Charlotte Attwood (CA, chair), Dan Bowen (DB), Charles Board
(CB), Philip Brown (PB), Rob Gard (RG), Madeline Grimm (MG),
Victor Chu & Verity Smith (VC & VS, or Team V), Alina Kozlovski
(AlKo), Chris Wilson (CW), Peppar Cyr (PC), Johan Hendrikkson
(JH), Allison Kindig (AlKi), Mich Liebst (ML), Spencer Brennan
(SB), Isabel Estevez (IE).
Xanthe Gilmore (XG), Gareth Mattey (GM), Daniel Zimmerman (DZ),
Jordan Hattar (JH), Kim Harrisberg (KH), Matt Samson (MS).
Quorum is 50 % + 1 of the number of members of the MCR Committee.
This correspond to 13 people; 16 were present, so quorum was
3 Minutes of last meeting
The minutes of the Commitee meeting on 18th January 2016 were
Vote: For: 13. Against: 0. Abstained: 3 (members absent at this
time). Minutes passed.
4 Matters arising
4.1 Committee position reports
ML and KH have been hard at work working on the Women in Academia
event. This will likely be in the second week of Easter term,
after the McLuhan Symposium. This should be early enough in term
that people won’t be too busy to attend. It will be a
buffet-style event. The MCR will fund half, and it is hoped the
Development Office will fund the other half, though the details
are still being negotiated.
Team V have run a veritable plethora of eVents. A trip to the
Globe theatre has been organised, with 15 people signed up. There
is a swap this Friday, and another one organised with Sidney
Sussex in the future. Attendance at eVents has generally been
PB has been up to his usual tricks. Various minutes have been
written and distributed; feedback for these has generally been
good, with the minutes variously described as “quite funny”, “not
actually that boring” and “a masterpiece of the genre”. The
minutes from the last meeting have been uploaded publicly to the
website. The Archive on the website is also up and running; this
includes such gem as this year’s Budget. PB attended the Library
Advisory Group meeting. The Jerwood Library is keen to expand,
both for additional study space and book shelf space. A number of
short- and long-term plans are in place for this. MCR members
should fill in the ongoing Library Survey to provide postgrad
feedback on how the library functions.
AlKo and CW have been busily organising the McLuhan Symposium.
The first call for papers has gone out. There will be a few
longer talks and a panel discussion. The Education Committee
meeting with College had no significant developments. The
Academic Officers are still working with the postdocs to organise
a Meet the Postdoc event.
SB has been working on the student interviews. The first one of
these has been done. Discussions are ongoing with JK regarding
uploading this to the website. MS has been working on finding
speakers for the Annual Dinner.
CB has been involved with discussion with College regarding rent
at the Finance Committee meeting, along with CA. There were
attempts to clarify the new rent discussion procedure. The Master
in general supported the MCR’s suggestion that the Bursary would
present a document on rents to the JCR and MCR in advance of a
Finance Committee meeting, giving time for the MCR to prepare a
statement. The final rent details would then be worked out at the
Finance Committee meeting, where comments from the MCR would be
considered. However, it is currently unclear how far in advance
this proposal would be provided to the MCR, who request it is at
least one month. There is also some uncertainty on when the next
round of rent negotiations would be, though it would certainly
not be this year.
RG and MG attended the Kitchen Advisory Group, kept the MCR
stocked with delicious food, and sent out invites for the St.
Patrick’s Day Dinner to the Master, the Graduate Tutor and the
Deputy Graduate Tutor.
JH and and AlKi reported that College has now achieved Fair Trade
status. They are planning to celebrate with an event to kick off
Fair Trade Fortnight. Throughout this week various events have
been planned by Catering to promote Fair Trade produce in Hall
and the Aula Bar.
PC has been to the Buildings Committee. New Build laundry will be
switched over to Circuit this summer. Welfare Tea has continued,
and a workshop on imposter syndrome was help. Many people
expressed interest in the workshop, so likely another one will be
help, or the materials made available online.
JK has made changes to the website and email addresses to reflect
changes on the Committee. At the IT Advisory Group, the issue of
CCTV in College was discussed, particularly regarding whether
signs would have to be posted. No resolution was reached. In
early July, internet will be turned off in Bateman Street, but
leases finish at the end of June so this shouldn’t affect anyone.
IE has been working on the JCR/MCR mentor scheme. A significant
number of MCR mentors have signed up, and the list has been
passed to the JCR. A mechanism is needed to track whether mentors
are fulfilling their role, and this is being discussed with the
JCR. A “Meet your Mentor” event will happen at some point.
DB has sat on various College commitees, and CUSU council. A
highly successful Pub Quiz has been run.
CA has been to more meetings than she can remember.
4.2 Ideas for Fair Trade Fortnight
JH and AlKi sought ideas for Fair Trade fortnight. Many events
are already being organised by Catering. Likely another
Sustainable Bakeoff will be run, as attendance at the previous
one was fairly good.
4.3 Situation of the Post-Doc Representative
Annette Bruhl has finished as Post-Doc Rep; she will shortly be
leaving Cambridge. Elections were held among the postdocs for a
new rep, and JK was chosen. The post-docs are still keen to do a
Meet the Postdoc event, working with the Academic Officers. There
are plans for a post-doc pub night. Post-docs are keen to
contribute to the McMenemy Seminar; Martin Walker (MW), McMenemy
Coordinator, clarified that this was welcomed, and indeed many
postdocs had already given talks.
A prolonged discussion ensued on the role of the Post-Doc Rep. At
the last GSPDRA Committee meeting with College, it had been made
clear that the MCR should formalise the role. At the last MCR
Open Meeting, there had been some debate about the nature of the
role – in particular, whether it should become a full Committee
role with a vote in Committee meetings.
JK presented a number of arguments in favour of the Post-Doc Rep
role being a full Committee position. These are outlined below,
including any discussion or rebuttals.
1. The PDRA rep has already had a vote on Committee meetings for
several years. Pauline Kiesow clarified that in fact this
wasn’t the case; while Annette’s viewpoints had been
considered, her vote hadn’t been counted towards resolutions at
Committee meetings, in line with the Constitution.
2. The MCR already has representatives of different groups to
ensure their welfare (MCR/JCR rep, LGBT+ and Women’s). PB
argued that the MCR/JCR rep’s role was to represent the whole
of the MCR to the JCR (rather than a small subset in the MCR),
and that the Women’s and LGBT+ roles existed to support
historically marginalised groups, which didn’t really cover
postdocs. ML responded that really post-docs have been quite
marginalised and occupy an unusual position in College, so a
representative to stand up for their viewpoint would be useful.
3. If the only way post-docs can have their voices heard is by
performing a different role on the Committee, this might
detract from their work on the role they’re elected for. This
was generally agreed upon.
4. A dedicated post-doc role would make Trinity Hall attractive
to other postdocs. Currently most colleges don’t have postdocs,
though this is likely to change over the next few years.
College could use the effective integration of the postdocs
into the MCR to encourage more postdocs to apply, as well as
likely procuring more funding for additional postdocs. It was
felt that this was a compelling argument. At the moment the
role of postdocs in colleges is fairly nebulous. Trinity Hall
could blaze the trail for full postdoc integration, and thereby
become highly attractive to propective postdoc applicants. This
in turn would justify College providing more resources to the
MCR to support the integration of postdocs.
5. Postdocs could play a role in increasing the MCR budget. In
addition postdocs currently make up 10 % of MCR numbers but
contribute more than 10 % of the budget, so it was felt they
should have more of a say. CB noted that postdocs are entitled
to vote on the Budget, as full MCR members, and that they can
have a say at Open Meetings.
6. Integrating postdocs into the MCR is good for the wider MCR.
They would bring more resources, people and skills, a different
(and more experienced) viewpoint on academia, a good link to
Junior Research Fellows, and valuable mentorship skills.
7. Having a formal Committee position for the Post Doc rep
establishes continuity. It gives postdocs the best chance to be
a part of future MCRs and encourages their full integration.
A number of other points were raised. It had been suggested by
the postdocs that they could form their own sub-committee, with
their own constitution, and this would then contribute a member
to the wider MCR Committee. PB and CB argued that this would lead
to less integration, rather than more, contrary to the aims of
the wider MCR which would value better integration of postdocs.
In addition a separate postdoc committee would likely lead to
excessive duplication of work – they would have to run their own
MW raised a question about whether another Committee member would
cause problems making quorum. PB responded that it wouldn’t be a
significant issue as it would in practice only raise quorum for
Committee meetings, and having an additional warm body to vote
would actually be beneficial, provided the postdoc rep was
committed to attending MCR Committee meetings.
AlKo noted that postdocs were encouraged to present at the
McLuhan Symposium; MW clarified that they should continue to
present at McMenemy seminars.
The issue was put to an informal vote. Further discussions will
take place between the current postdoc rep and the Exec, and a
proposal for Constitutional amendment will be put forward at next
term’s Open Meeting.
Vote: The Postdoc Rep should be a full Committee position, with
voting rights on the MCR Committee. For: 12. Against: 0.
Abstained: 4. Motion passed.
Action: JK to discuss the exact nature of the Constitution
changes with the Exec, in consulation with the postdocs. This
will likely involving the creation of a Postdoc Rep position on
the MCR Committee. This would be put to the MCR at the next Open
5 Any other business
5.1 McMenemy Seminar
MW raised the issue of low attendance at McMenemy seminars. He
suggested that they be opened to the whole University to attend,
though only Trinity Hall students could present. In practice,
Trinity Hall students often bring friends from other colleges
already, and there are seldom too many attendees for the amount
of wine provided (which is the crucial issue here). The only real
change would be to advertise McMenemy seminars more widely, for
example on talks.cam.ac.uk, and make it clear they were open to
anyone. This would hopefully improve the level of attendance,
which would be beneficial for the speaker.
PB asked whether the McMenemy funding stipulated that only
Trinity Hall members should attend; MW clarified that this wasn’t
A few other suggestions were made to improve attendance. CA
suggested that the JCR should be informed, as they were in
general bizarrely keen to attend academic talks. This was felt to
be a good idea. JK suggested that currently the talks are too
early, and at an awkward time just before Grad Hall. Likely the
rapacious parasite that is Grad Hall pre-drinks draws people away
from the McMenemy seminar. Either the McMenemy Seminar could be
moved – perhaps to a lunch time – or Grad Hall pre drinks could
happen at the seminar, encouraging people to attend.
CA suggested that a poll should be sent round the MCR asking for
feedback on more convenient times.
Action: MW to advertise the McMenemy seminars on talks.cam.ac.uk,
and anywhere else appropriate. MW to send a poll around asking
about timing of the seminar.
6 Date of next meeting
Obviously the next meeting date will be decided closer to the