Minutes of Churchill College MCR TGM – Easter 2016

 

Date: 4th May 2016
Location: Sandy Ashmore Room

 

Attendance:

  1. Present:
    1. Committee: Clara Tang, Megan McGregor, Bowen Ding, Sam Ainsworth, Tamas Kispeter, Raghabendra KC, Fabian Micallef, Anwar Jaber, Charlie Readman, Flaviu Bulat, Luana Bulat, Lucy Tallentire
    2. Full Members: Colin Rothwell, Ian Orton, Alex Bastounis, Eddie Pang, Brett Larsen, Bang Ming Yong, Karolis Misiunas, Vinicius Ferreira, Thiago Burghi, Jay Shah, Steve Marsh
    3. Other: Andrew Jeskins, Giorgio Divitini
  2. Apologies: Alisha

Confirmation of minutes – Lent 2016 TGM

  1. The minutes from the Lent 2016 EGM were confirmed.

Matters arising from the minutes

  1. None

Questions to the Committee

Committee Reports

President:

  1. CT attended archive committee. It was noted that the Roskill lecture went well,  but better student attendance is encouraged. The Archive also wants to archive student life – if you want to add stuff to the archive centre let Clara know. Archive centre is keen to organise tours for the MCR.
    1. Giorgio (GD): When he was bar treasurer he kept track of what was happening for Guest Night which were given to the archives
    2. Karolis (KM): Is it possible to organise subject specific tours?
  2. CT also attended College Council – lots of thanks for the Conference on Everything – the fellows continue to love it. Reported on new grad accommodation at 36 Storey’s Way – architects are the one’s who designed the Pepper Pots, and there will be three new houses. Working party with Douglas, Elizabeth and Jack. Aims to be opened in October 2019.
    1. GD: What was the number of rooms available for this year?
    2. CT: 60 rooms available in the ballot for returning students.
    3. SA: All second years who asked for accomodation got it.

 

Treasurer – BD

MCR financials update and CCRFC annual application

  1. Annual budget approved by the college – £6,820. In previous years we had an agreement with the JCR that each common room receives 10.5%. tTis year JCR asked for slightly more, which we agreed with because they have less surplus, and if we continue to accumulate money then our college allocation will decrease. Meeting with JCR treasurer to follow up on this.

  2. KM: Need to be careful about getting fair distribution of money (not necessarily dependent on numbers), as we pay higher fees to college than the JCR

  3. MM: The CCRFC allocation money is public money from the government, so has little to do with the fees paid by either common room

Secretary – MM

Nothing to report

Academic – LT

  1. If eating in the library, lids on cups, plates back to where they came from.
  2. Thesis binding FOR FREE still available (continues to be available throughout the year)

Bar Secretary – DB

  1. Fridge on the fritz – a replacement was ordered today, and will be arriving between Monday & Wednesday.
  2. Bar was filthy after last Friday, please look after it! Douglas will be coming to the bar more often to check on the cleaning etc.

  3. Alcohol opinions/requests to Douglas and Charlie

  4. Not enough people signed up for a 7 day rota, so bar only open this term Tuesday – Saturday

 

Bar Treasurer – CR

  1. Will look to purchase more fancy spirits, and replenish tequila, gin, scotch
  2. SA: Is tesco value alcohol a policy now?

    1. CR: It was something I tried out when I started, but it is clearly unpopular so won’t be purchased again.

Computing – SA

  1. Sam wrote and implemented an automated rooms ballot – it runs much quicker. CT and MM thanked him for his substantial help with the rooms ballot.

Environmental – JH

Nothing to report

Equipment – LB

  1. Please STOP forcing open the electronics cupboard – if this doesn’t happen then we will get a better lock
  2. FM: Need to talk to maintenance

  3. LB: People just yank them open to avoid the cupboard lock.

  4. Tell Luana about equipment we want to buy

External Social Secretary – KC

  1. Lots of swaps coming up for this term:
    1. Selwyn, Fitz on 10th June & Darwin all arranged

    2. Michaelmas – had good places approach us already because they all want to come to guest night

Internal Social Secretary – RS

 

  1. Guest night made £1400 last time, next one won’t be as profitable, due to paying for a non-student band. Next Guest Night on the 18th June
  2. After that we have the summer BBQ coming up

Family’s Officer – FB

Nothing to report

Welfare Officers – FM, AJ, TK

To be discussed later in the meeting

First Year Rep

Not present

 

Matters for Discussion

Discussion of using MCR funds for events exclusive to a single group of people

  1. CT: The critical problem with the event that Fabian posted was that it was during quiet period (without approval being sort with college), and there was no budget assigned for the event. Approval for the event was sorted with Shelley & the senior tutor as soon as this was raised.
  2. The second point that has arisen is that the tone of the email was inappropriate which is going to be addressed by the welfare team.

  3. Fabian then read out the statement by the Welfare Team which is attached here. The documents contains a general outline of a welfare procedure for going forward, and statement from Alisha, Fabian and Tamas, regarding their opinion on gender exclusive events and the BBQ that started the discussion. Alisha’s statement is read by Fabian, Tamas read his own statement to those present, and then Fabian read his own statement out.

  4. Clara opens the floor to questions and comments of no longer than 2 minutes on the Welfare Team’s statements and policy.
    1. Vivek: Can some/all of the welfare team talk about the process by which events are organised and/or publicised?

      1. FM: Frankly none. Potentially because the freshers week is at the end of the term served by the welfare team, there has been little collaboration so far. My hope is to create a framework within which the welfare team can operate.

    2. Kariolis: Document is in legalese and difficult to understand. How can this improve on the university’s welfare training?

      1. FM: Discussion at the university was only to do with single people approaching us.

      2. Kariolis: This was what I had to do. We were in the position of supporting people, and directing them to the correct help, and we weren’t qualified to do any more, let alone deem what exactly the welfare team should be doing. So why is the document necessary?

      3. FM: Reiterated the above about training only dealing with personal problems, and that the document is required to cover other areas.

      4. Anwar: The document covers problems that were not mentioned in the training. It is about creating a document that the welfare team can use for communication policy. No such written or spoken rule about verifications of email currently exist.

    3. Alex: This email offended a lot of people – is this going to prevent this?

      1. FM: If we have checks and balances it should be possible to avoid such a problem. If I can summarise the document, we believe it is important to elect specific welfare officers (rather than a homogenous welfare team).

    4. AB: Are these checks and balances approved by the rest of the committee?

      1. FM: We can send emails through the whole of the committee if that is what they want.

    5. Steve Marsh: Is there not a confusion of rolls? That internal social secretary is meant to organise events, and that can be done with the welfare team if necessary, but in the past it hasn’t been down to the welfare team to organise events.

    6. Rachel Spicer: Language used in the email was really inappropriate, I think it needs to be made clear that we can’t accept emails like that again.

      1. Lucy: Having a communication set-up is useful, but where does it end? Should all emails to the lists from the committee be moderated? Why is announce moderated, and discuss not?

      2. SA: Announce is moderated, whereas discuss historically hasn’t been.

      3. MM: Announce is meant to be for important emails that all of the MCR *need* to see – for example the Room Ballot information. It also has other members of college on it, who are interested in MCR business, but probably don’t want to receive the volume of email that comes via the discussion list.

      4. Colin Rothwell: Should we not just have one mailing list to which everyone in the MCR posts to?

      5. SA: Everyone *has* to be on announce – could make it such that the emails are all moderated as most emails are from the committee anyway

    7. TK: Just wants to clarify the document – the main idea is just to have more eyes on the same email, will help to eliminate the problems of people being offended.

  5. Clara: Moving on to third part: the position of the welfare team on exclusive events. For the purposes of this discussion, we are defining exclusive events as events at which people are allowed to attend based on a group that they identify with, and other people who are deemed not to be part of that group are actively turned away by the organisers. This is in contrast to targeted events that are open to everyone, but marketed at a specific group.

    1. AB: My general opinion on exclusive events is irrelevant. What I want to know is why was a swap picked as the appropriate medium for the female only event?

      1. KC: The women’s welfare officers were looking for somewhere off campus to go. We had lots of people approaching us, and I couldn’t manage to accommodate them all so I helped Alisha arrange the Wolfson event.

    2. TK: Wanted to talk about this issue as it pertains to the LGBT+ community, as it has been an ongoing discussion with the community for a long time. Are pre-drinks exclusive or inclusive? LGBT events may have people coming along who are afraid of being outed for example. Within the community you end up with a mix of mostly inclusive events and a few that you suggest are strongly exclusive. Segregation of groups can occur for important reasons and is an ongoing discussion in the LGBT community.

    3. DB: Perfectly happy to have exclusive events, but you can’t actively police it, should be open to anyone self-identifying.

    4. RS: Exclusive events shouldn’t be funded by the MCR, as the money we have is meant to be for the benefit of everyone.

      1. Kariolis: We have a women in physics group at the Cavendish and there was a lot of debate about the events and funding – the outcome was that events can be aimed at women but everyone has to be welcome.

      2. LB: Most events that are funded by public money have to be targeted, rather than exclusive.

      3. Elsa: Last year, we sat down and talked about trying to catch groups that aren’t active in the MCR at the moment.Lots of people don’t feel comfortable in some of the environments that we often use for our events – for example parties or events in the bar with alcohol. We have a huge asian group in the MCR that we wanted to try and get involved (with a TARGETED event) – those targeted events should be for non-active minorities. This is why I disagreed with the BBQ, because it seemed like it was targeted at the outgoing group who already find it easy to socialise.

      4. SA: Extremely rare across the university to have EXCLUSIVE events, they are almost always targeted or to raise awareness. There’s no need for these kind of events.

      5. AB: If you hold an all male BBQ, and papers found out about it, it would bring the college into disrepute. It would make us into cannon fodder.

      6. Steve: The goal of the MCR is to bring everyone together. Having exclusive events is a good way to tear us apart, and is clearly dividing everyone in the room.

      7. Vivek: I want Fabian to clarify? Was it exclusive or target?

      8. Fabian: It was fairly clear, it was an event for men.

      9. Vivek: I agree with the idea of targeting minority groups, is targeting majority groups not ok?

      10. Fabian: The feeling of the room sees to be that the only majority is men…

      11. Vivek: If not exclusive, but targeted and open to everyone then is that ok?

      12. Fabian: Obviously I have apologised about the wording of the email, and if that made it seem exclusive. Argument in favour of the exclusive event is that quiet people can come to then, or for people who feel uncomfortable around other groups. I am saying that exclusive events are required for people to feel comfortable. Apparently we are only dealing in minorities, not majorities.

      13. Vivek: Why was this event publicised the way it was?

      14. Fabian: Maybe people find men only events more attractive..

    5. Luana: I want to raise the questions of how often does it happen that men come to targeted events? In my experience, not so often, almost never. We are arguing about problems that rarely occur. We are trying to decide if the MCR should support exclusive or targeted events. I think some of these issue can be addressed on a one by one basis.

      1. Bowen: As the treasurer, at least with money we received from college, it is meant for everyone. I don’t feel comfortable allocating money for exclusive events. At the same time, if it is only a targeted event especially if it wants a lot of money, I’m not comfortable with that either.

      2. AB: How do we prevent this from dividing the MCR even if we only have targeted events?

      3. Anwar: I agree with Fabian and Elsa, but I think gender exclusive events are a must. We don’t want all the welfare events to be gender exclusive, if we have a policy of having only one every two terms that might be acceptable.

      4. Sam: Traditionally welfare events are organised in tandem between officers and are open to everyone

      5. Rachel: Exclusive events should be none funded by the MCR. Targeted events should have some funds, but not large expenses.

      6. KC: I’m hearing that everyone’s is ok for targeted events, and the exclusive events have to be non-MCR funded. As a representative, if I’m sending an email and I’m organising an event I think we are smart enough to target people and for people to turn down what they don’t want to do.

  6. It is called that the debate end, and that we have a vote. It is stated that a for vote is voting for the MCR to allow/support exclusive events happening, but not to provide funding. An against vote is for no MCR support for these kind of events. It is suggested by Fabian that the welfare team would be looking to host 3 gender exclusive events per year, one per welfare officer, with no funding required from the MCR Treasurer.:

    1. For: 8

    2. Against: 11

    3. Abstain: 9

    4. The againsts have it – no further gender exclusive events will be endorsed by the MCR committee.

Discussion/Vote on the proposal for a bar sign – proposal attached

The proposal under discussion can be found here.

  1. Fabian: The idea is to create a formal mascot for the vicious penguin, and the  proposal is for a pub style wooden hanging sign. Illuminated with spot lights – idea is to put a stamp on it, and make the MCR more “homely”. Design with be engraved and then hung from the ceiling. The pricing is estimate for the sign itself – this sign will cost £200. Wrought iron chains for hanging much more likely to be approved by college, penguin design £25. Spotlight £30. Total is between £300 – £400.
  2. Steve has questions: Do we have approval from college? Secondly, what was wrong with cardboard sign? If we don’t have a sign will people be able to find the bar?

    1. FM: Only concern was sticking the sign (interrupted)

    2. CT: Shelley and the Bursar ok with the sign as long as it can be removed in its entirety.

  3. Charlie: Would it be prefered to be split between MCR account and bar account?

    1. Lucy: We’ve just had a discussion about gender exclusive event and money, if the bar isn’t inclusive for everyone, it might be a problem for them that some money is spent from the MCR account.

    2. Giorgio: It’s an improvement to the MCR area, so I think it should come from the equipment account.

  4. AB: With the sign ideas you have, would it be possible to do it on cardboard?

    1. FM: The idea will be to have it a bit bigger – around 18” -x 12” than we could do in cardboard.

    2. Janosz – There should be a cheaper middle ground!

    3. FM: There are cheaper wooden options, my idea behind going for the more expensive sign, is having a more permanent part of the MCR, with more prestige.

    4. CT: I’m not sure its £400 better than cardboard.

    5. SA: I find it extremely unlikely that it’ll be here for 30-40 years. Committees of the future will change it.

    6. DB: I find it unlikely that it’ll be removed in a short time period.

  5. FM: Even if we vote for a yes, and the college says no, we will modify it as necessary.

  6. CT: We are going to vote on THIS EXACT PROPOSAL

  7. Giorgio: Can I just say something as former bar treasurer. It makes the bar more iconic and valuable, that’s my argument. It’s worthwhile doing it once and doing it properly.

  8. Clara: We are now going to vote on this proposal for the wooden sign:

    1. For: 10
    2. Against: 12
    3. Abstain: 6
  9. Do we want a sign with a different design?
    1. Fabian: The options I’m going to send are sheet metal which are cheaper.

    2. Vivek: My issue is with the spotlight which are totally unnecessary.

    3. Fabian: I specified they were diffuse.

    4. Clara: 2 step process, sign first then if we think spotlights are necessary, then we can get them

  10. Clara: Do we want a sign:

    1. For: 24

    2. Against: 0

    3. Abstain: 0

  11. Fabian: Can we agree on a amount of money that I am allowed to spend without reconsulting?

  12. Who thinks £200 is too much:

    1. For:4

    2. Against: 19

    3. Abstain: 4

  13. It was agreed Fabian couldn’t fund the sign himself.

  14. He drew some designs – the three designs were circulated named A D and F

    1. A with sword: 12

    2. D: 10

    3. F: 2

    4. Abstain: 1

  15. Fabian: This would be “the vicious penguin” it would be embroidered on the tshirt etc etc

  16. Clara thanks Fabian for his work on the signs.

Vote on Charities for the MCR to support

Megan read out the descriptions of charities that were circulated prior to the meeting. Voting was preference voting.

  1. Alzheimer’s Society 07
  2. Himalayan Cataract Project – 5

  3. MAP: Medical Aid for Palestine – 1

  4. The Wikimedia Foundation – 5

  5. Medecins San Frontieres -13

  6. Shelter – 6

  7. Student of Cambridge Scholarship – 9

MSF wins, and will be supported by a charity event in the future.

 

 

Any Other Business

None.