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JCR Democracy

St John's JCR is proudly democratic.

Decisions, including significant budget allocations, JCR beliefs, and JCR processes must be passed in a JCR Meeting with at least 25 people present. Any member of the JCR can ask questions to those proposing changes, and voting by secret ballot can be requested.

Events and procedures are entrusted to student Officials. Officer roles, after Hustings take place, are elected by online vote, and Rep roles are elected in JCR General Meetings made accessible to all. JCR members can hold Officials to account at meetings, and can bring a No Confidence Motion if they are unsatisfied with an Official’s conduct.

You can learn more about the JCR by reading the Constitution.

JCR Meetings

There are usually 4 of these a term, lasting around an hour. Have a read: A Guide to JCR Meetings.

What happens at them? The Meetings are a chance for Officers to give reports on their work since the last meeting. Vacant Rep roles are offered to anyone wishing to run. Items for Discussion – which can be put forward by any JCR member – are then discussed. Motions sent to the Secretary are then put to the meeting, with votes on each motion determining whether they pass or fail.

What’s a motion? Motions instruct the JCR how to act in relation to a specific issue and can be written by any JCR member. Most motions are either Constitutional – where the wording of our Constitution is changed – or Financial -where the JCR allocates money to a specified group, cause, or budget. Much like Parliament, a JCR cannot bind a future JCR, so a Motion can undo any existing work or policy. 

How is a motion discussed? When a Motion is put, it is introduced by either its Proposer or its Seconder (every Motion needs two people in support initially). Anyone can then ask short factual questions to the Proposer. Once these are answered, Points for Discussion can be raised. Discussion ends either when all questions are answered, or any member present calls for a ‘Move to Vote’. If there is no objection to the Move to Vote, a simple In Favour/Against/Abstain vote is cast, with the highest of either In Favour (motion passes) or Against (motion fails) determining the vote’s outcome. A Constitutional Motion (anything that changes how the Constitution is written) must be passed again (ratified) at the next meeting.

Want to learn more? You can read our guide to JCR meetings here and the minutes of past meetings here