech and rent it out. Have sports and socs have good lad training if using bar for socials. Have events after formals to promote societies and alternative activities. Want to raise idea of putting money into participatory fund so that everyone can be a part of any activity that they love – also want to make sure people are aware of the fund as well. Want to repurpose space for study spaces, especially in third term. Want to do a crossover peer tutoring team – where people in different courses help each other. Do more postgrad forums, so people can learn more and we can display more postgrad work and get them involved more. Want LGBTQ, POCA and disabilities reps during freshers week to make everyone feel immediately included. Want to do a pen pal scheme with year abroads. Want to make a document that makes it easier for people to put on events that has everything you need. Want an online booking system for music room. Want committee between independent common rooms to discuss issues. Will join university wide committees to help issues raised by students. But I believe my dedication is why I’ll be the best
– AI: About safe space in the bar, can you expand?
– AK: rugby had good lad training and teach about consent and I think having more of these will teach the
– SP: intercollege jcr committee, how will this be different to DSU?
– AK: committee between the independent common rooms – uni is trying to discourage this and there may be issues coming up with it, so we can discuss issues and work together.
– AP: why is independent better?
– AK: makes us different, makes us unique. All other colleges have same memorandum of agreement with their college, we can change ours and we can be different.
– AB: engagement in jcr is an issue – how would you try to improve this?
– AK: this year using Instagram has been good – should use all social media as much as possible. Advertising further in advance, and on different platforms as well. Change postgrad committee to applications to increase engagement
– EM: president’s role split between university and representing college, and also doing small things in college. How will you manage your time?
– AK: some things you can’t change e.g. meetings – block them out in your calendar – ensure you split the other commitments throughout the week, having important things first. Need to be responsive to what is happening.
– JB: you’re running unopposed at the moment, what does this say about the JCR?
– AK: I would prefer more candidates to be running so people can elect the person they actually want and have diversity. Maybe it needs to be advertised a bit more, and make sure people feel included.
– MC: some things you mentioned in manifesto haven’t worked when tried before. What have you seen happen in the past few years that has limited the JCR?
– AK: elections haven’t been advertised far enough in advance, especially this one in particular.
– KH: do you feel there is a fair representation on the jcr between parsons and bailey.
– AK: since first year, there’s been less of a divide, but it’s still there and it’s something I’ll be thinking about
– AP: do you think for the purpose of improving the JCR this should be postponed and advertised more
– AF: it’s been advertised over a week in advance, following standing orders so doesn’t have to be answered.
– SP: how to make cuths higher up on the list of colleges that people apply to?
– AK: something we’ll never have is the option of living in a castle, but against other colleges, we just need to put out the same energy we use for everything. Look at past mistakes and improve what can be corrected so anything that could be viewed negatively isn’t.
– DG: prez means getting involved in lots of committees – which would you find most challenging?
– AK: probably international committee, as I don’t know the challenges they face or issues they’d have, so I’d work with them a lot and talk to students
– DT: in terms of bailey parsons interaction, Brooks bar has a bad reputation compared to bailey bar – how would you fix that? And do you think house parties in bailey houses to encourage parsons to mix could be a good idea?
– AK: brooks bar – has a carpet which makes it seem less of a bar – it isn’t very inviting, and bailey bar very much feels like cuths unlike the brooks bar. We’ve done a survey asking students what they’d like to see it change, and we are looking into changing it. For the party things, it does seem like a cool idea – difficult as you want people to get involved in their own houses and with other people too – later in the week when they’ve settled, or even refreshers could be a better option.
Round of thanks to SM for SRO-ing, and congrats to all the candidates!