Goodricke JCRC divided as trip loses £2,000

Goodricke College JCRC has called for a vote of no-confidence in its Social Secretaries after a college trip to Belgium lost nearly £2,000 earlier this term.

Social Secretaries Max Hardy and Luke Reilly proposed the 46 strong trip to Blakenberg, Belgium in the weekend of week seven. However, after only attracting 17 students, the trip is believed to have made a loss for the JCRC of approximately £1,900.

Goodricke Chair Joe Clarke, described the no-confidence proposal, put forward by Vice-Chair Katie Saunders, as a “shock reaction to losing so much money,” and called for a “constructive debate on the motion.” The no-confidence vote is scheduled to take place at the JCRC Open Meeting on Thursday, June 19.

At the time of going to print Nouse was unable to reach Saunders for comment.

Hardy claimed the vote of no-confidence in himself and Reilly was unfair. He said: “[We are] being made scapegoats for a mistake that due to factors entirely beyond our control.”

The incident has highlighted tensions within the Committee. Shortly after the meeting in which the full scale of the financial damage was revealed Nouse received an anonymous letter levelling a series of accusations against Clarke.

The letter, believed to have been written by a member of the JCRC, reads: “I have passed this on to you as I believe the University and the College must be made aware of the conduct of this Goodricke’s Chair since being elected. I believe most people would be shocked with polices and remarks that have been made [by Clarke] this year.”

None of the allegations in the letter could be substantiated.

When shown the contents of the letter Clarke rejected the accusations as “untrue” and “defamatory.” Clarke admitted that there were “problems on the JCRC at the moment” and that “commitment to the JCRC does drop towards the end of the year.” He denied there was a rift in the committee.

A number of factors were cited for the failure of the Belgian trip, including the fact that nine foreign students who had reserved places were unable to attend after their visas failed to arrive on time.

Some students also found they were unable to get permission from their departments to attend the trip, which was due to leave on a Thursday. An online application system also meant that many students reserved places, and then backed out later when it came to payment.

The college looked into down-sizing or even cancelling the trip, but found themselves unable to change details with the date of departure so near.

The Social Secretaries had hoped to follow in the footsteps of other, successful college trips abroad this year, such as Langwith’s trip to Prague at Easter, which reached capacity.

However it is believed that the £125 price of Goodricke’s trip discouraged many students from taking part.

Clarke remains optimistic that the committee will recover from what he refers to as a “glitch”, saying the loss was “only a tiny percentage of our annual turnover”, which is believed to be approximately £30,000.

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