The JCR holds at least three Ordinary General Meetings (OGM) a term. These meetings are usually held fortnightly and there is always an abundant supply of free food and drink. Below is a full explanation of what the JCR Meetings can offer you.
For more information on the procedure at a JCR Meeting please take a look at our guide.
What can I get out of JCR meetings?
There is a surprisingly large range of issues that you can influence both within the JCR and around college more generally, through the voice of the JCR meeting:
If there is a particular item that you feel would make the JCR a happier place to be, for example, a mirror for the TV room so that everyone doesn’t have to turn around to see who’s just come in when they hear the door creak open, then ask the JCR to buy it for you. Equally, if there is something you would like to see changed in college beyond the JCR, such as better storage facilities in the library, mandate your JCR to persuade the SCR and Governing Body to put that change in place.
Perhaps you feel that the JCR is missing that little something without a subscription to your favourite publication, be it Private Eye, Croquet Magazine, or the Daily Star. If so, ask the JCR to add it to its list of subscribed newspapers & magazines and that vacuum will be filled with the glossy pages of your choice.
Is there a particular charitable cause that you champion? Do you know someone whose life has been touched by the work of a specific charitable organisation? If your answer is yes to either of these questions, and you would like to make a donation of up to £300 to the charity you have in mind, simply ask the JCR to do so. For more information on this check out the charities page.
If you’re unhappy about the very fact that someone has had to sit down and write a guide simply to explain to you how to actually go about contributing to SJC JCR meetings, or you feel that current voting procedure in the elections is deeply inconvenient, ask the JCR to make its procedure simpler or its elections more flexible.
The St. John’s Opinion
Occasionally, the Oxford University Students’ Union will ask all the colleges’ JCRs their views on a particular event, be it political, such as the current tensions in Iran, or practical, such as securing a new funding structure, and you can contribute to deciding the stance that your college and your university will take in full view of the rest of the world. You can also ask the JCR to express support for any cause that is close to your heart.
… and the rest
Of course, by coming to JCR meetings, you can participate in the debate on all of the above decisions, listen to and question the JCR Officers who are in charge of making your lives as easy as possible, and get your fill of the copious food, drink, alcohol and other miscellaneous consumables available for your delectation!
How do I submit my requests to the JCR?
If you have a request that you wish to bring to the attention of the JCR then you need to submit a Motion, which is a formal statement of your request, drawn up with help from the JCR Secretary. Here is a step-by-step guide taking you from creating your motion to having it succeed at a JCR meeting:
Tell the Secretary what you want to propose…
You will need to send the JCR Secretary (email@example.com) your motion, stating:
- What the current situation is (e.g. This JCR notes that, the JCR does not have a college pet, this could be remedied by obtaining a Tortoise).
- Why the JCR should change the current situation (e.g. most members of the JCR would enjoy a College Tortoise).
- What you are proposing (e.g. to authorise the expenditure of up to £300 of JCR funds for the purchase and housing of a College tortoise, provided that any necessary College approval for the housing of said tortoise is first obtained.).
The motion template will help you lay out your motion – don’t forget you can always ask the JCR secretary for help and advice!.
…in good time for it to be put on the Agenda
You will need to submit your request to the JCR Secretary at least 48 hours before a JCR meeting (which occurs on a Sunday) so that your Motion can be put on the agenda for the next meeting.
At the meeting: you take centre-stage
When your motion comes to be discussed, members will be asked by the Chair if they have any questions for you, which you will then have to answer.
Then, if a member feels that your Motion would be better if it were slightly different, they may ask to amend your Motion. You can argue against the JCR accepting the amendment if you wish and the amendment alone will then be voted on. It passes if a majority of members are in favour of it.
Then, whether or not there has been an amendment, the members may discuss your Motion, and you can take part in this, too. If opinion is divided during the discussion, the Chair may ask you and a member opposing your Motion to gives short speeches for and against it.
At the meeting: the vote
If you are proposing a Charities Motion, this will be passed if there are no objections to it. If a member does object to it, your Motion will go to the vote, and will pass if a majority are in favour of it. All other types of motions will pass if more votes are in favour of it than are against it, excluding abstentions.
Putting your successful motion into practice
Congratulations! If your motion has been passed, it will be the total responsibility of the Committee to ensure that it is implemented as soon as reasonably possible.
As ever if you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch!