2014 General Meeting

Date of Meeting

    2014 General Meeting

    Date: Sunday 7th week, Michaelmas 2014 (2014-11-23)


    Main Agenda

    1. Charities Motion [Aisha and Henry]

    2. Welfare Training [Anna Hufton]

    3. Donate From Tampon Mountain [Claudia Freemantle]

    4. Ball Fund [Tabitha Pinto and Ellie Fox]

    5. Christmas Tree [Richard May]

    6. Standing Policy Amendment [Richard May]

    Standing Policy Review

    1. Investment [Richard May]

    2. Nestle [Richard May]

    3. Reserved business [Richard May]

    4. Slates [Richard May]

    5. Third world debt [Richard May]

    6. Sexual harassment and victim blaming [Richard May]

    7. Tutor for Disabled People [Daisy Porter and Richard May]

    Charity Nominations

    1. Chessy Whalen - The Against Malaria Foundation

    2. Max Dalton - Project Healthy Children

    3. James Kavanagh - The Monday Club

    4. Aisha Simon - UNICEF Ebola Crisis Appeal

    5. Amy Ford - Vimba

    6. Molly Rogers - Stop Rhino Poaching

    7. Lukas Freund - Child Protection and Development Center



    1. Charities Motion [Aisha and Henry]

      Each of the charities were quickly explained by the individuals who nominated them (or a representative).

      Max Dalton brought an amendment to vote to pick three charities. JM said that someone could just bring an amendment to not give to one charity, but MD said he preferred this method as it was more positive. AS and HWB did not take the amendment as friendly, because it is too difficult to quantify one person’s charity over others. AS also pointed out that all these people had taken the time to nominate, and some people might be put off nominating if they thought that there was a possibility that they would be rejected. She also pointed out that charity giving in the JCR was open, flexible, non-judgemental and non-political and this amendment might change that.

      Arguments given in favour of the amendment: it means that we will give to things that are important to us as an institution, democratically. We have all raised the money together. Charity is not a-political and some charities could be nominated that some people are offended by or that are directly opposed to one another in their politics. It is the fact that we have lots of money that makes it important to pick carefully and we should think about the impact on the people that are affected. The current system for optional levies involves voting for three. It could be useful for the JCR to learn about which charities are more effective. RH suggested an amendment that someone could bring: all charities get £50 and then we divide up the rest. (Nobody brought this amendment).

      Arguments given against the amendment: If charities were opposed, someone could always bring an amendment to strike one. There is enough money to go round all seven. It is consistent with the Charity Musical that Balliol has an inclusive attitude to charity. Possibly selecting fewer charities makes the motion less representative of the JCR. It might cause awkward public debate. Every single person had the chance to nominate a charity. There is a danger of the JCR becoming a “homogenised mass” – we shouldn’t underestimate the impact this motion and debate has on individuals. Problem with the arbitrary picking of three charities (rather than two or four). Limiting charities is limiting diversity – and this amendment comes from the assumption that some charities are more important than others. If this passes and we go straight to a vote, the vote will be no more carefully considered. The people who nominate charities may know more about them than they can publically convey. The GM is not the place for public scrutiny as it can be an intimidating place to speak. Alternative could be proportional representation system voting on the charities.

      Closing speeches on the amendment from MD and AS. The amendment failed.

      RH brought an amendment to strike resolve 7 and divide the money between the other charities.

      For the amendment: caring more about animals than people, and more important to look at the economic reasons of poaching.

      RH withdrew her amendment, and brought another amendment to take resolve 7 separately. MD spoke against this procedural motion, in favour of voting down this whole motion. RH’s procedural motion passed.

      MD brought another procedural motion to table this motion for the next GM. This was spoken against because the Ebola crisis is in needs of money now. The procedural motion failed.

      We moved back to the motion. Resolves 1-6 passed without opposition. We moved to debate on resolve 7.

      For voting on resolve 7: The space will always be unpleasant to debate a single charity.

      Against voting on resolve 7: This is a difficult space to speak in now, and in the past the Balliol GM voted to not do have these kind of discussions of nominated charities. MD said that his amendment was not intended to attack individual charities.

      Resolve 7 passed.

    2. Welfare Training [Anna Hufton]

      AH proposed the motion, explaining that welfare reps aren’t currently mandated to be trained. AH said that OUSU vp for Welfare is supposed to run College training but it is never particularly effective. Nightline training is a big time commitment (and a big favour from Nightline) so it would be difficult to get all of welfare subcommittee to do this as well – that is why the motion is just for  Dr WHO. The motion passed.

    3. Donate From Tampon Mountain [Claudia Freemantle]

      CF and IW explained the motion. MD said that in the future a sensible Treasurer would increase the Tampon Mountain levy when the fund had run down ( he predicts this will be in around 12 years time).

    4. Ball Fund [Tabitha Pinto and Ellie Fox]

      TB and EF brought the motion. For the Balliol Comem Ball, the JCR raised a fund through optional levies to support people who can’t afford a ticket. The 2015 Ball will be £75 for a Balliol member. It will be up to the Chaplain how much and who to help. EF and TB think it is unlikely that there will be money leftover – but if there was it might be up to the JCR how to spend it. MD said that the income from this wouldn’t arrive until the second week of Trinity. EF said that they thought the ball tickets would be sold to Balliol students on an opt-out system. EF said that the College are happy to front money to the Ball Com before the battles come in. Only Balliol students would be entitled to the subsidy.

      The motion passed without opposition.

    5. Christmas Tree [Richard May]

      RM brought the motion. MD suggested that we mandate the Treasurer to interpret this as ordinary expenditure and buy a Christmas tree however much it cost, pending hyper-inflation.

      The motions passed without opposition.

    6. Standing Policy Amendment [Richard May]

      RM brought the motion. He explained all the problems with the current editing on Standing Policy. His motion is for amending the SP procedurally at any point in the GM. RM said that the three years seems to be to make sure that people are aware of every item SP: it isn’t clear if it was originally intended that we only look at each item every three years, but that is how it has been interpreted in the past. The motion passed.

    The end of an excellent musical interlude from a certain Alex McKenzie provoked a mass exodus. We were without quorum and the GM was terminated.