Thank You and Goodnight (for now)

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Hello!

I’m coming to the end of my first term as JCR President and it’s certainly been as busy and hectic as people warned me it would be! We’ve done some awesome things this term like our Corpus Challenge, Charity Week and E&E week, but there’s also been a lot of work behind the scenes in changing things to make life at college that little bit better. We’ve seen a complete update of our website (thanks Akshay), a brand new suspension guide, more transparency with welfare structures, an updated accommodation survey, a Corpus Converses and big decisions regarding our charities budget! If it doesn’t seem like much, it’s probably because each one of these events takes a lot of time and organisation which I couldn’t do without our fantastic committee!

Looking now to next term, there are three key proposals we are looking to make, the first is regarding suspension policy as the JCR has just as of today past a motion for the VP and myself to look into allowing suspended students to vote in JCR elections. The second is rent negotiations, in particular reducing vacation residence costs for fourth year scientists and thirdly, we are looking into changing decanal fines policy, adding an option for community service. This will be alongside continuing work on Corpus Converses talks, our amazing Unity Week and starting to organise freshers’ week as well. It’s going to be very busy, but hopefully will lead to an even more community-orientated college.

On to more mundane things, this week I met with the Dean to understand how decanal fines currently work. This will go some way into working out what could change, if indeed change is wanted. Within academic committee this week the main discussion was on the report from this year’s admissions cycle – all the info of which can be found on the college weblearn page. I also attended OUSU council which, if you’re super keen, you can ask me about!

I biggest steps forward this week came in the JCC informal lunch where we discussed what the currently disused squash court is to become. The two proposals as they stand are to renovate it back into a useable squash court or to turn it into a fitness suite with extra rooms. Tomorrow we will be meeting with the Bursar to discuss creating a feedback form to send out as well as setting out the JCR’s vision.

The JCR meeting today saw the passing of four motions, creation of a freshers’ rep, reimbursing the Entz Pres for vomit clean-up, looking into votes for suspended students and our lovely JCR photo which is to take place early on next term!

The two events to take note of this week are the exam support session happening at 6pm tomorrow in the Seminar Room and Midge Curran joining us in the JCR at 3pm on Thursday. The latter event will be an *informal* end of term tea party, with lots of cake and nice music – definitely worth coming along to.

That’s all I can think of for now, so I will say a fond farewell for now and will be posting again after the vac!

Alice xoxox

P.S. the Bulletin

Slow news isn’t no news

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Hey everyone,

There’s not a lot to report meetings-wise this week, however, it has been packed full of events thanks to our amazing, hard-working RAG Officer, Teeneka Mai. From Bake-Off, to a promise auction, to RAG Casino, we’ve had a week packed full of brilliantly organised events that had to bonus of raising money for charity. We’re incredibly lucky to have Teneeka on our Committee who has started off the quincentenary year brilliantly.

This week we have even more events, as we celebrate Environment and Ethics! Lizzie Shelmerdine has organised some fantastic events, including a party on Friday – make sure you come along (it’s only £2 entry).

On to more serious things, this week saw the first meeting of our Rent Negotiation team! Negotiations tend to be quite chilled at Corpus, but we met anyway to discuss what we might like to see changed other than rent prices. The biggest thing that came up was vacation residence costs for fourth year scientists. Vacation residence often causes a lot of strife for JCR members, particularly for scientists as they have to pay vac res at £15 a night for compulsory extended terms. Having met with a fourth year who kindly took me through their battels, we now have a better idea of how we can help change this problem. If, as a JCR member, you want to add to the discussion, please fill in our rent and charges survey: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScXWQE2DxinJ8ibvugJXDUgos2hqlFh4h4J6pvgN_evG5qdg/viewform#responses! On top of this, Adjusted VNI has just been calculated and we are expecting to see a 2.71% rise in rent in the 2017-2018 period. If you have any questions about how this value is created, feel free to email me and I can send you the information. But remember, rent negotiations do not just have to be about rent, so if you have any worries about charges in general fill in the survey above or you can set up a confidential meeting with me!

Regarding welfare-based news in college, this Friday we were visited in JCR tea by our Dean of Welfare, Domestic Bursar and Vice President of the college to discuss college’s Prevent policy. Hopefully all questions were able to be answered but if you have any arising queries any of the figures mentioned above would be happy to answer them. We have a brand new who’s who sheet in the JCR if you’re unsure of who they are!

Linking to welfare, our Suspension Guide continues its beautifying progress on the computers in the OxStu offices. Get excited for its reveal at the end of this term. Suspension being a highly questioned topic currently at the university, the JCR would like to get a feel of college policy and have therefore created a survey for all students who have suspended/are currently suspending to fill in. It’s not compulsory but would help us a lot in understanding what happens. Link is here: https://goo.gl/forms/6BNQNKIDkeFQezxo2.

Apologies for it being a slow news week! Regarding JCR items such as a sofa, water boiler, shelving in the office and card reader in the Beer Cellar, the Domestic Bursar says that they are all being looked into, but can’t guarantee anything immediate as they are reliant on other factors. However, hopefully some of the issues will be reconciled ready for the beginning of Trinity term!

Love,

Alice xox

P.S. Here’s the Bulletin!

Somebody once told me

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Hey,

The world may roll us, but it’s ok because I’m here to let you know what’s been going down in the JCR.

On Monday we held our very first Corpus Converses which discussed attitudes towards Millennials within the media and academia. It was great to see some prominent members of our SCR join us for the talk. We hope that similar events in the future will help to open up dialogue between different college bodies to create better understanding and feed back into policy initiatives. The next talk will be held 3rd week in Trinity, as part of Corpus’ Unity Week.

In other news, the Personal Development Fund’s funds were divvied up this week and people should be notified soon if not already as to how much you’ve been allocated if you applied. For information about what the Fund is, go to the Corpus weblearn site.

Governing Body took place on Wednesday where our Constitution was ratified meaning it came into effect. If you haven’t yet seen Akshay’s posts/emails about it then I’d take a look and have a read.

Speaking of procedures, following Shiv’s fantastic survey, I had a meeting with the Domestic Bursar to discuss introducing a credit/debit card reader into the Beer Cellar. This, although not in writing, was approved verbally and hopefully we’re see this change happen over the Easter Vacation along with a new sofa, better storage in the JCR Office and a coffee machine. I know many think these things are long overdue, but the Domestic Officer is working hard to get these changes so be patient and hopefully when people come back in April there will have been changes.

On top of the other meetings, I had another with the Academic Registrar to discuss exam support sessions. We both agreed that a talk from one of the Doctors on sleep and welfare over the vac would be beneficial to many. This will be offered alongside traditional revision support sessions for finalists and first years taking exams. Please all remember to turn up if they’re applicable to you and give feedback afterwards!

On Friday I had rent negotiation training with other Presidents, Treasurers and JCR officers. This was incredibly useful in understanding what the process is and how it works. In order to make sure everyone else understands it too I’ve organised an Open Meeting in the JCR this Saturday at 17.00pm, so that everyone can be clear on what is discussed and what we can ask to be changed. This meeting will be held like a drop-in session and will be instead on the usual one held after Brunch. The rent negotiation team and myself also met today (Sunday) to start thinking about what we might need as a college and how we’re going to achieve this. The result of this meeting was that it was agreed a survey was needed on what people thought about rent and charges, so that we can feedback to the Bursar. Transparency is key!

Finally, this week I also met with the Vice President of the college to discuss welfare procedures and what can be altered. It was agreed that at the next available meeting, the VP would bring up how all welfare-related members in college need to have their profile raised and all need to be treated as an equal point of contact. This would be on top of increasing awareness that the student needs to be at the centre of taking welfare decisions and should feel that they choose to set meetings with said members instead of them being imposed. These are subtle changes that will hopefully also subtly alter the relationship between student and welfare provider, leading to a more successful outcome.

Again this has been a wordy week, so I’ll sign off now after hopefully having covered everything substantial that has taken place.

Take care in 6th week and, as ever, here’s the Bulletin.

Alice xx

Corpus Cares and Converses

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Hey!

Massive congratulations for our triumphant win in Corpus Challenge! Huge thanks to go to Pete Woodcock for organising such an amazing event and leading the JCR to victory in its 500th year!! And thanks to everyone who participated and made it one of the best Challenges yet.

However, challenge is not the only awesome event to this Hilary! Remember that Corpus Cares week is happening as of today. We have events ranging from Oxford Women Speak Out to the Big Night In on Wednesday in the Beer Cellar, so get involved – all events are free and for your benefit!

This week we also have our first Corpus Converses event – happening at 1.00pm in the Seminar Room. We’ll be discussing prevalent attitudes in academia and the media towards Millennials. This is a very relevant topic, that affects JCR relationships with other university bodies, so make sure to get your voice heard especially if you have any ideas as to how we can start tackling the problem.

Now on to what’s happening in the week past to keep you up to date…

Last Monday, our VP went to a meeting with the Proctors and Assessors and discussed issues within the university including suspension. This is all linking to our imminent publishing of the Suspension Guide since Lizzie has taken charge in acting as our in-house graphic designer. On top of this, the Academic Affairs and Suspended Students Officer and I are planning a survey in 7th week for suspended students – if this applies/interests you keep an eye out for its publication.

I also met our Charities Officer, Teneeka Mai, to discuss what steps to take regarding the different scholarship schemes on offer for the JCR to support. A motion about this should be coming to 6th week JCR meeting. The deciding vote will have implications on whether we decide to establish a close relationship with a charity this year; if you have a proposal keep it in mind as we’ll be asking for suggestions earliest next week.

On Wednesday, we had Academic Committee where the main discussion was changes to Open Days, coming into effect this year. Unfortunately, we also learned that Brendan Shepherd is stepping down in his role as Admissions and Outreach Officer. The JCR would like to thank him for all his amazing work and wishes him luck in his next step to becoming a teacher!

Last Friday, I had a JCC meeting. The key issue to come out of this was how college was going to support students leading up to their exams. We’ve had some feedback on how the Senior Tutor/Academic Registrar can help, but please email me if you have any other ideas as to what can be done. As well as this, the Constitution was successfully approved and is now making it’s way to Governing Body on Wednesday. If all goes well, it will come into effect as of 2.30pm-ish on Wednesday. Big thanks to our Returning Officer Akshay Bilolikar for all his hard work in editing it (it’s not easy)!! The Fairtrade Accreditation Campaign will also be brought to GB later this term thanks to the hard work of Miriam Lee, Ailsa McKinlay and Lizzie Shelmerdine; with luck, this year college will see itself accredited for the first time!

Finally, Saturday saw the second Presidential drop-in session. It has good verbal feedback, but very few actual visitors; I think for now it will be kept, for image’s sake, but do remember to come if you have any questions that aren’t urgent but that I will be able to answer for you immediately.

It’s been quite a full week, but looking at my schedule is nothing compared to next!

Keep getting involved with the JCR – it’s got so much going on (just look at this week’s Bulletin)

Alice xxx

Take Notice!

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Hey and welcome to 4th week – hope everyone’s having a great time of it so far!

I have just finished a looong JCR meeting, but hey, we’ve got to let democracy thrive! So with that done, I’m getting on with the weekly lowdown of what’s gone on and what you need to know.

First off, massive congratulations are in order for our new Women’s Representative, Lilya Tata, and our new Computing Officer, Edward Hart! Welcome to the the world of college committees – I’m sure you’ll both be amazing!

Secondly, please remember to check out and apply to the Travel Scholarship – £5,000 is available for you to go and do something amazing. Email Rachel Pearson, the Academic Registrar, if you have any questions about the scheme.

Thirdly, our Entz Officer, Shiv Bhardwaj, has just released a survey about payment methods for the Beer Cellar. If you often visit, or would like to visit but often don’t find yourself with cash-in-hand, then fill out the form! It’s quick to do and could help make a small, but much-needed change to Beer Cellar life.

On to more general news, this week the Welfare Officers, Equal Opportunities President and I attended the Welfare Lunch meeting. We brought up the idea of a college counsellor and a welfare room. Regarding the former, further investigation will be undergone to see whether this is viable, but in the mean time I want to stress the use of our new college nurse, Midge Curran. Midge is available Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays: – 11am – noon, Tuesdays: – 3-5pm
 and Thursdays: 1-3pm. She is a great welfare source that is not directly tied to college and offers a confidential meeting; also, she has stressed that she is available to discuss both physical and mental health! As for a welfare room, the main problem we came up against was the search for a room that is not currently in use. If you’ve got any ideas let Abi Newton, Welfare Officer –  she’s keen (as am I) to get this off the ground.

This week I also met with the Bursar to discuss how the REACH scholarship stands since it was last discussed over a year ago. The state of affairs is that the JCR needs to bank £10.5k before college will pay the other necessary costs to start the process of funding a student. If you feel passionately about the REACH Scholarship, please let Teneeka Mai, Charities Officer, or I know as we’re keen to hear whether you feel this is a worthwhile investment.

Last week, I said I had the shortest meeting ever with the Governing Body, but we had a challenger this week from OUSU Council. I and Hannah Cheah, OUSU Officer, attended Council which lasted barely over 5 minutes. However, in this 5 minutes we were reminded to tell you to vote in OUSU elections! Even the most apathetic of you have something to gain as the college with the highest turn out can win up to £600 for their JCR! Think of what we could do if we won (coffee machine? decor? bigger and better events?)

Finally, on Wednesday we had the Equal Opportunities Committee meeting headed by our Equal Opportunities President, Shahryar Iravani. We met to discuss plans for Unity Week 2017!! From what I heard before I left for OUSU Council, the equal opps reps have some amazing ideas, from panel discussions to banner-making. Remember to like the Facebook group to get all the relevant details.

This seems to have been a sufficient amount of news to convey in one sitting, so I think I’ll stop here.

Have a fantastic week!

Alice

P.S The Bulletin

Third is the Word

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Hey,

It’s been a relatively quiet week for the committee generally speaking. Our one big event was of course Burn’s Night formal, but other than that your JCR Officers have been quietly working away on various projects with events to be announced oh so imminently.

Looking at my diary it seems to be taken up with various books to be read, but on closer inspection there are a few things that may or may not be of interest to you…

Firstly, I can now confirm that the Suspension Guide is in its first draft stages. All material has been gathered and is now being edited. If anyone out there is a keen graphic designer give Bex or I a shout as we could do with making it look less like an intimidating White Paper. On the same topic, at Prescom this week we discussed various suspension matters; St Peter’s have had the similar queries to us, so I think we’re looking to each other for help drafting changes. More information to come at a later date.

Having firmly ticked the box of getting the guide underway, there’s a few other loose ends to pick up. Everyone needs to give our OUSU and Charities Officer a big thank you because they have agreed to champion the forgotten Reach Scholarship cause! To give some context, the Reach Scholarship allows an international student who would not normally be able to afford/access study in Oxford the chance to come to Corpus. College already agreed nearly two years ago to get this underway, but we are still waiting on a way for the JCR to raise the required funds.

In other news, myself and the Treasurer attended the world’s shortest Governing Body meeting –  a whole 4 minutes long. If you’re wondering why this is, it’s because Governing Body is divided into unreserved and reserved business. JCR representatives are only allowed to go for unreserved business and, given the reserved agenda was quite long, we were out of there pretty quick. Hopefully next time we will have more of a role, as the Constitution which the JCR has approved will making its way very shortly through JCC and then on to GB to be discussed. If anyone ever has any questions about these sorts of processes, feel free to get in touch with myself or our VP who is very much in the know.

Finally, this week saw the first Pres Drop-in Session! I thought that it would see no-one turn up but apparently for one Corpuscle it appeared useful. I plan to hold another this term that hopefully will be better organised with some incentives that may come in the form of food.

Looking forward, this week I have a Welfare Lunch Meeting, a meeting with the Bursar, an Equal Opps meeting and OUSU Council. Within this there will be discussions about the role of welfare tutors, what the implementation of the Reach Scholarship will now look like, organising Unity Week and whatever motions have been submitted by uni students to OUSU. If any of this is of interest, feel free to message me.

Right I think that’s it for now, so in the famous words of Gabriella Montez from HSM “I’ve gotta go my own way”

Have an awesome week!

Al xxx

P.S. Here’s the Bulletin

It’s Second Week and things are hotting up…

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Hello!

Having just finished a very tense meeting where a motion failed by only one vote, I thought it appropriate to lighten (hopefully) the mood with updates on progress with the Presidential side of things.

First up is the work into suspension issues. Bex (our Academic Affairs and Suspended Students Officer) and I have held various meetings with SusCam, the Senior Tutor, and Academic Registrar – that means we’ve got lots of info to compile into the new Suspension Guide. Hopefully, since we have all the info already, this shouldn’t take too long, and will be ready for use by the end of the term.

Secondly, is our work into other welfare matters in college; over the past few years there have been many calls for changes to the welfare structures in college, and this week Abi, Tom and I started to push this further. We had a Welfare Conference on Wednesday, where we collated ideas from other colleges about how to aid changes. Our next step is to set up meetings with various senior members of college to start the discussion flowing. As Abi and Tom said over the vac, if you have anything you want to say about welfare provision as it stands, they are ready and willing to listen!

With these things underway, I’m now looking to set up a meeting with the Senior Tutor to discuss how we as a college can promote a forum to discuss prevalent social issues in Oxford. This may take the form of a seminar open to anyone, where they can drop in and join in the discussion. The aim of this is to create an environment that gives students a chance to communicate ideas or problems to other members of college on an equal footing, and hopefully with cake added in too!

Speaking of opening up discussion, I’m planning to hold my first President’s Surgery this coming Saturday 28th after brunch at 12.30pm. This is so anyone can drop by with a question, problem or query and hopefully I’ll be able to guide you in the right direction. To keep the environment informal and comfortable I’m planning to hold these in the TV room (should it be empty). I hope to see many of you there!

Should you have any questions of what I’ve said above feel free to email/message me. The aim is to keep my work as transparent as possible, so I hope haven’t left any loose ends.

As always, keep an eye out for upcoming events:

  1. The ballot numbers are being released this Monday
  2. Corpus Challenge is being held 12th February
  3. Charities Week is in 6th Week
  4. Environment and Ethics Week is in 7th Week

For even more info on what’s going on around the university, check out this week’s Bulletin.

That’s all for now, hope you have a lovely second week.

Stay warm and rested!

Alice xx

P.S Please check out our accommodation section on for a detailed list of rooms. Or even better, check out the room survey to get the dirt on the rooms and work out which one you want!

Welcome to Corpus 500

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Hello,

I’m very excited to have completed my first few weeks as JCR Pres! I thought I’d start this blog to give you an idea of what my weeks involve (so that you know I’m actually doing things) and so that you can then ask me questions/suggest other ideas the JCR should be working on.

This is of course our quincentenary year and as such I have been drawing up ideas to emphasise where Corpus can go from here. This year will have lots of events celebrating our past, but hopefully we as a JCR can create events and push for changes that focus on what’s next for the college. If you have an idea of something you’d like to do to celebrate this then let me know! I hope we can end 2017 knowing we added positively to the college’s history.

So, having said that, I’ll give my quick debrief into what I’ve done this week:

  1. I attended Academic Committee. One of the talking points was the guidelines on suspension that have just been published by the Senior Tutor’s Committee. Bex and I thought that this was a good time to mention we’re wanting to make a Suspension Guide for the JCR. Hopefully this will be ready by the end of this term and will help students know what the process involves before going to senior members in college.
  2. A few of us went to the Stanford lunch to meet the new Stanford students – hopefully we recruited some more people for Corpus Challenge!
  3. I’ve been meeting with some JCR officers and reps about their plans for the year. It sounds like they could make some positive immediate changes to college, so go talk to them to find out what they are!
  4. With Tom and Abi, we put forward our wanted agenda for a uni-wide Welfare Meeting this Thursday. We’ll let you know how it goes and what comes of our agenda (more on that next week).

Being 0th week it has been a slow start to the year, but there’s lots lined up for the next few weeks. Particularly important events to remember are Corpus Challenge, Charities Week and Environment and Ethics Week!

Please let me know if you want any further details on the things mentioned above or if you want to write your own blog piece for the website!

That’s all for now,

Love Al xxx

P.S. with every post I’m attaching that week’s bulletin in case you want to look back for events and opportunities at some point Bulletin 15:01:17.

The JCR Bulletin

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Welcome to the Corpus Christi JCR website!

This page will be used to share information relevant to existing members of the JCR, prospective students and those simply interested in what’s going on in our tiny patch of Oxford. It will also be used by our President, currently Alice Rubbra, as our own 21st-century answer to the fireside chat.

Most of us are quite busy either procrastinating in the JCR or otherwise doing less productive things than updating the JCR website. As a result, don’t be too surprised if there are elements on the website which appear neglected. I am, slowly but surely, getting to it. If there’s anything urgent missing, feel free to email me.

Akshay Bilolikar