On Thursday 11 June, Alcuin will hold a referendum on whether it should change from a Junior Common Room Committee and Graduate Common Room Committee to a College Student Association.
Those in favour of the change believe that by changing to a CSA they will be able to provide a warm welcome for all students be they postgraduates, international students or those arriving in Freshers’ Week and also to ensure that postgraduates are still kept in mind.
It has also been agreed that a new ‘Deputy President for Postgraduate Engagement’ position would be created.
The person elected to this role would fulfil the general duties of the executive committee but with the added jobs of organising the Postgraduate Welcome Week, liaising with the GSA and working with the postgraduate college tutors.
Dominic Smithies, Chair of Alcuin College, told Nouse: “Ever since I arrived at University the idea of a College Student Association just seemed more college-y than a JCRC. It seems more inclusive and community focused and ignores the misconception that undergraduates and postgraduates have completely different wants and needs.
“It’s definitely a false stereotype that postgraduates don’t want to get involved in the same activities and events that undergraduates do and, likewise, I think a lot of the undergraduate students would really enjoy what is provided for postgraduates.
“Particularly in our college where our postgraduate membership isn’t as high as our undergraduate membership, the GCRC can be less [effective] in providing activities and events for its members than it would ideally like to be as there are fewer that are able to help.”
For the referendum to pass, both undergraduates and postgraduates need to have a majority of two thirds, reaching a quorum of six per cent. This would lead to the dissolving of two student bodies to create one CSA.
In the interim, the JCRC and GCRC Chair would adopt the roles of President and Deputy President respectively until the November elections and would merge their committees to transfer their officers into the most relevant roles.
The referendum to change to a CSA was supported by the entire JCRC, the GCRC Chair and College Council.