2016 Committee Lunch

Date of Meeting

    2016 Committee Lunch

    Date: Wednesday 1st week, Michaelmas 2016 (2016-10-12)


    Present: Anne Williamson (President), Cealach McKeating (Vice-President (Administrative)), Steven Rose (Secretary), Darryl Braier-Lorimer (Treasurer), Hugo Monnery (Lindsay), Meg Peyton-Jones (Dr. WHO), James Letten (Dr. WHO), Frederick Potts (Foody), Alberto Andrade (Academic Affairs and Careers Officer), Daisy Cutts (Access and Admissions Officer), Elliot Jones (Affiliations Officer), Saad Hamid (Affiliations Officer), Rivka Shaw (Charities and RAG Officer), Sophie Conquest (Charities and RAG Officer), Ruby Breward (Design & Maintenance Officer), Molly Rogers (Student Disabilities Officer), Samuel Gibb (Student Disabilities Officer), Matthew Fuller (Entz Officer), Chilla Knight (Environment & Ethics Officer), Hubert Au (Ethnic Minorities Officer), Thitapa Haritaworn (Ethnic Minorities Officer), Laura Bossino (International Students Officer), Richard Ware (Housing Officer), Ele Saltmarsh (LGBTQ Officer), Andrew Truong (Website & Computing Officer), Daisy Cockrean (Women's Officer), Rachael Ince-Kitson (Women's Officer)

    Absent with apologies: Zachary Leather (Foody), Helen Davies (Sports Rep), Xavier Greenwood (Sports Rep), Joseph Lee (Academic Affairs and Careers Officer), Emily Webb (Access and Admissions Officer), Indigo Wilde (Entz Officer), Aidan Balfe (Environment & Ethics Officer), Simon Kelly (John de Balliol), Nicholas Halterman (International Students Officer), Rory Meryon (LGBTQ Officer)

    Absent without explanation: Peter Sayer (Design & Maintenance Officer), Lewis Scott (John de Balliol)


    1. Matters arising

    2. STEM sisters event [Eliza]

    3. Co-option of Committee Officers

    4. Tour chocolate [Daisy & Emily]

    5. New PS4 safe [Darryl]

    6. FIFA 17 reimbursement [Darryl]

    7. Combining computing roles [Andrew]

    8. Freshers week feedback [Matt]

    9. Yarls Wood Demo [Richard]

    10. Entz subcommittee [Matt]

    11. AOB


    Annie welcomed the Committee and thanked their efforts during Freshers’ Week, noting the thanks she and Cealach had received from some freshers. She also encouraged the Committee to be active and run events in Michaelmas, suggesting that there is a tendency for Committees to become less active in their last term, and that this should be avoided, particularly for the benefit of freshers.

    “Go and create spirit in the JCR.”


    Eliza noted to the Committee that the STEM sisters Committee has no budget, and that they intend to run events of the form JCR teas and cinema events, and hence asked for £50 to do this.

    Meg asked if the £50 would be a one off, or if it would be a termly or annual budget. Eliza replied that it would be one-off, though the issue may be revisited in the future.

    Meg offered her support for STEM sisters.

    The Committee passed £50.

    Annie offered the Committee’s support for STEM sisters in advertising events and general coordination.


    Daisy told the Committee that she had noted on her manifesto that they would be more thankful to those who perform tours, and hence asked for up to £20 to pidge chocolate to those who had given tours.

    Darryl asked if it would be Lindt chocolate. Daisy responded that she would divide the sum passed by Committee by the number of people who have given tours.

    Ele asked about alternatives for people who don’t like chocolate. Daisy responded that it could be done, however it was intended to be a surprise. Annie suggested leaving a note with the chocolate offering a substitute. Sam noted vegan concerns. Daisy said she believes she could overcome these concerns.

    The Committee passed up to £20.


    Darryl told the Committee that he imagined people could guess what his table tennis item was about. He noted that all but one bat is broken. He thinks table tennis is fun, and even more fun when there is working equipment.

    Cealach noted that the last time money was passed it was agreed that it was to come from the sports budget. Darryl noted that table tennis equipment was not College’s responsibility, and hence it would be unreasonable to ask for this money from them for this. Annie responded that a table tennis captain could be established, who could then apply for money from the sports budget. Darryl noted that the sports committee budget was established yesterday.

    Ste suggested that using JCR money to maintain JCR equipment is entirely appropriate, and hence the minor expenditure on the table tennis equipment was suitable.

    Alberto suggested the expenditure be incorporated retrospectively in next year’s budget application to College.

    Hubert clarified that money had not been asked for for table tennis this year.

    Hugo suggested that the cost of the expenditure was not problematic, however the frequency with which table tennis was being raised in Committee lunch was the issue; Richard responded that it’s an issue of wear and tear, and hence the regularity of the item was unavoidable.

    Cealach noted that the JCR asked for two grand more than College could give this year.

    Annie asked Darryl to clarify whether there was an alumni fund to establish certain clubs, and could this be used to pay for table tennis. Darryl responded that if table tennis were to become a College responsibility, College may interfere to protect their investment.

    Meg offered that the table tennis table is an aspect of the JCR, rather than being explicitly sportsy, and hence should be perceived as part of the JCR to be maintained, and expenditure should be considered in the same way that expenditure on JCR decorations is considered.

    Hubert noted not all people use the table tennis table, and hence suggested a system of voluntary contribution should be established; Darryl noted that not all people use the JCR but they still have to pay levies.

    Richard asked about bulk buying.

    Darryl asked for £50.

    Freddy asked if bulk buying should go to a GM; Darryl noted the next GM was far away and hence this was required as a stop-gap solution.

    Darryl asked for someone else to make the purchase as he was busy working all day; the Committee told him to use Amazon (besides Annie who seemed somewhat sympathetic).

    The Committee passed up to £50 on the understanding that this would be discussed further in a GM.


    Darryl noted the safe housing the PS4 is broken; Richard asked how, but no one really cared enough to hear the story. Richard asked about getting a safe that doesn’t break, and hence bringing this to a GM to authorise a higher expenditure. Darryl noted that there exist time constraints. Laura asked if the PS4 would be stolen; Darryl noted the PS4 had been bought as a replacement for the PS3 that had been stolen.

    Annie suggested keeping the PS4 in the Office as a safe, however Darryl suggested this would be a pain for members. Ste suggested it would be no different to requiring people to find the safe key. Darryl suggested nailing the PS4 to a table. Ste was concerned this would break the PS4.

    Annie suggested delaying this to a GM.


    Annie invited candidates for D&M. Guy stood.

    Guy told the Committee that he knows things, and believes that it doesn’t matter who is D&M, and that he might come to some Committee lunches. Ste got excited. He also told the Committee that he had tried to fix a light the other day in the JCR. It didn’t work.

    Richard asked what his favourite type of screw driver is. Guy said the clicky one. Richard clarified that he meant the head of the screwdriver. Guy responded Phillips because “it’s taken the best aspects of previous screwdrivers.” This humble Secretary knows nothing about screwdrivers.

    Cealach asked what the most complicated thing he ever fixed was. His brother – a nice guy – once had issues building some sort of fireplace; Guy chiselled air-holes into the fireplace to make it work. This not only involved practical knowledge, but also theoretical knowledge.

    Darryl asked if hypothetically he bought a hypothetical bracket to hypotheticaclly screw into a wall to hypothetically keep the PS4 in place. He would.

    Guy was duly co-opted D&M.


    Darryl expressed concerns about ruining his austerity reputation. He told the Committee that a member had bought FIFA 17 asking to be reimbursed but didn’t want to come to a Committee lunch. The sum is £46.99.

    Hugo noted his belief that this was a bad way to proceed with this sort of expenditure, particularly in this instance where one non-committee individual had acted unilaterally.

    Daisy expressed concern at establishing a precedent of unauthorised spending of JCR members by a non-committee member, particularly endorsed by the Treasurer. Darryl assured the Committee he received a very emphatic apology, and would stress not exploiting this in the future.

    Darryl suggested it could reasonably be viewed as normal expenditure given established precedent.

    Richard asked what the difference between successive editions of the game was; Sam said the names get changed a bit.

    Annie reiterated that the concern that this suggested that this would create an unacceptable precedent to spend the JCR’s collective money. Darryl responded that technically the game currently exists in private ownership.

    Cealach and Annie suggested it is important that the member attend a Committee lunch to ask for reimbursement. Darryl agreed.

    Laura tangentially suggested that there is a concern among some members about contributing to GMs and Committee lunches. Annie agreed that this was a concern.

    Richard suggested a Committee lunch would not be effective, and the Committee should not foot this bill.

    Darryl suggested he bring a separate item to purchase FIFA 17. Richard suggested it be brought to a GM, particularly given how this situation arose. Hubert suggested asking the member to bring the motion to a GM.

    Hugo offered that Darryl’s solution would simply delay the problem.

    Annie summed up that the situation was that there was a problem of people who wanted things for the JCR not feeling comfortable asking the Committee or JCR for this is unfortunate, but unilateral expenditure by non-committee members is also not acceptable.

    Annie suggested the importance of establishing a culture within the JCR of not perceiving the Committee as an obstructive bureaucracy.

    Hubert clarified that the situation was that the Committee would ask the member to bring the item to a GM.

    Matt expressed concerns about balancing an appearance of pettiness on behalf of the Committee, but preventing future unilateral spending of JCR money.

    Sam asked for clarification regarding the email Darryl would send. Darryl explained the tone of the email would be to actively dissuade unilateral expenditure and explain the process. It was suggested by Cealach a positive tone would be more effective. Annie also noted a guide to how expenditure would be useful for freshers.

    Sam asked for welfare vetting of the email. Ste asked why this would be necessary as this is not standard process. Cealach offered to write the email.


    Andrew told the Committee that Chris Thompson (Head of IT at Balliol) suggested to him and Annie combining College computing officer with JCR computing officer, removing the officer from the Committee. Annie noted that the MCR had just done this in order to make contact points clearer. She noted that the college role is paid, and largely involves maintaining the printer, and the JCR role is MISC list, JCR website, setting up projectors. She suggested if roles were combined, the current mandate of the JCR IT Officer could be split among other officers, for example the responsibility of the MISC list falling to Secretary.

    Matt asked if there would be issues regarding Freshers’ Week tickets being sold on the JCR website. Andrew responded that the term of the College officer starts in Michaelmas, which means sorting out tickets would be tricky if the appointed officer graduated. Annie asked if that timetable could be changed. Andrew replied that he was unsure.

    Annie noted this would have to go through a GM should it be decided that the JCR Office should be removed, and hence this conversation was solely to sound out opinion among the Committee.

    Cealach asked if the motivation for removing someone from Committee would be because they were paid. Andrew responded that he didn’t currently have the College role, but the role was appointed by College rather than elected.

    Darryl suggested that the position may be left unfilled the lack of officer would be problematic. Andrew responded this is currently the case; Ste noted in a de facto sense, Andrew had filled the role of the College Officer.

    Richard noted it was useful to have the computing officer in Committee lunches. Matt asked what the advantage of combining the roles was; Andrew responded that it was a Committee role. Ste expanded that he felt it would be problematic to expect such an Officer to do things for or on behalf of the JCR. Cealach noted they could still attend the lunch; Richard responded that they would have no formal mandate.

    Andrew suggested it would not be reasonable to ask a College officer to maintain a JCR website. Matt suggested more conversations needed to be had with College about these various issues.

    Annie summed up that a radical change at the moment would not be ideal before further information had been found, to be brought up again in the future.

    Cealach noted that there is some guarantee of confidence in the JCR role that couldn’t be guaranteed by the appointment of a student by College.


    Richard noted there was a demo at Yarls Wood on the 3rd of December, Saturday of 8th week. There are coaches with twenty-eight seats going; he expressed his belief that it was a good cause and he would like to advertise it in some way. He was unsure how to bring this up appropriately at a GM. He explained that Yarls Wood is a refugee detention centre, mainly women, often women fleeing sexual abuse, often experiencing sexual abuse in a for-profit prison. He noted money could be donated to subsidise the coach for refugee tickets.

    Annie noted her support for the demo and Richard’s action. She ceded the chair to Cealach to go do other things relating to life and whatnot.

    Sam asked what happened to the JCR art rep position, and if they could make banners as a JCR activity. Daisy suggested that was possible. Matt suggested this could be expanded to arts for general advertising. Daisy agreed with this also.

    Sophie encouraged attendance, citing her previous experience at a similar demo. Rivka noted the number of people directly affects the prominence of the demo.

    Cealach asked if the Womens’ Officers had any thoughts. Rachael gave it a thumbs up. Cealach suggested mentioning it with an email; Rachael suggested bringing the motion in her capacity as Womens’ officer. Hubert suggested a separate email about the demo to avoid it being buried under other news.

    Meg asked about OUSU’s involvement; it was not involved. Meg suggested mandating Affiliations officers to bring this up at OUSU.

    Richard noted attendees would be back in time for the bop.

    Ploy noted that her and Hubert were planning a food night in Pantry and asked if support for the Yarls Wood demo rather than for charities.


    Daisy wants money for LOTR Risk. She hadn’t bought it yet. Meg asked if the board games had been found yet. Ele responded that monopoly had been but none others; Cealach suggested they’re gone forever with the Summer schools.

    Sam asked if there were concerns about losing shit. There aren’t. The cost is the issue. Daisy responded that it’s £49.99. Ele suggested regular Risk might be more appropriate. No. Sam asked for Daisy to find as economical a version as possible.

    The Committee passed up to £50.


    Laura noted some people left shit in the international storage rooms which need to be used for drama stuff, and hence have to moved to Jowett, and asked for someone to order a taxi. Cealach noted there is a van owned by maintenance. Laura was happy.


    Richard noted OUSU would be giving a living out talk in the JCR at five at some date, which he would email about later.


    Matt asked if scouts were unionised, noting they became unionised at Hertford and it had been a success.

    Cealach responded that she heard someone making moves on this but it didn’t get on the ground. Cealach suggested asking the head of housekeeping.


    Matt wanted feedback on freshers week and encouraged people to give feedback; he wanted to do this on Facebook for ease of use. Meg suggested using Google forms to encourage critical feedback.


    Matt noted Shuffle reps had contacted him about restarting Balliol club nights, and asked for thoughts. Everyone was very positive; Hugo and Richard noted that it was positive for the bar. Matt told the Committee he’d like it to happen as soon as possible; Daisy offered her support.

    Freddy asked why club nights stopped in the past. Matt responded that he wasn’t sure; Richard suggested it was an organisational thing. Daisy suggested previous Entz reps had been very into club nights so after they resigned, it had declined in prominence.

    Hugo noted Shuffle people still come to the bar to leave wristbands in the bar, and hence was uncertain about what club nights would additionally entail. Matt responded that he had been contacted about certain deals and whatnot.

    Cealach asked if there was an attached cost; Matt said he doesn’t believe so, but if he was, he wouldn’t spend without people’s support.

    Alberto suggested organising parallel non-drinking events. Cealach suggested HP.


    Darryl noted his email on Juniour Maintenance Grants and encouraged Committee to apply and to encourage friends to apply to encourage College support for maintenance grants. He noted self-selection was not advisable; and that only one application had been rejected last year.


    Hugo quickly went back to Matt’s thing, noting interaction with Shuffle had declined under a previous Entz rep as they intended to organise a straight night at Plush, and hence there was a moral aspect to the question. Matt noted that he had rejected a straight night at Plush for Freshers week, but this would be a deal breaker.


    James offered his congratulations to Cealach for freshers week, who was applauded by the Committee.


    Cealach thanked the Committee for their support in Freshers’ week.


    Cealach told College-based Committee members to get up at Saturday at eight to wake freshedrs for matriculation.


    The meeting was adjourned.