Minutes of Churchill College MCR TGM – Michaelmas 2017

Date: 24th October 2017
Location: Sandy Ashmore Room

Confirmation of minutes – Easter 2017 minutes

  1. The minutes from the Easter 2017 TGM were confirmed.

Matters arising from the minutes

Ratification of amendment to the Rules & Procedures.

The following motions passed the 66% threshold required initially for changes to the Rules & Procedures at the Easter 2017 TGM when they were first proposed. In order to be adopted into the Rules & Procedures, a majority in favour was required at this second reading.

  • Whereas the MCR software systems, such as parenting and the rooms ballot, have previously been controlled and maintained by the computing officer, this is currently not represented in the rules and procedures. It is therefore resolved that the Churchill College Middle Common Room (supports/is against) the following be amended to section 208:
    208: Computer OfficerThe Computing Officer will have the following duties:(a) She/he shall maintain the MCR mailing lists.
    (b) She/he shall maintain the MCR web pages.
    (c) She/he shall run the MCR website.
    (d) She/he shall administer MCR software systems, for example the parenting scheme and the rooms ballot.Vote: For (14), Against (0), Abstain (3).

    The motion passes the second reading, and the rules and procedures will be amended accordingly.

  • Whereas the current welfare team tend to organise events for all members, the current rules and procedures state that men’s and women’s welfare are responsible for only their respective gendered members.  It is therefore resolved that the Churchill College Middle Common Room (supports/is against) the following be amended to section 215 and 216:215: Men’s Welfare Officer
    The role of Men’s Welfare Officer must be filled by a man and will have the following duties:(a) He shall be responsible for promoting the welfare of male MCR Members.
    (b) He shall promote and represent the views of male Members.
    (c) He in partnership with the Women’s Welfare Officer and Computing Officer shall organise the parenting scheme for new Members of the MCR.
    (d) He in partnership with the Women’s Welfare Officer shall organise the language mentoring scheme.216: Women’s Welfare Officer

    The role of Women’s Welfare Officer must be filled by a woman and will have the following duties:

    (a) She shall be responsible for promoting the welfare of women MCR Members.
    (b) She shall promote and represent the views of female Members.
    (c) She in partnership with the Men’s Welfare Officer and Computing Officer shall organise the parenting scheme for new Members of the MCR.
    (d) She in partnership with the Men’s Welfare Officer shall organise the language mentoring scheme.

    Vote: For (17), Against (0), Abstain (1).

    The motion passes the second reading, and the rules and procedures will be amended accordingly.

  • Whereas the parenting system is administered by the computing officer, and allocated by the welfare officers, the current welfare section makes no mention of the former. It is therefore resolved that the Churchill College Middle Common Room (supports/is against) the following be amended to section 215 and 216:215: Men’s Welfare Officer
    The role of Men’s Welfare Officer must be filled by a man and will have the following duties:(a) He shall be responsible for promoting the welfare of MCR Members.(b) He shall promote and represent the views of male Members.

    (c) He in partnership with the Women’s Welfare Officer and Computing Officer shall organise the parenting scheme for new Members of the MCR.

    (d) He in partnership with the Women’s Welfare Officer shall organise the language mentoring scheme.

    216: Women’s Welfare Officer

    The role of Women’s Welfare Officer must be filled by a woman and will have the following duties:

    (a) She shall be responsible for promoting the welfare of MCR Members.

    (b) She shall promote and represent the views of female Members.

    (c) She in partnership with the Men’s Welfare Officer and Computing Officer shall organise the parenting scheme for new Members of the MCR.

    (d) She in partnership with the Men’s Welfare Officer shall organise the language mentoring scheme.

    Vote: For (17), Against (0), Abstain (1)

    The motion passes the second reading, and the rules and procedures will be amended accordingly.

  • Whereas the current rules and procedures prevent the chair from bringing motions to TGMs and EGMs, this is counterproductive and introduces another layer of indirection, and is contrary to common practice. It is therefore resolved that the Churchill College Middle Common Room (supports/is against) the following be amended to 301: The Chair301: The Chair
    The Chair shall preside over all TGMs and EGMs (hereinafter referred to as “Meetings”). She/he shall have the following powers and limitations:(a) She/he may advise that a motion be put, but she/he may not propose the motion.

    (b) She/he may cast a vote only when there is a tie.

    (c) She/he shall rule on all questions of a procedural nature and her/his decision may only be overruled by a two-thirds majority vote.

    1.    Such a motion requires a seconder.

    (d) She/he shall leave the Chair if either she/he, or a two-thirds majority of those Members present feel that she/he is not acting impartially. The Meeting shall appoint someone to take over the chair from amongst the Full Members present.

    (e) She/he shall call the votes in the following order
          Those in favour.
          Those against.
          Those abstaining.

    Vote: For (13), Against (0), Abstain (7)

    The motion passes the second reading, and the rules and procedures will be amended accordingly.

  • Whereas the current rules only refer to first year advanced students, the MCR also has students in their first year of MCR membership via the undergraduate route. It is therefore resolved that the Churchill College Middle Common Room (supports/is against) the following be amended to 402: Voting rights.402: Voting Rights for Certain Positions
    (a) Only male Full Members shall be eligible to vote for the position of Men’s Welfare Officer.
    (b) Only female Full Members shall be eligible to vote for the position of Women’s Welfare Officer.
    (c) Only Full Members in their first year of postgraduate study MCR membership at  Churchill College shall be eligible to vote for the position of First Year Representative.Vote: For (17), Against (0), Abstain (0)

    The motion passes the second reading, and the rules and procedures will be amended accordingly.

  • While the rules and procedures were invented before the advent of social media, time is tick tocking away and new methods of potential campaigning for elections are possible and likely unpleasant. It is therefore resolved that the Churchill College Middle Common Room (supports/is against) the following be amended to 406: Publicity for Elections.406: Publicity for Elections
    (a) Candidates may:
    Request that Send one copy of their manifesto be sent to the MCR mailing list.
    Post one printed version (on A4 paper) of the manifesto on the MCR noticeboard.Request that a copy of the manifesto be present next to the ballot box, when a written ballot is being conducted.
  • (b) Candidates may not:Send any additional emails the MCR mailing lists
    Put any additional posters on the MCR noticeboard.
    Put up posters in the room in which hustings are to be held prior to hustings.
    Advertise on social media.Vote: For (15), Against (0), Abstain (2)The motion passes the second reading, and the rules and procedures will be amended accordingly.

Questions to the Committee

Committee Reports

President:

The effort to clear to MCR spaces of clutter is ongoing, so the President reminded MCR members to refrain from leaving personal items in the communal spaces; anything that is left is at risk of being thrown away during housekeeping’s weekly clear out.

Treasurer:

Nothing to report

Secretary:

The secretary reminded the committee to please check which college meetings they are meant to be attending. Once new committee members have been finalised, the secretary will organise MCR committee meetings.

Academic:

The academic officers reminded people that ChuTalks would be happening again this term, and encouraged people to attend.

Bar Secretary:

Max has been acting as bar secretary alongside his LGBT+ welfare duties, and for this the MCR committee is eternally grateful. There are more sign-ups for bar tending this year than we’ve achieved in any years within recent memory. The bar will be open 6 days a week; Tuesday-Saturday, and then Monday OR Sunday depending on the choice of the bar tenders.

Bar Treasurer:

Charlie reminded everyone present that the financial health of the bar is heavily dependent on Guest Night sales, so the best way for you to support our MCR bar is to bring your friends to our next Guest Night on 2nd December. There have been a few big expenses recently, but the accounts are still looking acceptable.

Computing:

Computing has helped out with the MCR parenting scheme and the freshers mailing list.

Environmental:

The Green formal organised by the Environment officers was a success – over 100 people attended, and representative from a number of environmentally focused organisations were present.

Equipment:

Meng has requested a new cupboard for sports equipment and housekeeping are going to provide a rug for the games room – to help with reducing controller damage (if they get dropped on the floor!)

External Social Secretary:

Swaps are sorted for this year: 4 organised in both Michaelmas and Lent and 2 in Easter

Internal Social Secretary:

Nothing to report.

Family’s Officer:

Nothing to report

LGBT+ Officer:

The LGBT+ welcome event was attended; Max is hoping to keep running community-building events semi-regularly. Planning has already started for LGBT history month (February 2018), so if you have any suggestions for speakers/sources of funding please let him know!

First Year Rep:

Nothing to report.

 

Welfare Officers:

Fresher’s week was a resounding success – the committee thanked the welfare team for all their hard work! Malavika pointed out she *still* has t-shirts so please pick them up!

 

Matters for Discussion

Welcoming Committee Members for uncontested positions

The new committee members are as follows:

  • Computing officer – Matt Leming
  • Bar Secretary – Tom O’Brien
  • Equipment Officer – Benjamin Bai
  • Academic Officer – Savvas Gkantonas
  • Environment Officer – Kaspars Karlsons & Tiago Azevedo

Hustings for Contested Positions

The below hustings were held at the meeting for the position of first year representative. However, upon conclusion of the meeting Havell & Alice decided they were happy to hold the position jointly. This is permitted by the R&Ps, and therefore no election was held.

Initial Speeches:

  1. Havell: I am a first year PhD students who wants to prioritise all the need of first year students. We are a very diverse group of students, so I want to celebrate our differences and build upon everything we have in common.
  2. Alice: I am a fourth year student studying Chinese studies. I have been here for three years already, so I know how the college runs, and I have an understanding of the organisational requirements needed for being on a student committee, having observed what it’s like to be on the JCR committee.

Questions to the candidates:

  1. Max: FYR’s responsibility has been fairly limited in the past, so how would you ownership of the role and make it more representative of the first years?
    1. Alice: I would organise more events that are first year specific. The Christmas party is a nice idea, but open for everyone, so it would be good to have something a bit more exclusive.
    2. Havell: I would want to focus on organising different events for those that aren’t necessarily comfortable with events revolving around the bar.
  2. Matt: What do you think is the biggest challenge facing Churchill MCR first years?
    1. Havell: For me, moving to a new country and being in a completely new environment was very challenging and I think that is part of the challenge of being a new student.
    2. Alice: I think the biggest challenge is that the student population is so big – both undergraduate and postgraduate, so it’s actually difficult to know who your fellow first years are (so it links back to the need to have more first year only MCR events).

Proposal to amend the Rules & Procedures

Whereas, the term “green” is more universally applicable when one is referring to the environment/green officer, and it fundamentally carries the same responsibilities as the term “environment”, i.e., environment, ethics, and sustainable living. In addition, most other environment-related groups in Cambridge use this term, including the JCR. Taking care of the student-run garden for one year (behind 70 Storey’s Way and the Greenhouse) made it more clear what responsibilities should exist. It is therefore resolved that the Churchill College Middle Common Room (supports/is against) the following to be amended in section 209: Environment Officer:

Section 209: Green Officer

The Green Officer shall be responsible for promoting environmental, ethical and sustainable issues within the MCR, looking after the Churchill Garden Society. She/he shall run the College recycling and food wasting collection scheme together with the Green Officer in the Junior Common Room. She/he shall liaise with the Green Officer in the Junior Common Room and the CUSU Environment Officer.

Essential duties of the Green Officer:

  1. Promote environmental, ethical and sustainable issues within the MCR.
  2. Manage the Churchill Garden Society and the student-run gardens behind 70 Storey’s Way by involving new (especially in Fresher’s Week) and existing members in gardening activities. Communications will be made via channels like the chu-veggie-growers mailing list and/or dedicated Facebook group page. Gardening activities must include meetings amongst the society members to discuss what to plant/sow in spring, watering rota for summer and planting-bed preparation for winter.
  3. Liaise with the College Head Gardener for every issue related with the Churchill Garden Society.
  4. Run the College recycling and food wasting collection scheme together with the Green Officer from the Junior Common Room.
  5. Liaise with the Green Officer from the Junior Common Room and the CUSU Environment Officer.

A vote was held on this proposal. The results were For (20), Against (0), Abstain (1). The motion passes the 66% threshold and so will return for reconsideration at the Lent TGM.

Any Other Business

There was no other business to discuss.