Fifth Week News

Hello there,

We have entered fifth week of term which can often see the onset of “fifth week blues”. With the cold weather sometimes it can be extra hard to get out of bed and working for the day, BUT our welfare officers have lots of great treats like hot water bottles to help you get through term, so do let them know if you need anything!

We’ve had a super busy week sorting out various loose ends before various committee terms are over. This includes getting together a group that will look at possible JCR renovation. If you think you’d like to be a part of this group then email alice.rubbra@ccc.ox.ac.uk  with a short paragraph about why you would like to help out with the group! This is an awesome opportunity to help improve our JCR spaces for future generations.

In other news, this week saw the return of Welfare Lunch. We discussed how to improve Freshers Week for next year and suggested all JCR workshops should be held within one afternoon to maximise attendance and also highlight the importance of the topics. We also discussed vacation residence for students with ill mental health. Although nothing was confirmed, it was discussed that vacation residence has been granted for similar situations in the past but that a student should approach the Academic Registrar to discuss any concerns they may have. Finally, we discussed having another informal tea to go over college’s PREVENT policy to make sure that all students are aware of what it is and college’s specific policy; this will hopefully be taking place next term.

On Wednesday, Julia and I attended Academic Committee. We had an incredibly interesting conversation about ho to increase the number of women on the fellowship and two fellows presented their department’s work with the Athena Swann system. Hopefully this will be explored further in future and female students will be included in the discussion as to how to prevent drop-off from further higher education. this committee also covered a new safeguarding policy which will affect Subject Ambassadors and a new scheme of volunteers that will work alongside Subject Ambassadors to help with school tours and workshops. Applications for Subject Ambassadors open next term and is a great opportunity to earn some money whilst helping with access and outreach in college.

On Thursday, I met with our interim Dean and Junior Dean about changes to the Personal Development Fund. We are looking to digitise the process and also altering it’s policy to reduce ambiguities, making the process of awarding financial aid simpler but also more accountable. This discussion was continued the next day at JCC and hopefully the policy will be changed by the end of this term or the start of the next. In JCC we also discussed running community service alongside fines as a form of decanal punishment. Unfortunately, this issue was left unresolved from last term and due to our current Dean being on sabbatical will have to wait for a firm decision to be made. However, it was decided that the policy paper should be updated to include specific college examples and will be brought forward to Hilary Term’s JCC meeting. Other discussion included renaming party forms to event forms to prevent confusion when undergraduates are booking rooms and the possibility of using an external company for vacation storage. No definite decision has been made as of yet regarding vacation storage for both international and home students, but if you have a particular opinion as to what should happen then do not hesitate to get in touch with myself or the International Student’s Officer. We hope that whatever solution is found will be fair and should not cost the JCR too much money,given that International Students vacation storage is currently free.

Looking forward for the next week I will still be chasing loose ends such as updating the decanal punishment policy paper and looking for a final decision to be made on the paper addressing accommodation costs for undergraduates with extended terms. Of course, if there is an issue that has recently arisen that you would like addressed please do not hesitate to talk to me as I can still bring these forward to committee to be discussed with my successor next term.

Hope you all have a great week!

Love,

Alice xox

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