For One Last Time

Posted

Hey,

Here it is folks, my last blog post before I hand over to the wonderful Shiv!

It’s been a full-on year that has at times been very overwhelming but I’m so happy I got to work for the JCR as President. The committee has achieved some amazing things, from supporting liberation causes to updating the general running of undergraduate life. I came into this role hoping to make college life easier to navigate for students and to help make the burden of student life a little more bearable and I hope myself and other committee members will be leaving our roles having made Corpus JCR just that tiny bit better. Thank you to everyone who has helped make these changes happen!

This week I have been tying loose ends up. For example, we finally got an answer as to whether ollege will be financially supporting students with extended terms. The decision taken was that students with extended terms in financial difficulty can apply to get help from college, whether this be in the form of a loan, grant etc. This is a small change, but hopefully will help students who need financial support the most.

Other news includes the JCR renovation as the clear-out is underway and hopefully the “JCR Office” will be completely stripped this week with the help of maintenance. If you fancy taking anything from the room before it all goes, please just leave a small donation with one of the committee members to go to charity. For those wondering about storage, the JCR Welfare Room will be used as international storage over the vacation and we are looking into introducing a new system next year. Also of note, the JCR Renovation group met on Friday to go through what changes were to be made and the group were in general agreement about changes. If you have any particular opinions about this then please let them know. Most of the changes will be affecting the JCR Office by turning it into a cafe-type space!

Of course, JCR elections were the biggest news of this week, so congratulations to everyone who got elected to committee (and to the new tortoise keeper). I look forward to welcoming you into your roles come midnight at the bop on Friday! On Wednesday Shiv and I will both be attending Governing Body as part of our handover.

Today was our final JCR meeting of our quincentenary year, 2017. We passed lots of different and important motions so make sure you look out for Hannah’s meeting with the minutes! Keep an eye on how what has been voted this week works out next term by coming to the meetings!

As we are nearing the end of this committee’s tenure, we are looking ahead to next term. JCR renovation should get into full design mode, Corpus Challenge will be taking place alongside other exciting things! Keep getting involved in the JCR, it’s here to represent you throughout your time at university, so make the most of it.

Lots of love,

Alice

xox

Bulletin 26:11:17

Penultimate Blog Post

Posted

Hey,

Only one more post till my successor will (partially) take over the website. Come to the JCR on Wednesday 7th to see candidates battle it out for JCR positions. If you’re still thinking you’d like to get involved then email Fran Parkes before sunset(?) on Tuesday!

So this week has again been quite quiet given the fact that we are into the election bit of term and the focus is on the candidates. Last Tuesday I did attend an Equality Committee meeting with our Equal Opps President where we discussed how college could go forward in diversifying the fellowship. There was talk of creating wider discussion about issues in academia within college as well as formulating certain structural procedures that would reduce subconscious bias. Hopefully this conversation will be continued in future and lead to very real change in Corpus!

I also have been working on re-writing the community service paper which will hopefully we discussed in 4th week JCC in Hilary. For those that don’t know, this is part of a move away from reliance on fines as decanal punishment as they often have a disproportionately negative effect on student finances. This decanal business was accompanied with the Junior Dean and I drafting questions for the on-line version of the Personal Development Fund form that will hopefully be available next term as well. Other important notices relating to the Dean include the fact that our interim Dean, Liz Fisher, will be taking over as Dean of Welfare from Judith as of the start of next term whilst Judith is on sabbatical.

This brings us on to more exciting news as this week Finance and Budget Committee approved the funding of the JCR renovation as proposed by the college Vice-President. This will mean that in the Summer of 2018 the JCR will be redesigned and smartened up a bit. JCR members will of course be consulted throughout this process, hence why we have been pushing the recruitment of a JCR renovation group!

I also attended the President’s Committee meeting this week where I brought up vacation storage schemes in other colleges. The consensus seems to be that most colleges are provided with storage by the college, so hopefully this will give the JCR good leverage in asking for help organising storage once the JCR storage room has been renovated as a small cafe. The International Students Rep will most probably spearhead this discussion, though with the support of the JCR exec. This also means that we need another clear-out of the JCR storage room hopefully before the end of this term!

Looking forward, this week I have a meeting with the Senior tutor to discuss whether students with extended terms will be supported financially due to the fact that they have large accommodation bills. Oxford Student Union’s Council will also be taking place on Wednesday if you would like to attend with Zoe! And JCC informal lunch will be taking place on Thursday if anyone has anything they would like to bring up about college matters.

 

Hope you have a great week!

Alice xox

Bulletin 19:11:17

Sixth Week

Posted

Hey,

First up, thank you to those who have sent in applications for the JCR renovation group so far. Applications are still open this week if you would like to be a part of changing the image of our JCR!

Secondly, the sing-up sheet for JCR elections goes up tomorrow. If you are thinking you’d like to run for a position then please talk to the current incumbent and message Fran Parkes our Returning Officer that you would like to stand. Sing-ups will be open until Tuesday 7th week. On Wednesday 7th week husts will be held in the JCR for all positions up for election, this is a super fun event where candidates will give speeches about why they want the role and answer questions from the audience. It can be a long night so remember to factor than in to your week!

This week has been quite quiet on the committee meeting from. On Wednesday I went to Governing Body where we ratified minutes from 4th week meetings. Previous to this I met with the President to discuss items such as potential increasing the number of JCR officers on the Equality Committee to allow for full representation of JCR views. Speaking of which, on Tuesday I will be attending Equality Committee to discuss strategies which could be used to increase the gender-balance on the fellowship. I will report further on this next week.

In the JCR meeting all motions were passed. This included several monetary motions such as the purchasing of a new bike pump and board games for the JCR. The motions also included a move for the Accommodation Officer to take on the DO’s role of implementing the bike cull; we hope that following this discussion a bike cull will take place by the end of term, but that also in future the accommodation officer with discuss with the Domestic Bursar the potential to introduce a bike registration scheme as seen in other colleges. The final JCR meeting will be held two weeks from today, so if you would like to propose any motions before the end of term please get in touch with the VP, Hannah Cheah.

This week I will be focusing on still chasing up decisions on papers before I hand the role over to my successor. This includes re-writing the paper on introducing community service to include more specific examples and chasing up the decision on providing financial support for students with extended terms. I hope that decisions are made by the end of term, or at least finalised when they will be discussed so that I can inform my successor. Other than this, the only other items to discuss with college are getting a decision on changes to the PDF fund and discussing hopeful JCR renovation.

As ever, if you have any questions about JCR matters do not hesitate to ask me! I will be hosting a final drop in session on Saturday 7th week to answer any final queries!

Love,

Alice xox

Bulletin 12:11:17

Fifth Week News

Posted

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

Bulletin 05:11:17

 

We’re (almost) halfway there

Posted

Hey hey,

Can you believe we’re nearly halfway through the term? This also means that we’re now 3 weeks away from JCR elections, so if you’re thinking of running for a position, now is the time to ask the current incumbent about it! The JCR website is also a good resource for getting to grips with what each committee member does. I’d recommend taking a look at the Who’s Who page to start.

Now it’s onto what has happened in the JCR over this past week. As I mentioned in my last post, on Monday I met with the Vice President of college and the Domestic Bursar with Shiv and Hannah to talk about JCR renovation. This was a great discussion in which we talked about how this term we will aim to scrap everything that is currently in the JCR storage room next to the main JCR. In it’s place we will hopefully start to get new vending machines, a coffee machine etc. This will hopefully be the start of wider discussions about improving the JCR space and hopefully making it a slightly cleaner and lighter place to be (whilst keeping all its original charm). JCR storage will therefore have to change and I have talk to the DB and Louisa about different companies we could use to help with this. This conversation is ongoing, but hopefully we reach a conclusion by the end of term. There was a vote on these proposals at the JCR meeting this evening and it has been suggested that a committee is created to oversee the renovation.

On top of this, this week I also met with the President to discuss and confirm that Freshers will be reimbursed the £15 charge on their battels for Monday 0th week on Hilary Term’s battels. I also met with our Dean, Liz Fisher, who is standing in for David for the term. We discussed changes to the decanal policy such as introducing community service as well as fines. We also discussed updating the party form process and how it could be modified to reduce confusion and this discussion will be taken forward to the next JCC which is luckily at the end of this coming week. Finally, this week saw Oxford SU’s meeting being held at Corpus! If you have any questions about what was discussed feel free to chat to myself or Zoe. Alternatively, if you’d like to come to the next meeting, let us know by Tuesday 5th week!

Now if you’re looking to hear about what meetings are lined up this week, we have a Welfare Lunch on Tuesday, Academic Committee on Wednesday and JCC (Joint Consultative Committee) on Friday. In these meetings we’ll try to cover items such as college’s Prevent policy, admissions stats, vacation storage and personal development fund changes. If you have any queries or questions that could be addressed at these meetings then let me know as soon as possible. Alternatively, just wait for the debrief on them next Sunday!

Alongside this we will also be working on updating the accommodation section of the JCR website and getting more information about how we can use the extra money in our charities budget to help tackle homelessness in Oxford.

Hope you have a great week!

 

Love,

Alice xox

Bulletin 29:10:17

 

 

Crime and Punishment

Posted

Hey!

So as you can guess from the title, I am not only alluding to my hectic week but also telling you that you need to go see the Owlet’s production of Crime and Punishment!

My main occupation has been rushing around trying to get the Monday 0th week charge on first years battels cancelled. The bursary has told me that this will be finalised by Friday of this week. If you are a first year and have not yet paid your battels then pay them but leave out the £15 charge. If you have already paid them then hopefully following confirmation on Friday you should be reimbursed! If you have any other questions about battels process then please either chat to me or the bursary.

This week I also met with the President to discuss Governing Body agenda. Given that it is the first Ordinary Meeting of the year this meeting was incredibly brief. However, it has been decided that in further meetings the JCR will be able to give a brief report on what is happening amongst the undergraduates. So, if you ever have anything you’d like to report then please let me or Thomas Munro (Treasurer) know so we can include it.

I have also been trying to achieve a long-held aim of improving the Personal Development Fund by both digitising it and improving the selection process by changing the questions asked. Alexander Dymond has taken this task on board and will hopefully be creating a survey this term so that students can fill out the form online by Hilary Term 2018. I personally hope that this sparks further digitisation of colleges forms!

On Thursday, Hannah Cheah (VP) and I hosted JCR President’s Committee at Corpus. The meeting saw discussion of a wide range of issues from JCR refurbishment, to vacation residence charges to introduction of new committee positions. If you would like to read these minutes then please do let me know. Equally, if you have a query and would like to find out how other colleges tackle an issue then I am more than happy to bring it up at the next prescom meeting.

Finally, this Friday, the VP, the Entz President and I went to Balliol to discuss provision for their JCR including their pantry which allows the students to buy food outside of hall. We have been looking at this type of provision to see where perhaps the JCR can improve in the future. If you have any ideas about what you would like the JCR to look like (all the rooms, not just the main one) then let any of us know. Although these ideas may not be implemented till further in the future, it is useful to create an idea of where undergraduates would like to see the JCR over the next few years.

This next week will see myself and other college figures meeting to look at how the JCR can be improved. I will also be meeting with the President to go over JCR matters, be attending Oxford SU council here at Corpus (!), hosting a drop-in session on Saturday and of course charing the JCR meeting on Sunday evening! I will also keep reminding people that this term is an election term and we have lots of positions up for grabs so if you’re thinking of running please do get involved!!

Lots of love,

Alice xox

Bulletin 22:10:17

Second time around

Posted

Hey,

If you’re reading this then you’re obviously looking for this weeks news on what has been happening in the JCR. Second week on a Sunday means that we have just had our first JCR meeting of the term welcoming the First Years into our little democratic community. We successfully passed this term’s budget and have come to some sort of decision on what to do with the extra charity budget’s money, which is to put it towards tackling homelessness in Oxford. Our Charities Officer will update us on possible options as soon as possible!

In my last bulletin I discussed that I am trying to get a coffee machine for the JCR. I have been in contact with our Domestic Bursar, but am yet to hear back for a confirmation. This will be one of my priorities for this week. If you have any other ideas about how to improve JCR space then do let me know!

This week was also the first Oxford SU meeting of term. Unfortunately I was in a tutorial so was unable to attend, but speak to our Oxford SU Officer, Zoe Kuyken, if you’re interested in finding out what happens at them/would like to attend next time.

On Thursday I met with the Junior Dean to discuss options of how to improve the Personal Development Fund, making it a more efficient system with money going to the students who need it most. We’re both very excited about possibilities of digitising the form and updating the questions to allow for greater standardisation. This will be one of my ongoing tasks for my final term as President.

On Saturday I held the first drop-in session of term. These drop-in sessions are supposed to act as a chance for anyone to come to the Welfare Room to ask me any questions about the JCR whether that’s things they’d like to see being done or to get help with a problem. I am aware that this term is an election term, so if you are thinking of running a position but would like to find out more about life on the committee, then I’m more than happy to chat about at one of these sessions!

Ongoing priorities for this term (as well as the one’s above) are pushing the Hardship Committee to come to a decision of allowing fourth year scientists to claim help from college for unexpected or increased accommodation costs, improving the accommodation section of the JCR website and looking at ways we can improve the JCR for future use.

Regarding set meetings, this coming week I will be meeting the President on Tuesday to chat about the JCR, I will be attending Governing Body on Wednesday at 2.00pm and I will be hosting the JCR President’s Committee on Thursday at Corpus.

Please feel free talk to me about any of the items mentioned in these blogs. I am more than happy to let you know about my progress with my various aims!

Hope you have a great second week!

Love,

Alice xox

P.S. Here’s the bulletin

Bulletin 15:10:17

Hello and Welcome!

Posted

Hey there,

This bulletin post is mainly directed at any First Years who have stumbled there way across our JCR website. First of all, welcome to the page, please use it to get the lowdown on what has happened in the JCR over the week, to sign-up to formal or to find out Who’s Who on our JCR committee.

My week has mainly been taken up with organising Freshers Week, so other than this I have little to report other than an Academic Committee meeting held on Friday looking at the admissions report for this last year. I’m sure by next week I’ll have lots more information about the different things happening in and around college that affect students. However, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the JCR Freshcom Committee for all their hardwork in organising freshers week!

Anyway, if you are a fresher, I hope you have enjoyed your first week at Oxford and are getting ready to start (if you haven’t already) your course! There are lots of people on the JCR committee ready and willing to help answer any question you may have, whether it is academic based (talk to Julia our Academic Affairs and Suspended Students Officer), welfare related (talk to the Welfare Officers or a Peer Supporter) or whether it is about Equal Opportunities (chat to Shahyrar our Equal Opps President or one of the members of the Equal Opportunities Committee). Or, if you’re thinking “hey I’d like to get involved in the JCR and become a committee member” then come chat to me in the Welfare Room (by the JCR toilets) next Saturday 14th between 12.30-1.30pm. I’ve been helping out with the JCR for two years now, so should be able to answer most questions on what being on the JCR committee involves.

You may have noticed that the JCR is in charge of putting on lots of events and keeping you posted on things happening in and around college, but if you’re not sure how to check what’s happening go to the JCR’s Facebook page. Alternatively, check out my weekly bulletin email with lots of information on what’s happening in Oxford!

I think that’ll be it for now. Please message myself or other committee members with any questions that may arise. My JCR-based task for this week is attempting to finally get a coffee machine for the JCR, but I will keep you posted on this progress!

Love,

Alice xox

P.S. PDF copy of the Bulletin Bulletin 08:10:17

Thank You and Goodnight

Posted

Hey all,

It’s finally coming to the end of term! This means that this is my final blog post for quite some time, but lucky for you I have some important information to share.

First up, a reminder that this term’s second Corpus Converses will be held tomorrow from 1-2.30pm in the Seminar Room. This will be discussing the impact of tuition fees on university structures like teaching – should be an interesting discussion particularly after the election results from Thursday.

Having got that out the way, I’ll now go into detail about the various meetings I’ve been to this term. On Monday I went to Equality Committee. This hasn’t been held in some time, but it has been decided that college will now have at least two a year. It was also decided that both the JCR President and the Equal Opportunities President should attend. As it is a committee that has not been visited in a long time, there is as of yet no link on weblearn to the agenda, but hopefully this will be made available imminently. If you’d like to learn more about what was discussed please just give me an email.

Second committee meeting of the week was Academic Committee on Wednesday. Here, the results of the undergraduate feedback questionnaire were discussed. I was asked how the relationship between senior and junior members could be improved. This was quite a large question but the main points I brought up where that it was often felt that decisions made by senior members , even if the decision process involved undergraduates, was not feedback properly and decisions were not fully explained often leading to confusion and students feeling undermined. I also said that students needed to be more involved in big decision making in college, such as the planned renovations to the library. Focus groups should be sued more to give direct feedback as to what might be good/bad about designs and to properly incorporate students into the planning process. In short, students should be involved more and when they are decisions made by senior members should be explained properly.

On the same day I went to OUSU Council. Here various motions were discussed including whether OUSU sabbatical officers should pressure the university to end wearing of scholars gowns to final examinations. After lengthy debate it was agreed upon that this motion had been hastily put forward and that a student consultation should be undergone before such a motion was agreed upon. Let me know if you’d like to see the detailed minutes of this debate.

On the Thursday I attended JCC informal lunch. Here, there was further discussion on the library renovations and how students could be involved. However, added to this was a discussion on decanal fines policy and how, as of next term, the college would undergo a trial period of using community service instead of a fine in instances where students have broken the code of conduct. Finally, further discussions were made about acquiring a coffee machine for the JCR and MCR. Hopefully a decision will be made on this during the summer vacation, though I will continue to ask for updates!

Today I held a final freshers’ week meeting where we finalised plans and worked out what needs to be done. Keep an eye out for emails about how you can get involved and help with the week. We also had a JCR meeting this evening where decisions included purchasing a kettle and cushions for the welfare room.

That’s it for now! Hope I managed to cover everything that might be of interest and do let me know if there’s anything achieved next term so I can plan over the Summer.

Love,

Alice

xox

P.S. Bulletin

Quiet Pelican People

Posted

Hey!

So for some reason 6th week has been a surprisingly quiet one for the JCR (though it looks like 7th is going to be as busy as ever). I started of the week attending a pretty awesome President’s Seminar from a former Corpuscle working in public policy at Google. Keep an eye out for these seminars as this was my first one and have only just realised you can get a free meal if you go!!

Other than that bit of excitement, I have been organizing the next Corpus Converses. This one will prove to be smaller than ones in the past due to us being bang in the middle of exam period but I’m sure it will be an interesting discussion on the impact of rising tuition fees. Some SCR members should also be attending so that questions and queries can be shared between the two common rooms. It’s on Thursday 8th from 1-2.30pm.

On top of this, I attended a President’s Committee at Oriel on Wednesday. Points of discussion were which colleges had communal kitchen spaces in college for all students to use. This sparked an idea to see whether it was possible to provide a microwave in the JCR for all those who live out to use – I am waiting to hear back on whether this can happen. I have also asked our JCR Accommodation Officer whether we have going ahead with the vacation storage and hopefully this will be being looked into towards the end of term. What also came up in the meeting was a question of whether colleges rent out graduation gowns to finalists; having asked at the Porter’s lodge I have been told that Nick rents out gowns and you can email/talk to him about this if you want to get one for your graduation ceremony. Finally, I have been told by the OUSU President to remind finalists that they can still buy NUS cards that will give them 3 more years of student discounts even after they cease to be students!! Seems like a pretty good deal.

I held another drop-in session on Saturday. I hold these so that I have a period of time each week where I am completely available to answer JCR members’ questions. This week I was asked whether the vending machine could be mixed. Having messaged a JCR Treasurer from three years ago she says that they tried to find out the company in charge of servicing it and made no progress. However, our Domestic Officer will be attempting to phone the company this week to get this sorted; should this not work then we may have to look into changing the machines.

That’s all that’s happened this week. Next week I will be chasing up on what’s happening with the promised coffee machine and reduced accommodation costs for students with extended terms. I will be attending Equality Committee, Proctors’ Meeting, Academic Committee, OUSU Council, JCC informal lunch and Freshers’ Week Committee meeting! All this will be reported on next week!

Until then,

Alice xox

P.S. Bulletin