The Lent Term GM was Monday 15th February.
Three motions were submitted for the Lent TGM and are listed in the order they were received:
1) MOTION: To create a DCSA Arts Officer position
Proposer: Karoliina Pulkkinen (kjp41)
Seconder: Ala Alenazi (aa796)
“To create a position for an arts officer, i.e. somebody to represent the interests of those who run the arts societies in the college.”
2) MOTION: For the college study centre windows to be cleaned urgently
Proposer: Girish Nivarti (gvn22)
Seconder: Amani Zalzali (firstname.lastname@example.org)
“The study centre is not merely a place for bookshelves; instead, it is a critical part of student life at Darwin. Throughout the year, students use the quaint premises to engage in academic coursework as well as in contemplation of their research problems. The study centre is not a luxury — in fact, for almost all Masters students and many PhD students, it is the only place in the university which provides desks to study. In particular, the Lent term witnesses the heaviest usage of the study centre because of the imminent examinations.
Over the last few years, the windows have gathered copious amounts of dust, cobwebs and, most importantly, bird excrement. A student motivated in the morning is often discouraged by the dark and depressing environment this creates. Of course, the excrement also hinders what could have been a rather delightful sight — that of the Cam and the island.
Since my appointment as the student librarian in October 2015, this issue has been brought up several times: 1) at the library committee meeting, 2) directly with the Clerk of Works, 3) by speaking to the accommodation office, 4) by communicating the need to the Domestic Bursar, and finally 5) by requesting the cleaning staff. Despite these attempts, the current situation and progress both appear grim at best. In this light, I propose that all window panes of the college study centre be cleaned urgently and thoroughly.”
3) MOTION: To mandate the DCSA to negotiate with the college in order to minimise adverse effects of VAT charges on the student body and a requirement to communicate price changes to college members
Proposer: Florian Roessler (fdr20)
Seconder: Giles Shaw (gwhs2)
“Due to increased external catering and events activity, the college has exceeded the maximum allowed value of sold goods to stay VAT exempt as a charity and is now required to pay VAT on all alcohol sold to students and on all food/services sold to (non student) guests. The price of a normal meal for students is unaffected, but alcohol purchased during normal servery hours is now 20% more expensive. The change which is likely to affect students the most is a price increase of 20% for formal hall tickets, starting in Easter term. This price increase is due to the inclusion of wine as part of the formal hall ticket but is an increase of 20% of the total cost, rather than of just the (unknown) cost of the wine served during the meal. Especially affected by this are students who choose not to consume alcoholic beverages and will unfairly suffer from this price increase. This motion aims to mandate the DCSA to negotiate with the college in order to reduce the adverse effects on the student body. If the college wishes to increase its income through catering and events, this should not adversely affect students.
Additionally, as part of the mandate, the DCSA should negotiate a requirement for the College to communicate any price changes that affect students or their guest. Recently, price changes in the hall and for guest accommodation have been increased without prior announcement. This pushes the student body and the DCSA into a reactive role as opposed to a participatory one.”
Minutes from the Michaelmas 2015 GM were approved and can be found here along with the Lent 2016 GM minutes approved at the Easter 2016 GM.