JCR Meetings and Elections

What is a JCR meeting?

JCR meetings are an opportunity for members of the JCR to come together to discuss and debate issues relating to college life, vote on various motions and learn more about candidates running for exec positions. They’re a fun but fairly serious part of college life and a chance for your voice to be heard!

When and where are they held?

JCR meetings take place two or three times a term on a Sunday evening in the college dining room. They usually don’t last much more than an hour at the most and can be used equally well as a break from studying for Monday morning’s tutorial or as a chance to get set for SNK.

Do I have to go?

If you’re in first year and live in college or you’re on exec, then yes, you’ll need to come along. If you have a good reason that you can’t make it (“too much work” does not count!) then you can be excused by emailing jcrapologies@gmail.com to explain before midday on the day of the meeting, but if you’re absent and didn’t send an apology then you’ll be fined £5. Although the meetings are compulsory, people tend to be happy to attend as they can be pretty interesting and their outcomes do have a real effect on your college experience.

What happens in a meeting?

Everyone has to wear their gowns at a JCR meeting, although there’s no requirement to be dressed smartly underneath. The JCR Chair oversees proceedings and runs the meeting, which usually starts with announcements from the exec and anyone else who has something to say. We then move on to questions of officers, motions and husting for JCR elections. To help it go by a bit quicker we provide snacks and the conference bar is normally open so you can help yourself to refreshments throughout.

How can I propose a motion?

To propose a motion, you can contact the JCR Chair and fill out a short form. At the meeting, you or a friend will need to read out the motion and quickly explain why you think it’s a good idea, then take any questions from the floor. Depending on the motion, we’ll vote on whether to pass it either by a hand count on the spot or an online vote.

How do elections work?

Each year the positions on the JCR Executive Committee (the exec) and some other college roles are opened to election. Any JCR member can run for an exec position by submitting a bogsheet (an A4 campaign poster to be stuck up around college) to the JCR Chair with the name of a proposer and seconder. You will then need to hust at the next meeting (a quick 3 minute speech explaining why you’re the best candidate) and answer questions from the floor. An online vote open to the whole JCR will then be held to determine the winner, using a Single Transferrable Vote system to try and ensure the best result for everyone. There will be lots of info sent out about the positions open in the next meeting so you will have plenty of time to think about what to run for and put a bogsheet together.

I have more questions, who can I ask?

Ben Summer is this year’s JCR Chair, you can contact him at st-marys.chair@durham.ac.uk to find out more about elections, motions, the exec, meetings and anything else to do with the JCR.