Minutes from TGM – Michaelmas Term 2021

Agenda

Termly General Meeting at 7:00pm in the MCR Bar

Apologies

In Attendance:          Sam, Michaela, Rebecca, Éva, Talay, James, Jack, Samin, Elre and Conor

Apologies:                  Audray, Richard, Osarenkhoe, Youzheng, Andrea, Angela, Michael 

Confirmation of minutes from the previous meetings

The minutes from the previous meeting were approved, without issue.

Issues arising from the minutes

None.

Committee Reports and Questions to the Committee

President

  • Sam thanked the welfare team and Samin for their effort during freshers.

General Secretary

  • The murder mystery event was very successful.
  • We are planning another murder mystery for Lent 2022, which will be held (hopefully) in Oxford. 

Treasurer

  • The Halloween party is scheduled for next Saturday (after the hostel crawl).
  • Michaela said that the MCR had enough money.

Academic Officer

  • CHUtalks are continuing this term. This week, Éva will be talking about how to do a good presentation. There will be free wine and cheese.
  • Conference on Everything
  • We still have places for presenters and posters. If you want to present, you should fill in the Google form. The first sign-up deadline is the 25th October.
  • We currently have eleven presents, which is more than planned!
  • Éva has discussed the event with Liz. It has been decided to skip the preliminary presenters.
  • Éva has been in contact with the Fellows about the event. She will also liaise with the JCR.
  • You can bring guests, but they must abide the COVID regulations. 

Bar

  • Last Friday, we had bar training. We had over 30 students attend the training.
  • The bar is now open every night. If someone does not turn up to the slot, you should message Richard Bowen (rdb44@cam.ac.uk). You can also contact the bar tenders using the information on the Google sheet.

Computing Officer

  • No current officer.

Green Officer

  • On Friday, there will be a talk in the Wolfson Hall on sustainability. You will also be able to join the meeting on Zoom.
  • We are going to start using an app to monitor sustainability. Households will be able to compete on sustainability goals.
  • There is a plan to boycott unethical banks. There is a document, which details the different ethical banks. Michaela mentioned that other Colleges have struggled to find banks that: (a) do not have fees on accounts; and (b) have a store in Cambridge. Conor mentioned that Metro Bank is one of the suggested banks, which satisfies both of these criteria. Conor is going to research this for the MCR bank.
  • Paul mentioned about ethical consumerism. Paul asked if the Green Officer had investigated where meat supplies were sourced from (i.e., more environmentally friendly or produced more ethically). Talay said that this had not been investigated.

Equipment

  • We have a new storage area outside. You can get the key from the Porters Lodge.
  • The College is about to get rid of the trolleys from the College. The Porters said that the MCR should write “MCR” on them, if they do not want them to get skipped.

External Social Secretary

  • Richard was not in attendance.

Internal Social Secretary

  • Samin wants to change the date of guest night. Several members of the committee are not here on the 4thDecember, due to clashes with the Varsity trip. David Oakley has indicated that there may be problems re-arranging guest night, due to catering staffing shortfalls. Samin is going to email College to see if it can be moved to a date the week before. Talay mentioned that we should not move it to a Sunday. It was mentioned that (preferably) the Guest night would not be held on a weekday.
  • The guest night is going to be slightly more scaled down, due to COVID constraints. We are going to scrap the Silent Disco and the Karaoke. Samin is considering having three music acts. The music acts will perform in the Buttery. Cocktails will be served in the downstairs bar. The upstairs bar will serve beer and wine.
  • We were thinking of offering entertainment tickets. We will have capacity limits on the Hall (around 300 tickets) due to COVID constraints.

Family Representative

  • The family-specific events will continue during the term.

Men’s Welfare

  • The catering team are going to offer students to work in the Dining Hall. The pay will be £9.50 an hour. They will advertise this opportunity to students soon.
  • Accommodation standards are written in the handbook. Shared accommodation should be cleaned twice a week, apart from offsite accommodation.
  • We have heard reports of outstanding housekeeping issues. You should report these to housekeeping and email the welfare team.
  • The bike sheds are being updated. A student got locked in the bike sheds. They are going to install card readers and the doors are going to automatically close. This will start at the end of the College site.
  • The College are limiting big evens to two per week.

Women’s Welfare

  • Yoga is going well. It is filling the Jock Colville Hall.
  • Samin mentioned about drinking spiking in Cambridge. There have been reports of widespread drink spiking. There is going to be a boycott of clubs next Wednesday. Samin asked if the MCR had considered providing testing kits or anti-spiking equipment. Elre said that they had not considered it. Welfare are going to discuss it and liaise with the JCR.

LGBTQ+ Officer

  • Jack is running several LGBTQ+ social events over the next few weeks. Jack is meeting with the CUSU LGBTQ+ representative.

EDI Officer

  • The officers are currently in attendance.

Disability Access

  • No current officer.

First Year Representative

  • No current officer.

Publicity and Communications Officer

  • No current officer.

Hustings

  • All positions were uncontested. All people were elected at the meeting.

Academic Officer (Éva)

  • Éva said that the timing of the Conference of Everything was up for debate. It depended how well the event this term went

Bar Secretary (Ricky and Paul)

  • Paul is going to talk to some of the local wine merchants. They have discussed buying at a wholesale price.
  • Paul discussed creating a cleaning rota, as the bar is quite messy.
  • Richard is going to do more of the day-to-day running of the bar, and Paul is going to organise these new schemes.
  • Paul is going to investigate purchasing a new ice machine.
  • Paul said that he would be interested in joint events, for example with the Real Ale Society.

Computing Officer (David Berry)

First Year Rep (Shany + Madeline)

  • Shany and Madeline are going to shadow Michaela for the Halloween party, so they can learn how to run events.
  • They are considering running a Superbowl Party.

Publicity and Communications (Lorrie)

Disability Access (Nora and Noa)

  • Nora and Noa said that there were some glaring accessibility issues in College, for example the upper floor of the library does not have step free access.
  • Nora and Noa want to get involved in long-term projects and set the foundations for the role.
  • Nora and Noa are considering setting up anonymous reporting, so that they can hear directly back from students.
  • Sam discussed getting the disabled access representatives to attend the Estates meeting, rather than the Green officer. Sam is going to email Tom Boden about adding more representatives to the committee.

Green Officer (Nick)

Matters for discussion

  • The following motions cannot be passed at a TGM. They must be put to a ballot of MCR members. They require a 2/3 majority on the ballot, subject to attendance of 1/3 of all MCR members. They then need to be passed by College Council.

Motion: All executive positions should be opened up to Cambridge-based partners of postgraduate students.

Yes: 11

No: 7

Abstain: 8

Motion: Open up voting rights to Associate Members of the MCR.

Yes: 25

No: 0

Abstain: 1

Points from discussion

  • Cambridge-based partners of MCR students cannot vote in MCR members. Cambridge-based partners of MCR students cannot stand for executive positions.

 

  • Paul mentioned that it was odd that some families could not vote in elections, as only postgraduate students can vote in elections.

 

  • Sam mentioned that he believed College Council would not approve the proposals but stated that this was not a reason to reject the proposals.

 

  • Michaela was concerned that there would be no checks and balances. Talay mentioned that this issue could happen with the existing structure.

 

  • There were some concerns that Cambridge-based partners could have other influences (and that this could be problematic as trustees).

 

  • Éva mentioned that she did not know if this was legal. Rebecca mentioned that this had already been raised by Kieran. Rebecca is going to investigate this after the meeting.

 

  • Talay mentioned that partners living in College were often more involved in the MCR.

 

  • Talay mentioned that students sat on College Council to represent graduate students. It make sense for only graduate members to be able to sit on the executive.

 

Any other business

  • There will be another advert in the gazette for the podcast.
  • We want to remind students to utilise their College tutors for academic and welfare reasons.
  • Paul mentioned adding a Street Aid Giving Point in College. Paul is going to investigate installing this and is going to discuss with the JCR.
  • New members of the committee should email Sam with their phone number.