Minutes of Churchill College MCR TGM – Lent 2017

Date: 18th January 2017
Location: Sandy Ashmore Room



  1. Present: KC, Sam, Megan, Rachel, Max, Emma, Janosz, Tiago, Charlie, Kaspars, Clara, Holly, Liam, Malavika, Flaviu, Jack, Diana, Matthew, Tom, Clara
  2. Apologies: Meng, Bowen, Tamas, Bang, Jocelino


Confirmation of minutes – Michaelmas 2016 TGM

  1. The minutes from the Michaelmas 2016 TGM were confirmed.


Matters arising from the minutes

  1. None


Questions to the Committee

Committee Reports


There is a new bursar starting next month. Planning permission has been granted for new graduate accommodation at 36 Storey’s Way – building to commence maybe at the end of the year if funds can be raised. New coffee donut (dolce gusto coffee machine) is in the MCR TV room- the committee requests a contribution of 20p per pod used (so, if your drink requires a coffee pod and a milk pod, that’s 40 pence)

Treasurer – BD


Secretary – MM

Nothing to report

Academic – JD & JH

The officers have started planning the conference on everything, and requested that abstracts for talks & posters were submitted soon (deadline February 17th). The talks are 8 minutes long, and should be suitable for an academic audience that does not specialise in your field. The conference occurs on the same day as Advanced Students dinner (29th April), so the prizes for speaking and poster presentation are awarded at the dinner. ChuTalks organised for this term by Jack.

Bar Secretary – MV

People who are bar trained are asked to consider signing up for this term’s bar rota. We currently have 8 people signed up which is only enough to guarantee the bar being open for 3 days.

Tastings are still be organised, with at least one definitely happening (whisk(e)y). There is also going to be a cocktail night in pink week.

Bar Treasurer – CR

There is around 2.5k in the bar accounts. There will be a budget of £400 for the upcoming whisk(e)y tasting, which is what the budget is usually set at for that event. Charlie is hoping to order t-shirts for those that bar tend, and get into the habit of taking those who have bar-tended in the previous term out for dinner as a thank you, using the funds. It was pointed out that this might dis-incentivise returning bar tenders, which were preferred. The bar vouchers for those that helped at guest night have been printed, and will be distributed soon.

Charlie & Fabian want to add some more shelves to the space behind the bar, which are to be measured up. The bar also needs a new small fridge, as the fridge that lager used to be stored in is not working. The dishwasher also potentially needs replacing, as it seems to be getting more unreliable.

Computing – SA

Sam has set up  new server, which is much faster than the old one. He also encourages people to use the TV booking system, to guarantee that they can use it for events they have planned. If you would like the MCR at large to come along to whatever you are using the TV for, please make sure to add the event to the MCR social calendar, which anyone can submit events to.

Environmental – TA & KK

Tiago & Kaspars have been meeting with the Green Impact Team & green officers from other Meeting with Green Impact Team & Green officers from other colleges.

Equipment – LB

Coffee machine:

  1. Cleaning: the machine needs cleaning regularly, and sometimes there might be some used mugs as well.
  2. Money: we need to regularly collect the money in the tin, as it seems that the money (about 10 pounds) has been taken by someone during the new year holiday. Meng asks whether this has happened in the past when we were using the old coffee machine.
    1. What about a padlocked box?
    2. Flaviu suggests that we should set up a webcam or something in the TV Room – what about asking college if they can help us with this?
    3. Meng thinks it is better to let bartenders to do cleaning and collect money, as they come to the MCR room everyday, and they can put the used mugs into the washing machine. Any other suggestion?


  1. Meng has found one lost gown, which was on the top of the sports cupboard.
  2. Meng has bought another two gowns, currently we have four gowns. Do we need more gowns? – the consensus was probably not.
  3. JCR agreed to share the gown cupboard next to the Porter’s Lodge. There are about 15 JCR gowns in the cupboard now.
  4. Meng has not put the MCR gowns into the cupboard yet. Do we need to tell our MCR students that we should only checkout MCR gowns, or we can checkout JCR gowns if there is no MCR gown? I think some people who borrow a gown will not check this gown is a JCR or MCR gown.
    1. Have the JCR actually agreed to let us borrow their gowns? Or just to share the cupboard space?

Inventory list

  1. Most valuable stuff is still accounted for.  
  2. We lost about 10 movie DVDs, compared to the previous inventory list.
  3. Meng thinks there is some stuff which we will never use. Do we want to give them to other people?
    1. We have 3 spared dvd players not being used (Shall we give one dvd player to JCR?)
    2. A pillow
    3. Some cloths, which might be left by the students from previous years.
  4. If you use the microwave oven, please clean up after yourself!
  5. There is some stuff including plastic bags and glasses spread in the MCR room, which are used in the previous MCR activities, and it is better to put them into the MCR committee cupboards.
  6. Playstation 4 Games. Meng asked whether we want to buy some games every term?
    1. The games we buy should be cheap (less than 10 or 20 pounds)
    2. Not latest games as they are too expensive.
    3. One games or two per term? One relaxing game, and one competitive game?
    4. Who has the control of the PS4 account?

Piano. Meng has asked a piano tuner to tune the piano. Some parts need further restoration. It should be perfectly fixed before February.

Things that we want to get rid of – why not put them on the MCR market place?

External Social Secretary – KC

  1. Nothing to report

Internal Social Secretary – RS

Guest night went well – the committee thanks Rachel for her hand work over the past two years.

Family’s Officer – FB

Flaviu ran a refreshers session for families on Saturday.

LGBT+ Officer – TK


First Year Rep – LG

Liam has organised a Superbowl party to happen on the 5th February (Sunday night, 11pm start).


Welfare Officers – FM, AJ,

None present


Matters for Discussion

Amendments to the Rules & Procedures

  1. Whereas, there is currently no MCR member looking after the student-run MCR gardens (behind 70 Storey’s Way and the Greenhouse) and notes that gardening, promoting sustainability, and reducing the carbon emissions from transport and refrigerated food storage are very much in line with the role of the Environment Officer; and it is therefore resolved that the Churchill College Middle Common Room (supports/is against) the following be amended to section 209: Environment Officer.  
    Section 209: Environment OfficerThe Environment Officer shall be responsible for promoting environmental issues within the MCR, and looking after the MCR gardens behind 70 Storey’s Way and the Greenhouse, and running the College recycling scheme along with the Environment Officer in the Junior Common Room. She/he shall liaise with the CUSU Environment Officer.
    Vote to ratify amendment to the rules & procedures:For: 16Against:0Abstention:1

    Passes the majority threshold – the amendment passes and the rules and procedures will be changed accordingly

  2. Whereas, there is currently no member of the committee designated to organise the Summer BBQ at the end of Easter Term and given the light workload of the First Year Representative; it is therefore resolved that the Churchill College Middle Common Room (supports/is against) the following be amended to section 213: First Year Representative.  
    Section 213: First Year RepresentativeThe First Year Representative shall represent the views of those in their first year of membership of the MCR.  She/he shall also organise the Christmas party at the end of the Michaelmas Term and the Summer BBQ at the end of Easter Term.
    Vote on to ratify amendment to the rules & proceduresFor: 18Against:0Abstain:1

    Passes the majority threshold – the amendment passes and the rules and procedures will be changed accordingly


Hustings/Welcoming New Committee Members

The following people are welcomed as new committee members:

  1. Internal Social Secretary – Eugenie de Silva
  2. Women’s Welfare Officer – Malavika Nair
  3. Men’s Welfare Officer 0 Bang Ming Yong
  4. Families Representative – Flaviu Bulat
  5. Bar Treasurers – Charlie Readman & Fabian Micallef

Hustings for President

Sam Ainsworth Initial Speech: 

I’ve been here forever – 5.5 years in total. I’ve spent 3.5 of the years on JCR/MCR committees & 5 years on the music committee. I’ve been on the ICT committee as well, which means I have talked to lots of the higher ups in college, which can help with trying to get things done – for example dealing with accommodation, which we don’t have enough of. That badly affects the dynamic of our MCR – we lose a lot of people from the MCR who live out and don’t interact with people. Stuff I have already done: Social calendar, anonymous contact form, parenting scheme, TV booking system, accommodation allocation system. Stuff I would like to do – deal with the problem of our social calendar being organised around the bar, and have new events to combat this. The rules & procs are upsettingly out of date, so they need amending, to take account of the existence of social media.

Max Veit Initial Speech:

I’m running for the position of MCR president because I’ve been a member of this wonderful, strong and supportive community for about two and a half years now, and I’m excited for the opportunity to represent your interests and get more involved in all the work that keeps things running so smoothly. I’ve had some experience in leadership roles before, including leading groups of students programming robots in high school and undergrad. I’ve learned just as much, though,from being part of the committee as bar secretary for the past one and a half years,helping to organize events, recruiting bartenders, and generally keeping everyone in line with the rules. My main goal as president would be to get more people involved in the MCR and bring together groups of people from different backgrounds and interests, especially those who might not otherwise interact. I’ll be working with the welfare officers on this goal, but I’m considering promoting inclusive events (including more family-friendly, but not necessarily family-targeted, ones) to bring together people with a common interest (such as board games, movies, books, or outdoor activities). Such events would give members more chances to socialize within the smaller community of the College and the MCR. I also want to make it easier for MCR members to propose such events and publicize them to everyone who might be interested, not just those who regularly check the MCR Facebook page. Another responsibility of the president is to help resolve conflicts that arise as to how the MCR should be run. I’m prepared to listen to all the perspectives involved and be as fair to each as I can. If such conflicts arise in TGMs or EGMs, I would continue our policy of ensuring that everyone has a fair say by limiting individuals’ speaking time. And of course, I would always be open to individual suggestions of how to improve the way the MCR is run and to concerns that a part of the MCR is not being represented fairly. Finally, I’m aware of the time and effort that goes into this position. I believe I’ll be able to manage the responsibilities alongside my PhD work, which is fairly flexible, and a few other commitments with sports and societies. I love this community and the people who make it happen; I’m prepared to put in the time and effort to keep making it better, because I love this community and the people who make it.

Questions to the candidates:

Clara: Do you have experience of bringing people around to your point of view? This would be a good skill to have when interacting with the new bursar. Do you think you would be good to build bridges with this new bursar?

  1. Max: Main experience with dealing with higher ups is with being bar secretary – haven’t seen that many conflicts arise. Usually they ask for reasonable changes, and being nice gets you a long way.
  2. Sam: I have to spend most of my life convincing people that I am correct and they are not. I had a poster at the ARM conference – this guy came up to me and started ranting about my idea being bad, but I managed to bring him round to my way of thinking. You have to do this a lot in research, and I think it’s similar to dealing with the higher ups in college- reminding them what the MCR perspective on these issues are often goes a long way.

Liam: If you were a type of Candy what would you be?

  1. Max: Something that’s tough on the outside but soft on the inside.
  2. Sam: I would be a malteser, because I’m a malty ball and also a massive tease.

Holly: You both mentioned a few things in your manifestos, is there anything that is going to be your main focus, at least when you start?

  1. Sam: Most of the events for this term are already planned – we will want to make changes at the end of this term and the beginning of next term. I want to plan the changes to the rules & procedures, and also helping the new committee get to grips with what they should be doing and what they might want to do.
  2. Max: There are the immediate priorities of getting to know the committee etc. but my focus would be on trying to integrate the parts of the MCR. There are things that we can do other than planning events – we need to get the MCR much more involved in the social life here.

KC: If one of the committee members “burns out” how would you deal with that? If they just aren’t showing up etc?

  1. Max: First I would see how the missing responsibilities could be divided up among the remaining committee members, and try to find a replacement, and calling a TGM/EGM to do that if necessary. This would be after contacting the committee member and checking that they are OK.
  2. Sam: I would expect that this will happen over the year – I think it can be helped by trying to keep some tabs on people. Sometimes they can’t be replaced at a TGM because it needs a whole ballot of the MCR, so I think there would need to be a reallocation of responsibilities.

Malavika: Following on from that questions, why do you expect that you won’t burn out as president? How would you catch that? Or prevent it?

  1. Sam: I have a pretty good idea of what the president role entails, so I think I can come, but other than that I think it would be important to learn to delegate. There are a number of ways to be president, you can be hands on or hands off and it’s a matter of getting the balance right.
  2. Max: If commitments creep up on my free time, it’s usually by PhD that suffers, but if I were aware that the presidency were to suffer you can informally delegate responsibilities to free up a bit of time. Ask for help from friends, committee members etc is the way forward.

Hustings for General Secretary

Megan McGregor Initial Speech:

Megan is already general secretary and is running again because she thinks she can do it better this coming year, work better and has time set out already for the role.  She looks forward to supporting to the new president, as long as RON doesn’t win.

Questions to the candidate:

Malavika: On the communication – there is the weekly bulletin, but members of the committee also send out individual emails. How do you see this progressing?

  1. Megan: This is a side effect of there being two mailing lists – discussion (not moderated) vs announce (moderated) – I might combine them to form a single mailing list that is moderated by a number of committee members. Discussion mailing list is basically being replaced by facebook group

Max: no moderation of fb group, would we use the mailing list to make sure that everyone will receive all the important information

  1. Megan: calendar is moderated, and I would not want to get rid of the mailing list entirely, as a number of the MCRs members who we want to be more inclusive for may only see the mailing list.

Hustings for Treasurer

Emma Glennon initial speech:

Emma is a first year PhD student – Emma has been treasurer of a big social club in her undergrad, with a budget of over 100k, so she is used to managing a number of different priorities with a lot of money

Questions to the candidate:

Holly: What society has a 100k in its budget?

  1. Emma: That would take a long time to explain – we have these things called eating clubs

Megan: CCRFC – in the past, the MCR and JCR would apply the same amount, but last year, the JCR asked for more funds. What would be your position on negotiating going forward?

  1. Emma: I think I would need to talk to Bowen about that – if it was a one time thing, that’s different to if they are wanting to continue on with that, we would need to talk.

Charlie: The college reduces our funds if we don’t spend – how would you want to spend the money?

  1. Emma: I’ve never found it difficult to spend money!

Malavika: What is the view on spending money on shared resources, between the MCR & JCR?

  1. Emma: If there are thing that are shared, it makes sense to pool resources.

Hustings for External Social Secretary

Matthew Leming Initial Speech:

I’m currently a first year PhD student in the psychiatry department. I graduated last year with a degree in Computer Science, and I was president of the CompSci society for (3 years). I set up a hackathon, and was responsible for liaising with large companies such as Google, Microsoft, Square etc. We organised a number of thing –  tutoring programme, hackerspace, women only coding events. I’ve found the Churchill community to be like the computer science department of Cambridge university – a niche where we can hang out and have nerdy conversations. I’d continue the termly tradition of formal swaps, 2 or 3 times a term, and maybe survey the members to see which colleges they want to go to. There are a lot of international students here who haven’t seen much outside of Cambridge or London. There are lots of exciting places – I think for example Canterbury, which is extremely historic but also voted to leave the EU, which would be good for bursting our liberal bubble. I’d also like to organise smallish groups to go abroad – international students want to visit other parts of Europe. I’d like to set up forums where they can express interest and then I would research the flights, hostels, structure etc. and they could purchase themselves. I’d like to reach out and find out what people want to do – thanks for listening!

Diana Popescu Initial Speech:

I’m a third year PhD student in computer science – I’ve been here for a while now. I’ve decided to apply for external social sec since I have enjoyed going to formal swaps in the past few years. I would like to contribute to the community by organising these events. I would like to find out what other interests the MCR has in terms of events, possible trips, smaller events with other college, things that aren’t necessarily formals.

In terms of previous experience, I was involved with the computing labs society that gets women involved in computing (Women @ CL) – I served as a postgrad rep in the forum at the CL, and organised the oxford & Cmbridge computing conference.

Joceline Rodrigues & Tom Winder Initial Speech:

Joce sadly can’t be here – he has a work commitment. Tom is here – he did his undergrad degree here, and is in the first year of his PhD. He was President of a committee in school, Joce was president and vice-president of two societies in his undergrad. I see the core of this role being organising formal swaps – I’ve actually done a bad job of visiting other colleges so far, mainly because the JCR doesn’t have this system. We’ve also thought of some other events we could organise to help people come together – for example, trips like cultural trips, or days out like going to theme parks. We’ve thought about how we could link with some of the clubs and societies in Cambridge – to make sure that people know that they exist and can take advantage of them. We want to help people go to social events at other colleges, for example bops at other colleges. We discussed people organising bigger trips, but we see that as more of a need to introduce people so they can work together to organise it themselves. I’ve really enjoyed being part of the MCR community this year, and want to help people enjoy their time.


Questions to Candidates:

Malavika: FYI for international travel, people with rubbish passports like mine, we need three months to apply for a visa – how would you take that into account with organising or helping to organise bigger trips?

  1. Tom: As I said, we just want to provide a space for people to talk about it, rather than do the organising, so that you can take responsibility for that
  2. Matthew: There are a lot of factors that you have to take into account when organising international trips, so 3 months is a reasonable margin. My idea of a model is to have people submit their name and where they are interested in going, and then have me do the research. I would want to encourage people to go all together to somewhere that can be easier to get to, if you have a more difficult passport situation.
  3. Diana: You need to plan a trip abroad well in advance if you are wanting to get a lot of people involved. Gathering a set of constraints for people who are interested would be important.

Rachel: How do you intend to allocate formal swap tickets fairly? This was a big problem last time – there can be 10-15 places and up to 50 applicants

  1. Diana: I guess first come first serve is kind of fair, but it would be more fair if for the next swap we worked down a list of people that were left out (of that first application) to come along.
  2. Tom: Some kind of priority system, that takes into account who has signed up before and not made the cut, probably on a termly rolling basis. Obviously it would depend on the numbers that apply, but if it was 50 vs. 15, then the 35 would have priority on the next one. But we would have to divide those 35 either by FCFS or by having a deadline or doing it randomly. I would tend toward the second one to try and get around people who have commitments.
  3. Matthew: I would echo the sentiment of looking at the record of those who have applied in the past. I might try to implement a system that ask which colleges people have been to before, so for example applicants that have not been before would get priority – this obviously works a bit on trust, but that’s one suggestion. It would probably be a lottery vs FCFS.

KC: Just FYI we already have a list – so we will need to go through that list first.

Sam: Say you are tasked with convincing someone at a big old college (e.g Trinity John’s), that they really want to come on a swap with us?

  1. Matthew: First I would try to find out where they have been in the past – if they have never been here before then that can certainly work into our favour. I would look into the MCR, and see if I can get an introduction, so that’s it more personal than basically “cold-calling”. If someone really didn’t want to swap with us I would just go elsewhere!
  2. Tom: Similar sort of ideas – if you are having difficulty with a first contact, go through either friends of friends, or promote how good Guest Night is for them to come.
  3. Diana: I would promote Guest Night to them!

Rachel (comment): Guest Night is the biggest reason people want to come, so if you do get it , pitch that.

Janosz: All these trips sounds really cool, but do you have any idea for cheap events?

  1. Tom: A couple of things I mentioned that are free, advertising and getting people to go to bops at other college, and working out to help organise people to go to other society events. Perhaps doing more of the kind of thing that happened in fresher’s week, for example joint board games night
  2. Diana: When I mentioned other events, I was thinking mostly of events with other MCRs – meeting up with other MCRs for board games, in bars etc.
  3. Matt: I did hear you all say earlier that you need to spend more money… I would try to allocate budget cleverly for outside Cambridge trips, just a matter of doing my homework. I would organise events outside of Churchill, but still in Cambridge, that would be community building and not cost heavy. Again, we do have money to spend so we could subsidise.

Max (comment): There are also dirt cheap options if you go via coach travel – it can be fun suffering as a group.

Rachel : Currently the only subsidised part of this role is the officer’s ticket to swaps.

Clara: Realistically how many formals will you aim to organise per term? KC: Bear in mind that you have to host them, and organise them, and it’s your time commitment.

  1. Diana: Probably, between 2 and 3 per term. No actually two with two and at most one with 3
  2. Matt: It would be similar 2-3 a term. I’m a sucker for formals, so I don’t see going being a problem. It obviously depends on how responsive people are
  3. Tom: min 3 per term – this is an advantage with two of us in the role, we can split the work if one of us is busy


Any Other Business

Elections start at 2pm tomorrow (18th January) and are open for 48 hours.

The president thanked the outgoing committee (and the committee thanks Clara) for their hard work!