Minutes of JCR Meeting 29th October 2003
1. Apologies for absence
Apologies for absence were received from Alison Smith.
2. Minutes of previous meeting
The minutes of the previous meeting were passed without amendment. There was one
matter arising from the minutes. Maria Sobolewska asked Jamie Sergeant whether he
had discussed having a ‘job market’ link on the JCR website, with Richard
Gascoigne. Jamie mentioned that the Technical Services Committee had met that
morning, and that they had agreed that it was a good idea, but Jamie warned that the
new website might not be up until Christmas.
3. Visit by the OUSU President
The OUSU president mentioned that for any information regarding the OUSU,
students must access their website at www.OUSU.org.
She also mentioned some of the services that the OUSU provides: the student welfare
services, student advice services, legal advice service and the confidential drop in
service. She also mentioned the night bus, which students can ring for.
She mentioned that students can get the OUSU card from their office, which provides
discounts in local shops in Oxford.
The OUSU also campaigns for students’ voices to be heard. Some of the campaign
issues they have been involved in recently include the rise in fees and a campaign
against visa extension charges for international students.
Carmel Hannan asked the OUSU president about the status of the forth year fees. The
president mentioned that fees will not be introduced for the next academic year and
that the proposal has now gone back to the drawing board. Alberto Behar asked the
president about the financial side of the OUSU. The president promised to send an
email to Maria Sobolewska explaining the OUSU budget. Rob Ford asked the
president what OUSU’s position is on the Oxford Union’s current financial troubles,
and if the OUSU would help them. The president said that the OUSU would not offer
any financial or other assistance, as the Oxford Union is an independent society.
4. Reports from JCR officers
In addition to the written reports from JCR officers circulated in advance of the
meeting, the following points were made:
Regarding the licensing issue David Gill suggested that the JCR must investigate the
new law as a JCR and not just leave it to the College. He also suggested that Ed
Turner who is on the licensing committee and was a student at Nuffield should be
spoken to. Jamie Sergeant mentioned that nothing has been decided by the College,
and it s a bit of a grey area as yet. He also said that one idea could be that all students
pay up front for the alcohol, but all options need to be investigated. Sarah Butt
clarified that both the College and the JCR bar needs a licence. Jamie also said that
the new law does not come into effect until February, followed by a 6 month grace
period. Jamie mentioned that the bar will then need a licensed bar manager, and a
student can not have this licence, so the responsibility of the bar will rest with the
On the issue of the budgets Alberto thanked David for maintaining the accounts for
the last year as the treasurer. Alberto then clarified that for miscellaneous expenses
students need to keep the receipts for the expenses, and he would reimburse the
5. Allocation and pricing of accommodation
Where housing is concerned, there were numerous complaints from residents of the
George Street Mews (GSM) building. Students complained that they had not been
given any choice when they applied and nor had they been informed that they would
be living out of College, and paying more than the other students.
Maria mentioned that to go to the Bursar we need a JCR policy on the
accommodation. And as there are now en-suite rooms in College, if rooms in GSM
are at a higher rate because they are en-suite, then the en-suite rooms in College
should be at the higher rate as well.
Nic Cheeseman mentioned that when he was president the rooms in GSM were meant
to be 5£’s higher than the rooms in College, and if they are now at 10£’s higher, the
JCR needs to clarify that with the Bursary.
The issue of noise in the GSM was raised, and Oisín Tansey and Divya Vaid clarified
that if the noise increases above a level the environmental health officer can be called
in, like he was called in last year by Claire Bunce. So students need to e-mail Claire
Bunce if they are disturbed by the noise.
The issue of double-glazing in GSM rooms was raised. Divya mentioned that this has
been discussed with the Bursar before. Alberto mentioned that the issue of glazing
and pricing is not the same. He suggested that en-suits rooms should have a higher
rate, and then first year students should be given the choice of rooms. Nic mentioned
that there would be other problems associated with differential rates for rooms,
especially the choice available to second year students, and Florian Ederer mentioned
that the College might be more interested in adjusting the relative prices, and instead
of differential rates, it’s more possible that the rates for all the rooms would be raised.
David mentioned that the rents are meant to increase over four years and are not up
for negotiation, what can be negotiated is the housing allowance, and maybe the JCR
should consider that and have a position on the allowance.
Paul Vronsky mentioned that as a matter of equity, if rooms in Walton Street are not
charged higher rates, then nor should the rooms in GSM. But he was reminded that
Walton Street does not have en-suite facilities. He also mentioned that cooling
equipment should be installed in the rooms for the summer, as the windows can’t be
left open with the noise and the smells from the alley.
Carmel mentioned that if the room ballot is altered then all rooms should be graded.
Nic mentioned that all new students should live in College, as the Bursar had agreed
Maria then set forth the options in front of the JCR, so that we could have a JCR
position on the housing.
1. Differentiate rooms, and all en-suite rooms are more expensive and all the first
years have a choice.
2. All rooms should have the same price.
It was put to vote and a majority voted for the first option.
6. College meal policy
Meal Charging of ECS Students
Maria mentioned that the issue of not enough space in the buttery to eat the evening
meals has been raised with the Bursar. But the Bursar mentioned that the JCR had
agreed on this last year. He also mentioned that a new table has been added to the
buttery as well.
Alberto and Florian raised the point that there is no reason that students can not eat in
the hall on the days there is no high table.
Nic and Calum Miller mentioned the issue of signing in on Saturdays, Maria clarified
that the Bursar has agreed to monitor the students numbers for lunch for two months,
and then might do away with the need to sign in.
Somjen Frazer raised the issue of bringing guests for meals, and how it is
discouraging as the prices for guests are so high. And bringing guests might increase
the income of the College.
It was mentioned that the cuts that the College had promised don’t seem that visible.
It was suggested that the JCR should monitor the cuts.
On the ECS food issue, it was put to vote to see if the JCR agreed with the JCR
committee’s position. The JCR committee’s position was supported unanimously.
7. Post of Equality Rep. and Women’s Rep.
Nic Cheeseman was voted in unanimously as the Equality Committee Rep.
Women’s group rep.: (it was clarified that this is not the position of a women’s officer
but a representative, and that the officer would be elected once the constitution of the
group is in place). Somjen Frazer was voted in with 31 for and 5 abstentions.
I. Post of JCR Web Representative
This JCR notes that:
a. The JCR website has been dysfunctional for over a year
b. Other College JCR’s have very impressive websites that put our College to
c. The website has been the subject of discussion at previous JCR meetings but
nothing concrete has happened
d. The reason why previous discussions about the website have proved fruitless
is due to the lack of a website representative
The JCR resolves to:
1. Create a post of a JCR representative responsible for the website and will call
it the JCR Web Representative.
2. This Representative shall be elected at a JCR meeting at the beginning of a
new academic year for a period of one full year.
3. The Representative will be responsible for putting up and maintaining
(including updating) the JCR website.
4. This JCR also resolves to elect its first Web Rep. in this first meeting of
Michaelmas Term 2003.
Proposed: Maria Sobolewska Seconded: Oisín Tansey
The motion was split into two parts, firstly to see whether the JCR needs a web rep. or
not; the motion was passed with 34 for and 2 abstentions. And secondly, Oisín was
elected as the Web Representative with 35 for and 1 against.
II. Chef Support
This JCR notes that:
a. The quality of food at Nuffield College is superior to that of any other Oxford
b. This JCR believes that we have the Nuffield chef Ross Boffin to thank for this
Therefore this JCR resolves to:
1. Let Ross Boffin know how much we appreciate his work.
2. And this JCR would like to second his bid to enter a competition for the best
food among Oxford Colleges "Aces".
Proposed: Maria Sobolewska, JCR President Seconded: JCR Committee
Motion Passed: For 27, Against 2 and abstentions 7
III. JCR Ducks
a. being aware of the importance of achieving a sustainable equilibrium
between humankind and nature;
b. noting that the lily pond constitutes an important part of this College’s
contribution to that noble aim;
c. believing that duck looks much better on the lily pond than on the carving
d. celebrating the bounty of having one mother duck and four ducklings,
resident in the vicinity of the lily pond;
1. confers upon the said ducks full honorary membership of, and access to,
the JCR, its officers and facilities (including the bar);
2. Instructs the Secretary to ascertain the names of the said ducks and to add
these to the list of members forthwith.
Proposed: Jeremy Large Seconded: Calum Miller
Regarding this motion Alberto Behar mentioned that to make the ducks members of
the JCR, the constitution would have to be amended, and so the ducks should only be
made honorary members of the JCR. The motion was then put up for amendment and
the new motion was laid out claiming to confer on the said ducks honorary
membership of the JCR.
The amendment to the motion was passed with 27 for, 6 against and 3 abstentions.
The amended motion was then put up for vote. And was passed with 22 for, 2 against
and the rest abstaining. The ducks are henceforth named Daisy, Hewey, Dewey,
Lewey and Bop (by Alberto’s suggestion).
For the new students Alberto clarified that if anyone has any questions they must go
to the committee representative concerned.
Somjen raised the issue of the continual breakdown of washing machines.
She also raised the issue of people hanging outside the GSM. It was suggested that the
College might consider installing closed circuit television near the door, install more
lighting, and maybe have access to the building from the main road.
Jenny Castle mentioned the national demonstration in London organised by the NUS
regarding the hike in fees and mentioned that the numbers were low, but it seemed to
have gone well. She also mentioned that she has many leaflets on how to get involved
in various activities in the university, and if anyone was interested they must e-mail
her for the information.
Divya Vaid; Monday, 10 November 2003