Minutes of the 1st JCR meeting of Easter’s Term
Sunday 7th May, 7pm Dining Hall
Apologies are to be submitted to Owen MacCuish, JCR Chair, at JCRapologies@gmail.com or to the Exec Mailbox by the Dining Hall before 12 noon on the day of the meeting.
- The minutes of the last meeting
These are available on the JCR Website.
- Matters Arising
There are no matters arising.
- JCR Announcements
by Sam Martin
You know what? Sports just keep on coming.
Sports days the 8th and 5th of June.
If interested in Golf be sure to email Sam.
By Jordan Blunsom
Triathlon is going to take place between the 8th and 10th of June
A daylong fundraising festival on the 9th of June at Durham City Rugby Court with a bunch of festivities.
Tickets will be released shortly for that, follow the event on Facebook for more information.
by Luke Wagner
Tickets for the Midsummer ball will be released on Monday the 8th and information about plus ones.
by Esther Scriven
Studying spaces around the college have opened in various places such as the Kenworthy hall because the reading room and the library were getting too crowded
Also, there is now a discount on soft drinks at the bar for the exam period
- Questions of Officers
No questions were submitted
These should be written down and put in the Exec Mailbox addressed to the JCR Chair by 6pm on the day before the meeting. Questions must be signed, although this does not mean your name will be read out in the meeting if you would like to remain anonymous.
- Motion to censure Mitie Group PLC (Appendix A)
Proposed by: Bethany Holden
Q: What is the next step if the motion is passed?
A: There is going to be a bidding process that for which company is going to take its position and those companies must disclose their policies.
Q: Does it have an adequate plan for the period until a new company takes over.
A: There will never be a period of downtime, the contract will not be terminated. When the biddings start, the company will be excluded from the agenda.
Motion has passed
- Motion to ratify St. Mary’s Reading Society (Appendix B)
Proposer didn’t show up, motion is postponed until next JCR meeting
- Motion to amend the Operational Standing Orders (Appendix C)
Proposed by: Luke Wagner
Motion has passed
- Motion to ratify Mary’s Desi Society (MADS) (Appendix D)
Proposed by: Vankshita Mishra
Motion has passed
- Motion to ratify St. Mary’s College Swimming Club (SMCSC) (Appendix E)
Proposed by: Amelia Hubbard
Motion has passed
- 6. Elections, Hustings and Interviews
- LGBT+ Representative
Proposed by: Lizzy Robertson
Seconded by: Henry Blythe
- Planning on being well connected with the next years’ Freshers through being boat club’s fresher captain.
- Living close to Mary’s.
- Kristie would like to explain the role of LGBT+ representative to Freshers on Facebook before the term starts, and post relevant content.
- Plans to get a group together to Osbourne’s on the first Monday of the term and continue this as much as possible.
- Organize more general events that include LGBT+ friends so.
- These would be combined with other years’ socials as well.
- Work closely with WAM.
Anna Gilliland and Ellie Haigh
Proposed by: Anu Damale
Seconded by: Martha Rowe
- Running this role together will provide larger representation and be more accessible.
- They are both in the University LGBT+ society.
- Ellie is social secretary of FemSoc.
- Anna, in her sixth form, was involved in their LGBT+ society.
- Their main idea is to set up and LGBT+ society as early on next year as possible.
- Work closely with WAM, LGBT+ themed week with WAM
- Organize confidential socials.
- Set up separate events that included allies.
Q: In terms of LGBT events, how can you maintain a safe space so that people can get evolved?
Kristie: Pretty much anyone can come along and that makes it confidential since not everybody will be LGBT+
Ellie and Anna: There are going to be LGBT+ only socials and socials combined with other societies so people can join whichever they want.
Q: How are you going to promote and advertise the events?
Ellie and Anna: By the society itself, the Facebook group and group chats, and in freshers’ week as well
Kristie: In events such as picnics and talking to the freshers and getting them involved
- Disabilities Representative
Proposed by: Jules Mangelaars
Seconded by: Greg Burr
- Would like to have a greater presence during Freshers’ Week and the weeks following to help freshers.
- Work closely with WAM to promote the welfare of disabilities students.
- Continue the work with disabilities drop-in.
- Increase the number of these drop-ins that occur throughout the year.
- Forge closer links with the University Students with Disabilities Association
Proposed by: Ellie Ng
Seconded by: Nuriya Shoro
She couldn’t attend the meeting so Nuriya Shoro someone else read her speech on her behalf
- Compile a detailed list of all help available from the disabilities services.
- Already spoken to an advisor about it and the disabilities services would be happy to help make the list.
- Would like to run welfare session for anyone with physical or mental disabilities at least twice a term.
- Try to improve some of the stigma around disabilities and help raise awareness through the Facebook page.
- Volunteered last summer at a nursery for children with a wide range f disabilities.
Proposed by: Henry Meech
Seconded by: Charlie McCord
- Recent personal experience liaising with Durham disability services
- Has a broad perspective on disability.
- She has interest in understanding people
- Presence during critical points of the year such as Freshers’ and Exams’ week.
- Organize campaigns addressing stigma, mental health issues and could culminate in film nights or friendly discussions.
- Have online forums and make a specific Facebook page.
- Make sure events are accessible to all.
Questions were submitted via email after the end of the meeting as Charlotte was not able to attend.
Q: I saw on the bogsheets that there’s a lot of talk about raising awareness of disabilities on (which is great), but what actions would/could you take to make Mary’s more accessible for those with physical disabilities? I see Mary’s as completely inaccessible to somebody in a wheelchair
A: Prudence Vary: To answer the question most of Mary’s is an older building which means that accessibility for those with a physical disability is difficult. College does already provide some accessible accommodation on the ground floor of Williamson and there is ramped access to parts of the ground floor of Ferguson via a ramp at the back of the building. This does mean however that many floors and services are off limits. Though ideally, I would like for all students to have access to all floors, adding lifts may not be financially feasible. I would like to improve ramped access in college, perhaps making the front entrance more accessible or improving basement entry so the laundry, shop and bar are accessible. I feel like consulting with physically disabled students, the university disability services and SwDA would enable college to recognise adjustments that could be made and also lower cost alternatives which could help make services like the library more accessible, such as allowing those with accessibility issues order books to their rooms.
Charlotte Sharpio: In the short term I would like to put signs up which show the routes to gain wheelchair access into college from both sides. I would also ensure that all of the steps and stairs around college have sufficient hand railings. In the long term I would like to work with the college to try and put in some more measures such as more wheelchair ramps as well as widening current ramps to make the routes for wheelchair access shorter/easier. I would also like to see if adding some more lifts would be possible, with a lift from the bar to the main corridor of college being my main focus. Another idea I have is to put in some more wheelchair doors (the same ones as along the main corridor), particularly on the JCR and bar.
Jenny Holdaway: One suggestion I would have in order to make Mary’s more accessible would be to include ramps to help people with the many stairs of Mary’s. Also making sure that college rooms are allocated with the needs of their occupants in mind, and potentially establishing a buddy system, to help both with getting food from the dining hall or the weekly shop or snacks someone might want from town. However, I think it is important to make sure students can be as independent as possible, and thus would prefer to look at accessibility for those with physical disabilities on a case by case basis, being informed by their personal experiences and difficulties. I think Durham in general, considering it is cobbled, hilly and filled with old buildings, isn’t easy for those with physical disabilities to manoeuvre. Therefore, I would also like to look into how to make the Durham university experience as accessible as possible, alongside the SWDA, using the knowledge of students who have physical disabilities to help inform these changes.
III. Assistant Female WAM Officer
Proposed by: Jack Leyland
Seconded by: Nuriya Shoro
- Welfare is important because it gives the opportunity to speak to somebody who wants to help, and increase awareness to some key issues.
- Has been on the welfare committee for the past year.
- Worked with Ruth and Rob on many occasions.
- Has been a peer mentor while at school the past 3 years, most heavily the last year.
- Was one of the post offer visit day reps.
- Phone-in or drop-in sessions each week.
- Working with LGBT+ and disability reps to create new campaigns.
- Create a freshers’ system where one fresher is randomly assigned another fresher.
- Have a homesickness campaign.
- Continue the energized exams campaign and even expand.
Q: What’s your favorite campaign you have been involved into?
A: It’s the consent campaign.
Q: How would you separate being someone’s friend and being a WAM officer?
A: Its depending the person and the issue, but if it’s something more serious then it would need to be taken further.
Q: Can you extend or improve the sexual health provision that are currently provided?
A: A few of them went to the hospital and got tested for STD’s this year which brought attention and took away the stigma, so something similar to that
Q: The candidates for Disabilities rep and LGBT+ rep talked about working closely with WAM, how would you propose this is done.
A: Via socials mostly so that people get involved.
- Assistant Male WAM Officer
Proposed by: Jack Leyland
Seconded by: Jonathan Whitehead
- Feels like listening to people and understanding their situation is the most important thing a WAM officer can do and a chat could be very important.
- Has a lot of experience in that area in other aspects of his life.
- Continue the work that has been done this year with mental health.
- Expand the burst the bubble events.
- More involvement with other charities and have speaker come in and deliver talks.
Proposed by: Ali Huse
Seconded by: Maddy Cater
- His involvement in college life and has made him a recognizable and accessible figure.
- He will be leaving close to Mary’s.
- Having spent the first term sober he is in a great position to create an environment where people do not feel pressured to drink.
- Increase awareness of WAM during freshers’ week.
- Organize more burst the bubble events in the first term.
- Happy for people to contact him if they don’t want to go to the drop in sessions.
- Work closely with other societies.
Q: Can you give a specific example to demonstrate that you are good for this role?
A: Charlie: There are a couple scenarios that he has been there for friends and talked to them to help them.
Robbie: A friend who was dealing with some hard stuff and he was there for her.
Q: More accessible sexual health supplies for livers-out?
A: Robbie: Possibly be available through phone to provide such supplies if needed.
Charlie: Make WAM more accessible so that people will feel comfortable to talk to them and pick up anything they might need.
Q: How would you make WAM accessible to people who don’t live in college?
A: Charlie. WAM events that get people involved or have more drop-in sessions.
Robbie: For livers out organize events out of college like sports events in some fields or movie nights in theater.
Q: Will they be in the morning run tomorrow?
A: Robbie: He will try to and make extra effort.
Charlie: I’ll see you there.
Q: There have been stealing of pizzas, what is your stance?
A: Charlie: Open to drop in session of stolen pizzas at 12 o’clock.
Robbie: Don’t order pizzas during freshers’ period.
JCR Chair Owen MacCuish asked:
-How was the popcorn
The reaction of the crowd was positive
Continuing, a quick pol proved that cheese is widely controversial subject, many members started screaming NO but other delicacies are welcome as well as proved by a second pol.