2014 General Meeting

Date of Meeting

2014 General Meeting

Date: Sunday 5th week, Michaelmas 2014 (2014-11-09)

Agenda


Matters Arising

  1. Status of suspended students [Ross C]

Agenda

  1. White Poppies [Rose Hadshar]
  2. The Room Ballot for Fourth Year Students [Orla Oakey]
  3. Smoking Ban [George Brookland for Connel Allison]
  4. Lock-in [Dan Turner]

Minutes


Matters Arising

  1. Status of suspended students [Ross Cathcart]

Ross Cathcart reported a productive conversation with the College about suspended status students. They are currently revising the wording of the handbook, and a motion will be forthcoming.

  1. White Poppies [Rose Hadshar]

    RH explained her motion. RM asked for date on the white poppies. RH said that she spent£25 on the current box of white poppies. She doesn’t know how many are selling this year, but the last box of 25 lasted two years. There is no specific price for the poppies, and the donations go back into the JCR’s funds. RM brought an amendment so that the money from donations goes to charity not to the JCR. The amendment was accepted as friendly. AH was uncomfortable with the idea of this happening every year without debate. RH said that this didn’t have to mean that the JCR agreed with white poppies, just that they thought that there should be a choice every year. The motion passed.

  2. The Room Ballot for Fourth Year Students [Orla Oakey]

    OO explained that she wanted people who were going into fourth year who had only had one year in College should be guaranteed their second year in College was on mainsite. If the ballot were oversubscribed, and fourth years were too low to be on mainsite, they would be moved up to the bottom of the ballot. TP pointed out that language year students would have only lived “out” for one year like any three year finalist. AH confirmed that any finalist who was too low on the mainsite ballot was guaranteed a place in Jowett. AH said that it was a difficult to decision to live out in third year if you might have to live out again in fourth year. Also that at the moment a third year classicist would have just as much priority as a fourth year classicist. JM spoke in favour of treating all finalists equally. AB brought an amendment which was accepted as friendly. OO said that for linguists, the year abroad was really expensive and that the financial advantage of living in College might be something they particularly would be grateful for. AH said that Balliol was very set up for three year courses, and that people on four courses might be overlooked; for example people doing their exams in second year when they’re living out. She said that as Dr Who she would be more concerned about fourth years and that this would be a good motion for a very small sacrifice. RD spoke in favour of the motion. OO said that for the last two years the ballot had not been oversubscribed. AA spoke in favour of the motion, and that people might have to choose to live out in third year hoping to live in in fourth year, and that three year courses didn’t have to make that choice. AH said that she had thought about this, but that prioritising “finalists” gets too complicated because of scientists.  CP pointed out that for anyone to be in Jowett alone when all their friends are on main site is not convenient or fun. IW said that the welfare side was really dependent on the individual. AH said that for people who would really struggle to live out there would be a welfare provision anyway. OO said that this would make a real difference to people’s state of mind, and that we should remember that it is stressful being on a different exam schedule to everyone else. RH said that people doing four courses get funding to study for another year and that’s a privilege. RW called to move to a vote. OO made a summary speech in proposition. CP made a speech in opposition. The motion fell by 1 vote (25 for, 26 against).

  3. Smoking Ban [George Brookland for Connel Allison]

    FH asked how there would be greater punishment imposed, but there were no clear ideas. RM said that he thought Balliol didn’t do fines usually because it was more harmful to low income students. CS said that sometimes students were charged a large clean-up charge, rather than a “fine”, but that came to a similar thing. AP said that it was “slightly ludicrous” to add something to the JCR constitution that was law. DT said that it was up to the Porter and the Deans to enforce. RH brought an amendment so that the motion “actually has teeth”. RM had opposition to the amendment because it might be offensive to the Dean. AP said that he would like “credible action” not to include fines. AH agreed with this. DT said that other punishments might include community service or having to not use certain services. AP said that he was in OUCA on Thursday, and even they thought that fining people wasn’t acceptable. On that basis he thinks this JCR should not condone fines. ML said that at this point in time the motion was too convoluted and we should have it re-written at another time. KH said that this motion wasn’t about fines, or the recent occurence of smoking inside. JM said that the motion went too far in its attitude to the Dean. A procedural motion to take this in parts failed. I called to move to vote. MD summarised his amendment. The amendment was accepted.

    We then debated an amendment to the motion to strike belief 4, as CS said that it was based on factual inaccuracies and that it didn’t need to be there. The amendment passed without opposition. There was another amendment to strike belief 6, which passed without opposition. MD made a summary speech in proposition for the motion. CP made a short speech against saying that this motion would break down on bop night. The motion passed.

  4. Lock-in [Dan Turner] with amendment from Richard May

    DT explained that traditionally after the committee elections there had been a bar lock-in; at some points there had been a charge introduced. It was legally fine, but DT is against this because of the wrong signal it sends. CS asked about the cost to the JCR. AM said that it depends on how it’s operated: a fiver entry is borderline, a tenner entry makes money for the bar. AM said that he organised a lock-in after the charity musical. College have to agree that we can have a lock-in, and last time it was Doug who allowed it. RM brought an amendment which was not taken as friendly. RM said that his amendment noted that we don’t know how many people/who will be involved before, and other people can hold lock-ins, and if the bar charged for actual drinks and had it at a time after 11pm when the bar was shut it would be good for the bar, and for committee relations. RM took short factual questions about the purpose of the lock-in. AM said that the reason the entry fee is good, is that no one has to be running the bar, so the Lord Lindsey can join in the lock-in. RM said that there would be four Duckworths and two Lindsey’s so for two hours no one would have to do a very long shift. FH pointed out that it would be difficult to stop people coming in if the bar was just running normally. RM said that any other event even not in the bar would be exclusive. DT said that he thought it was important that we had this discussion in public, because it wasn’t right for committee to decide this for themselves. JT said that the bar was a service for the JCR and that it wasn’t right to stop members of the JCR going in. JM opposed the amendment ideologically and practically. The sports teams would never actually be able to have a lock-in. An entry fee would mean people serving themselves which would be havoc, and getting the Duckworths and Lindseys to do it would be asking for them to work for free. Or getting people and paying them is just like having an open bar and seems unfair to ban the rest of the JCR. RH said that if people were able to gain extra knowledge of the bar in an exclusive way that would be bad in making the bar a communal space.  RD spoke against having an event in the bar.  Someone said that charity musical had been kept quiet last year because lots of people would not be happy about it happening. JT said that committee was already exclusive, and that having a lock-in would exacerbate this. CP said that committee do a lot of work that goes unnoticed and that there should be some sort of reward. RM said that she didn’t like the idea that the best way to get to know the new committee was to drink lots of alcohol. EE said that she thought that this event should happen somewhere else in College and in a different setting. CF said that the charity musical was open to anyone who wanted to be involved, in a way that committee isn’t because you might not make it. ML said that you couldn’t lock up the JCR for two hours one evening, and this would be similar. CS said that were lots of groups who represent the JCR in different ways, and Committee shouldn’t be elevated above others. JCM said that committee are on a team called the JCR, so maybe the whole JCR should throw a party to thank the committee. The problem with the lock-in is that it looks like committee are thanking themselves. AM also said that the charity musical didn’t think they would get a lock-in till they asked so we shouldn’t make assumptions about the Dean’s attitudes to these things.

    We moved to vote on the amendment. The amendment failed. We moved to vote on the motion. The motion passed.