JCR Newsletter - Week 1

Dear Downing,

Welcome back to Easter term! I hope that you've had a great break from Cambridge. Most of the contents of this email is information that I've received in a number college committee meetings that is especially relevant to undergrads.

1. Outdoor Workspaces - If you haven't already seen, Isla has managed to get some chairs and tables out on the paddock. This space is intended for those who like to have the option of working outside in the sun. If you can't manage to get a space, remember that there are plenty of chairs and tables that surround the Sunken Garden, by the Howard building. If you do happen to bring any snacks/drinks to revise, please try to clear away any litter. One of the conditions of us making use of the paddock in this way is conditional on there not being "negative aesthetic consequences".

2. Booking speakers to use the Butterfield - As you I hope you are aware, it is possible to book the downstairs of the Bfield by contacting me sufficiently in advance. If you are planning to invite an external speaker to college (someone who is not a member of Downing College students or staff or fellows) you will need to contact the Head Porter before I can confirm a booking of the space. This new regulation has been put in place as part of college's legal obligation to fulfil the Prevent duty that the government recently put into law. You will need to fill out a form to include details of the speaker, contents of the talk/event, etc. Do take this additional bureaucratic level into consideration when planning to invite a speaker.

As a general point I will probably send an email later this week on what Prevent is and what it means for students at Downing. 

3. Free weights in the gym - This came up in General Purposes Committee. College have told us that free weights are not permitted in the gym because there is no permanent presence in the gym to give a reasonable guarantee of safety for users. If you have any suggestions or responses that you would like me to raise with college on this issue, get in contact with me or the Sports Officer, Miles.

4. Smoking in college - There are the only four places in college you are allowed to smoke: 

the area outside the side entrance to the Butterfield Café/Bar
the area by the ramp at the rear of the MCR (East Lodge Garden)
the area behind the pavilion on the Paddock
the area around the Fitzwilliam Gate

If you are caught smoking in your room, you will be most likely be fined. The reason college are strict on this is that it is very difficult to get the smell of smoke out of carpets, walls, curtains etc, so they have to pay for a specialist cleaning services. Given that college is very reliant on conference income, rooms that don't smell of smoke is pretty important. Additionally please don't cover up the smoke detector in your room in order to smoke there. This is illegal and puts fellow students at risk. 

5. Anonymous Contact System - Thanks to the technical wizardry of our Internet Officer, if you go to the committee page of the revamped JCR website, there is the option to contact any member of the committee anonymously. We will try to respond as soon as we can.

6. Exam Term Tips, 7.00-8.30pm 26th April in the Butterfield - **FRESHERS** Our Welfare Officers Vishaal and Isla have organised a panel of second years to discuss how they managed stress in their first Easter term and important advice they want you to know. If you feel like you could use a bit of extra advice, come along and hear what they have to say! The panel will consist of:

Alfie Wright (Medicine)
Leo Ferrari (Maths)
Daniel Duffy (Phys Natsci)
Mohamed Sacranie (Law)
Vishaal Thakrar (Bio Natsci)
Liam Asman (Computing)
Humaira Bhadelia (Economics)
Rachel Mumford (Geography)
Isla Ziyat (Engineering)

That's all from me. As ever, if you have any queries or complaints or suggestions, please don't hesitate to contact me or one of the other members of the JCR committee.


Posted in JCR Newsletters on Apr 22, 2016