Minutes of Churchill College MCR Termly General Meeting – Michaelmas 2015

 

Date: 3 November 2015, 7:30pm
Location: Sandy Ashmore Room

 

Attendance:

  1. Present: KC, Sami, Sonke, Yuhua, Philip, Tiantian, Sergio, Charlie, Max, Vivek, Elsa, Jack, Zhi, Sam, Floris, Douglas, Alisha, Kent, Flaviu, Christian, Mohibi, Clara, Bing, Bowen, Lucy
  2. Apologies:

 

 

Confirmation of minutes – Easter 2015 TGM

  1. The minutes from the Easter 2015 TGM were confirmed.

 

 

Summary of MCR Activities (Sonke)

MCR events in the past term have included:

  1. Freshers Week: mostly great success.
    1. Around 30 events in total.
  2. CHUtalks are ongoing, check out online talks too (improving quality).
  3. Other events:
    1. Halloween parties and trick-or-treat
    2. Cocktail party over summer
    3. Barbecue over summer
    4. Summer formals
    5. Easter term guest night
  4. MCR calendar for tracking them all – can add it to personal calendars.
  5. College meetings – schedule now online – people can check and suggest items to raise.

 

Other MCR activities in the past term include:

  1. Vote on MCR improvements
  2. Procedures on making investment decisions and communication protocol need improving (see Item 5).
  3. Options for mature students (e.g. people with family)
    1. more targeted events
  4. Facilities that people can use are not entirely clear (e.g. downstairs TV room and games room – but conflict of interest – negotiation with JCR for use?).
  5. Booking system to use JCR rooms to avoid conflict? (But JCR are mostly cooperative – problems are not heard of)
  6. Voting process for all populations to have a chance to be involved in decisions like this.
  7. MCR needs to be more proactive to engage people (ask questions, doesn’t matter if people don’t reply).
  8. Sonke: we can set up an online idea-collecting webform.
  9. Welfare: integrating different sub-populations is hard – that’s why a family welfare position was set up to specifically address the interests of mature students. The MCR is open to ideas for events. Need gap-bridging.
  10. Communicate with people regularly to remind them of how they can be involved in MCR decisions and activities (eg: anonymous contact forms, equipment purchasing webform TGMs, email us, find us to talk to.
  11. Sonke: the committee has put much effort into being approachable already. But happy to do more.
    1. Circulated documents on the results.
    2. Most small ideas are being pursued.
    3. PS4 pursued: 4 controllers, FIFA 16, new Call of Duty soon.
    4. Larger TV on hold, to see Netflix/streaming/PS4 changes first.
    5. No table tennis (see squash courts) nor pool table (impractical).
    6. Sergio:
  1. Moller Centre workshop: working to create committee training.
  2. Website improvements: calendar, committee meetings, updated pages.

 

 

Report on MCR Finances (Christian)

  1. We have private and public accounts but lots of overlaps.
  2. £4600 in private account + £500 from college.
  3. £6000 in public account (once CCRFC pays us).
  4. Guest night provides around £1000 termly income.
  5. £9000 expenditure per year, such as events and college charges.
  6. Room for more events, provided we use money sensibly.
  7. Actual transactions available on request (ask the Treasurer).
  8. Sergio: make finance details more transparent.
    1. Note: budget details already on MCR website (need to advertise this).

 

 

MCR Finance Governance

Description of current system (committee decisions):

  1. 16 MCR committee positions (typically >20 students elected to these).
  2. Around 400 MCR members (so >5% of students sit on committee).
  3. Decisions on spending are made by the committee.
    1. We’ve been open to ideas from the MCR community through webforms, contact forms and email communications, etc.
    2. When idea reaches an officer, they ask Treasurer if spending is appropriate. Treasurer can authorise or discuss in committee.
    3. MCR committee then decides how to proceed.

 

Suggestions for change:

  1. Voting for major expenditures (but how to decided what is ‘major’?).
    1. Purchases above a certain spend threshold? (But how to choose what that threshold would be)
    2. Additional purchase that affects a broader population? (But each decision affects everyone, difficult to define)
  2. Need more transparency: what money is available (knowing this allows people to suggest), why idea is pursued (summarise committee views).
  3. Sergio: some people requesting things doesn’t mean that everyone is happy to have the money spent on them.
  4. Kent: but should their opinions be taken into account if they never participate/suggest? Also, committee is elected to make decisions.
  5. Elsa: the purchases can shape the MCR in some way that may not be as welcoming to the others, so at times may need wider consultation.
  6. Flaviu: with PS4, idea did come from MCR members (not committee).

 

Shall the committee change these procedures?

  1. KC: current system + make committee meeting minutes online.
  2. Yuhua: current system + regular reviews for demands (eg: in Gazette).
  3. Elsa: current system but if consensus not reached in committee then vote, with option for committee member veto to have an MCR vote.

 

 

Charity fundraisers (Alisha)

  1. Are people interested in events about or including charitable fundraising?
    1. Jennifer (Bursar) seems open and keen on this idea.
    2. Student societies are already doing this, can get involved.
    1. Charity banquet or other charity events.
    2. Formal with higher price and send surplus to charity.
    3. Approach charity societies for activities.
    4. Max & Charlie: Charity-themed cocktail nights
    5. Elsa: fake fancy dinner with same ticket price but budget food.
    6. Sergio: not about just giving money. Consider getting involved with community projects. Ask College to be involved in these.
  2. What causes are popular?
  3. Too early to discuss now, but in the future consider taking suggestions or vote on which charity we want to pursue out of those suggested.

 

 

Tune the piano in the MCR

  1. Zhi emailed Shelly already.

 

Discussion for an optional MCR LGBT+ position

Description of current system (MCR/JCR joint position):

LGBT+ is a joint MCR/JCR role. Anyone can run for it, then everyone votes for it. The officer caters both common rooms. Typically have not received volunteers from the MCR and hence a specific MCR role was deemed unfeasible. The role is mostly taken by JCR members.

 

Suggestions for change

  1. Add flexibility such that if an MCR rep steps forward, we can have an MCR LGBT+ officer, and the JCR then has theirs as usual, the two can collaborate for extra benefit of both. If no MCR rep steps forward, we return to the joint MCR/JCR role situation and nothing is lost/gained.
  2. JCR members are not around all year, desirable to have an MCR rep.
  3. JCR age difference may make MCR members hesitant to discuss.

 

[vote] Shall the committee negotiate discussed changes? (yes/no/abstain)

  • yes: 25
  • no: 0
  • abstain: 1

 

 

Hustings (or welcomes if uncontested)

  1. Academic officer (uncontested, so we welcome)
    1. Mohibi Hussain & Lucy Tallentire (joint)
  2. Bar secretary (uncontested, so we welcome)
    1. Max Veit & Charlie Readman (joint)
  3. Computing officer (uncontested, so we welcome)
    1. Sam Ainsworth
  4. Environment officer (uncontested, so we welcome)
    1. Jack Hodkinson
  5. Equipment officer (uncontested, so we welcome)
    1. Bowen Ding
  6. First year representative (uncontested, so we welcome)
    1. Tiantian Chen & Floris Keizer (joint)

 

 

Any Other Business

Limit timing of discussions

  1. Limit the overall length of the meeting as long meetings may reduce student enthusiasm for turning up.
  2. Limit the length one person can speak on one point in one go, to prevent substanceless discussion and speed up the meeting.

 

Next TGM: date TBA, but will be for the Michaelmas elections.