Get Involved!

Want to be a part of one of the most dynamic JCRs in Cambridge? Got some ideas on how to improve college life? Got the enthusiasm to make a difference? Want to meet new people? Want to gain some experience? Now's the time to get involved!

Downing JCR students will elect the final members of a new committee to represent them for the next year. You could be a part of this. There are up to twenty-five positions available to be filled, check out the full list of positions available.

Being on the JCR Committee is a fantastic opportunity to broaden your experience of college life. It's fun, rewarding, provides a good break from studies and looks great on a CV! The minimum commitment is around 3 committee meetings per term (with an extra one a fortnight for Senior Officers) in addition to any college or CUSU meetings in which your position has a place.

If you are interesting in running, then read the guides on how to stand and the election rules, and get your nomination in! After the first round of nominations ends, a list of who is standing will be announced. Then there are just three days left for anyone else to announce their intention to stand, and candidates can add their names to any of the positions (whether someone else declared for that position or not in the first round). A final list of candidates will be published after this second round closes.

Hustings: Hear them out!

Everyone is Downing is welcome to attend a lively hustings where, if you are standing for any position, you are asked to give a short speech and students can ask questions to candidates. It's a friendly event, and there's always a good turnout and some interesting debates.

How to Stand

If you want to make a difference to your college community, why not stand for a position? Take a look at the our guide to the positions available and what they involve, and decide which is right for you.

To stand, follow these simple steps:

  • Find two people to propose and second your nomination: they can be any members of the JCR (i.e. any undergraduate and most 4th years)
    • Current officers of the JCR Committee cannot propose or second the nomination for any candidate
  • Submit your nomination:
  • This must be done by the deadline of the first round of nominations or the deadline of the second round of nominations latest.
  • You must include:
    • Your name
    • The position you are standing for
    • Who is proposing and seconding you
    • Your email address
    • Your manifesto as a PDF
  • The JCR Vice President will confirm by e-mail that they have received your nomination
  • Any manifesto must be on A4 paper and must be no more than 250 words long. You must include the name of the individuals who proposed and seconded your nomination. This will be displayed in Plodge and on the JCR website.
  • Attend the hustings to put forward your ideas to the rest of the JCR and answer any questions they may have. Each candidate is allowed one minute to speak, senior officer candidates up to 3 minutes. Questions can then be asked, but any question must be to all candidates and not to individual candidates.
  • Go and vote for yourself and get a say on your prospective colleagues on the Committee!

How the Voting Works

Anyone who is a member of the JCR body can vote. Voting takes place online and you will be informed of the time of the elections by an email from the JCR President.

Basic Summary

Downing JCR uses a voting system called single transferrable voting (STV). On the ballot paper, voters write 1 next to their preferred candidate, 2 next to their second choice and so on until they are indifferent. If their first choice candidate doesn't get an overall majority, then their second choice votes are used, and so on.

Downing JCR also has a provision for RON, which stands for Re-Open Nominations. You should mark this box on the ballot paper if you do not want any of the candidates, and if "RON" is elected, then a new election has to be held for that position.

Counting Details for STV

Counting takes place by the following procedure for each position to be elected:

  1. Spoilt ballot papers, or ballot papers where a voter did not specify anything (for that position) are put to one side.
  2. First preference votes are counted, and ballot papers seperated into piles for each candidate
  3. If any candidate has over half of the first preference votes, they are elected
  4. If no-one has a majority of over 50%, then the candidate with the fewest number of votes is eliminated. Their pile of votes is distributed to the other candidates according to the voters' next preferences on those ballot papers only. If no further preferences are stated on that ballot paper it is discarded for this position
  5. The piles are recounted. Any candidate has over half of the remaining votes is elected. If not, the candidate with the next fewest votes at this stage is eliminated, and the process repeats.
  6. If there is a tie to eliminate a candidate or decide a winner, a toss of a coin is used to break the tie.
  7. If RON is the winner, then nominations will need to be re-opened for a new election.


Imagine one position has three candidates standing who are named Red, Blue and Yellow. The votes are counted and seperated into piles, and first preference votes were as follows:

Red 45
Blue 30
Yellow 5
RON 20
(Suppose there were also 5 spoilt ballot papers, or ballot papers where people didn't write anything for this position - we put these aside and don't include them in totals).

The total number of votes cast is, conveniently, 100

Red has 45 out of 100 votes, which is not over 50%. So redistribution occurs.

The candidate with the least first preference votes at this stage (Yellow) is eliminated. We take these ballot papers, and look for the voters second preference votes, and allocate them to the piles. (What this means is that for any voter, their second or later preference votes can never count against their favourite candidate - their ballot paper is only re-allocated when their favourite candidate is eliminated).

Suppose that of the 5 people that voted for Yellow, four stated their second preference as Red, and one put RON as second preference (i.e. this voter says "If Yellow's not going to be elected, I think their should be a new election")

The totals now look like this:

Red 49
Blue 30
RON 21

Red is frustratingly just 1 vote short of the majority required to be elected at this stage. So RON is eliminated, and any second preference votes re-allocated. Where a candidate is eliminated who has already been assigned second preference votes, we look at the third preference votes of these ballot papers. So in this example, we look at the one ballot paper we transferred across from yellow to RON, and see if the voter specified a third choice.

With two candidates left, one must have a majority and so is elected. In the event of a tie at this stage, or to pick between two equal candidates for elimination, then a coin is tossed.

Rules for the JCR election

  1. You can only stand for one position and must be a member of the JCR to stand and not in your final year (i.e. you must not expect to graduate during your term in office). If you have any doubts as to your status, just ask.
  2. The Returning Officer is the JCR President or an deputy duly appointed, who you should contact if you have any questions.
  3. You must be proposed by, and seconded by, two different members of the JCR body.
  4. You are allowed one 250-word A4 sized written manifesto only
  5. No other written material or posters are allowed. This includes using forums and social media to promote you or your policies (see below). The only permitted form of campaigning is face to face.
  6. You should not send out, or allow others to send out, mass emails or messages encouraging people to vote for you or promoting your policies.
  7. If you break any of these rules, you may be disqualified from the election. All decisions relating to rules and disqualification will be made by the JCR President, in consultation as required with the JCR Vice President and JCR Treasurer.

You can see examples of manifestos from the Committee page.