«Shaahin opened the (absolutely buzzing) meeting with a welcome to some members of the MCR Committee who had been invited to speak to agenda item a: ...»
St John’s College Junior Common Room
The People’s Republic of St Giles
Minutes of the 4th meeting (Termly Charities Meeting) of Trinity Term 2013
2nd June 2013, 8.30pm, Larkin Room
Shaahin opened the (absolutely buzzing) meeting with a welcome to some members of the MCR
Committee who had been invited to speak to agenda item a: Marina Lambrakis & Ed Peveler (MCR
Welfare Officers), Emma Claussen (MCR Women’s Officer), and Nick Cooper (MCR E&E Officer).
i/ Minutes of the previous meeting The minutes were read and accepted.
ii/ Matters arising from the minutes Following the “Stop the Gate Hate!” Motion last meeting, the JCR Committee raised the issue of 24/7 access to college at Joint Council. Tony Coote (Lodge Manager) said that it would not be possible to add more 24-hour access points since the point of having reduced 24-hour access is to discourage thieves from tail-gating college members to get in at night, which is a serious problem at other colleges and universities.
iii/ Officers’ reports Women’s Officer: Ruth Maclean I have been busy trying to introduce the women's personal development program Springboard into college, which has met with much success. It was provisionally approved at Alumni Relations Committee last week and I have since submitted a paper proposal which I think will be taken to Governing Body at the end of this term to be approved, which means that at least one member of College staff will be trained to deliver springboard during November, in preparation to begin delivering the course to JCR women in college as of Hilary 2014.
Further to this I am brainstorming plans for more mixed-gender events with a few people, watch this space for Michaelmas and we will try a few new-format events. I know that it is an issue for many people to have mixed gender events and this is something I have been trying to work on and not just ignoring! Also I would just like to say thanks to everyone for a truly great women's lunch this week, I think everyone now wants to be Chloe Dewe Mathews / be able to write hilarious feminist tunes like Siwan / be able to row at Head of the River.
keep it up girls!! x Entz Officers: Max Ramsay and Robyn Ashley Robyn and I have been trying to drown our sorrows any way we can during the entz ban.
Dom Secs: Becca Bowden and Caroline Taylor So we changed our name, put together a feedback form for hall on the veggie options they currently offer, gave cake out to one and all at JCR desserts (got to be quick!) and started planning Finalist Guest Dinner. All in a day's work Ooh and sorted out some extra sausage and bacon baps in Kendrew. Domestic Love xx 1 Academic Affairs Officer: Greg Auger I've been surveying your views on library opening hours and a result college has agreed to open an hour earlier every day (trial from Michaelmas). College also showed us some plans for the library extension (that they haven't decided yet if they're going ahead with) which we gave some feedback on.
Environment & Ethics Officers: Eileen Jacob & Tyra Lagerberg Finally meeting the MCR E&E rep this afternoon (we think), and talked about ways of displaying the books we ordered through the library. Making some plans for Michaelmas (again, hopefully with some MCR involvement). Otherwise quiet here. x Access and Equal Opportunities Officer: Emma Recknell Brighton Trip is still getting filled with schools which is good. Plus have started working on materials for the open days in 10th week. Hoping to start filming for the alternative prospectus video once the SJCtv equipment system is back up and running again.
Emma x Welfare Officers: Jen Appleton & Tom Beauchamp There has been free food and love for all. Even if Welfare Lunch was too spicy this week.
OUSU/NUS Officer: Shyam Thakerar So I've been trying hard to temporarily increase the study space available around college. In spite of the President and Senior Dean seeming keen, the Senior Tutor has stepped in and cut this down. With complaints about the mess in the 24-hour study area it doesn't seem like this will happen. Sorry!!
In terms of OUSU, I went to the most recent meeting. We voted to approve the OUSU Budget 2013-2014; to condemn Nicola Blackwood MP (Oxford West & Abingdon) for voting against the Marriage (Same-Sex Couples) Bill 2013 and voted to refuse to advertise unpaid internships. I'll be attending the final meeting of term in 7th week. Anyone is welcome to come if they wish. We get 3 votes and really should use them!
Discounts Officer: Jake Savile-Tucker MOAR Discounts – if you don’t have a discounts card yet, email Jake.
The Jakefather has not been able to send in a report yet, having been preoccupied with ‘negotiating’ with local businesses to join his protection racket, the lovingly and totally not euphemistically titled ‘St John’s Discount Scheme’.
Treasurer: Peter Blenkharn Rents and Charges negotiations; collating the results of the Rejuvenation Survey; forming a JCR improvements plan; hunting down old JCR accounts from different banks; re-budgetting for the next term; categorising and organising all Treasury documents, receipts and invoices; searching for cheap micro-pigs.
Vice-President: Will Todman I've been doing Rents and Charges things, going to the usual committee meetings, have written up a proposal about changing Formal Hall (steak night, anyone?) for the MCR to check and then give to college, and there's been a flurry of room changes to the ballot. On that note, let me know if the method I've been using for doing swaps could be improved, and I'm sorry if the emails are annoying... I just don't get why the TW rooms are still unclaimed.
2 Secretary: Andrew Riddles I have spent last two weeks felling a patch of rainforest the size of London needed to make the paper for this meeting’s bumper edition of the agenda. May thanks to everyone who submitted charities motions though! Rents and charges are still uninspiringly devoid of blackmail. In the weeks ahead, I will be appealing for the contact details of society and sports club presidents/secretaries for the termcard, and I’m looking into have a book sale in Michaelmas term.
President: Shaahin Pishbin I've mainly been occupied by Rents and Charges activities, talking with the Bursars about the state of undergraduate finance and arguing the case for a low rent increase and increased student support, and gradually putting together our proposal. We've also talked with them about Formal hall and potential measures to be taken in order to improve, or even move, the JCR.
At Joint Council, the issue of College gates was discussed, but College are seemingly reluctant to extend 24 hour access points for security reasons. Estates are looking into speeding up the GQ gate... The clock in NQ/FQ has also, once again, been readjusted.
Governing Body agreed to establish a Ball Steering Committee, and the first meeting has taken place. I have been liaising with the Ball President over progress being made.
I've attended various other committees, but there's nothing else pressing to report at this point in time!
Shaahin iv/ Reps’ reports Art Rep: Sophie Louth Art is good :) we exhibited the Mapleton Bree entries which went down really well, and the President came along to give out prizes, congratulations to Sam Reilly, Adelais Mills and Tenzin Seldon. The art committee has also been buying some more art so that when we recatalogue in October we will have included all of this year's purchases. See motion for more info.
Also we are looking at forming the committee to organise next year's arts week before the end of term, are you creative in any form and fancy getting involved in organising a week of arts in Hilary then I would love to hear from you, at this stage it is just about bashing ideas around, the real work starts in Michaelmas.
Arty Love PRAT, Regina Regni Fabarum: Anna Spearing-Ewyn As usual I have bought the food, drink and toys for tonight's meeting. Last week the pizza was surprisingly on time! All the toys bought this term will be donated to the Helen & Douglas House charity in the next few weeks.
Enjoy x Bike Rep Pilcher’s Pixie: Dave Wray All's well really... People are using the bike scheme - hooray!
Disabilities Action Rep: Helen Willis This will be my final report as Disabilities Rep, as I'll be graduating this summer. *Sob* I've had a great time working with the JCR. Even though I won't be able to keep my post, I am still at hand if anyone ever want advice on disability-related issues (just drop me an email all being well, I will be returning to St. John's to do an MSc, so my email address should remain the same).
3 P.S. Just to update everyone, the Youtube documentary has now exceeded 33,000 hits worldwide, which is absolutely fantastic.
LGBTQ Reps: Steven Doran & Francesca Railton Fran has survived this term's worth of peer support training and has two more sessions left in Michaelmas before she can make herself (hopefully!) more useful re: possible LGBTQ issues in college. She has also been posting about LGBTQ-related events on the Facebook group.
Steven has been going to LGBTQSoc Drinks on Tuesday with the St. John’s crowd as well as a CapitOx LGBTQ-networking event.
Ethnic Minorities Rep: Hitesh Dhorajiwala The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the EDL and the tyranny of the BNP. Blessed is he, who in the name of charity and equality, shepherds the weak through the valley of protest lines, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with many raised eyebrows and furious disapproval those who would attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the Ethnic Minorities’ Rep, when I heartily express my disdain towards thee.
Computer Rep: Eliot Ball Eliot reported in absentia that he has been working on the new St. John’s Discounts website.
vi/ Items for discussion a/ The Constitution and Trust Law Proposed by: Jake Savile-Tucker Jake (future QC) wanted to remind everyone that since the JCR is a charity, The Constitution is actually a legal document and so it is very important that what it says reflects exactly what we do (and vice-versa); it is not simply an ‘ideal’ we should aim to follow where we can.
b/ Ball 2014 Update Proposed by: Ashley White 4 Ashley White (Ball 2014 President-elect) was unfortunately not able to attend the meeting, however Flora Sheldon (Ball 2014 Marketing Officer) was present to give a report on how the Ball Committee are getting on and to canvass opinion on some aspects of the Ball.
The Ball Committee have been making rapid progress in the Ball planning, with a proposal due to be brought to Steering Committee in 8th Week, and then hopefully to Governing Body in 9th.
The date has been confirmed to be Friday 27th June (concurrent with Trinity Ball).
Two questionnaires, one general and one musical, have been sent out to both the JCR and MCR.
Having explored a range of options and considering what the student body would like in their Ball, the Ball Committee have decided on a theme (which they can’t reveal yet!). A webmaster has been appointed and a domain name for the Ball has been registered. Most of the website work will go ahead once approval for the Ball has been granted. Ashley has contacted the Presidents of the 20 other Commemoration/Anniversary Balls. In particular, the Committee are liaising with Trinity Ball on security and logistics in order to reduce costs.
The Ball Steering Committee would like to find out what the JCR and MCR feel is an acceptable price for Ball tickets, and also what students would prefer for the dress code.
Flora noted that fixed costs will be higher due to increased VAT and inflation since 2011.
Consequently, the Ball Committee feel it will be necessary to charge a higher price for tickets than
2011. In the general survey, students’ main priorities were having a headline entertainment act having both quality and quantity of food and drink. Students would also like a variety of entertainment available. The modal response to the question asking about the importance of ticket price in choosing to go to the Ball was 3 out of 5.
As a provisional figure, the Ball Committee intends to charge £150-155 for non-dining tickets, and £190-195 for dining tickets. This represents a £15-20 increase on the 2011 Ball. For reference, Flora noted that most Commemoration Balls charge £180-200 for non-dining tickets. An important priority is that St. John’s students do not feel priced out of attending the Ball; therefore the Committee have considered offering working tickets first to St. John’s students to ensure that students who feel they cannot afford a ticket can still enjoy the rest of the Ball when not on shift.
Moving on to questions, Sally said that £150 sounded like quite a lot, given that at £130, many felt the 2011 Ball was poor value.
Flora was asked to ensure that the Ball Committee consider the payment options available for people buying tickets, since some may not be able to afford the downpayment on Ball tickets.
Angelika agreed, asking that the Committee consider a price students can budget for on a monthly basis.
Flora will find out how much of a discount working tickets will be on the standard ticket price.
Owen asked whether the Committee could charge a lower price for St. John’s students, paid for by a higher price for non-John’s tickets.
Regarding the question of having black tie or white tie, Ruth P said that black tie is preferable given that white tie is nice, but very expensive, which could price people out of going. Flora noted that Ashley is concerned that a white tie preferred or optional dress code may put people off going if they feel they need to buy/rent white tie. Maddy said that if the Ball is going to charge a premium price for tickets, having a white tie dress code would help create the luxurious atmosphere warranted by the price.
Finch asked those present who had attended the 2011 Ball whether having a “white tie preferred” dress code made much of a difference. Sally said that she didn’t really notice, although some people think it’s nicer.
Angelika said that a “white tie optional” policy would probably best, since those who feel wearing white tie is too expensive have the choice not to. Sam agreed, although he worried that this would effectively mark out those who can’t afford buying/renting white tie wear.