Minutes from Women’s Council – Michaelmas 2002

Minutes:

22nd October 2002

5th November 2002

19th November 2002

Minutes of Women’s Council Meeting

Tuesday 22nd October 2002 at 7pm, Chetwynd Room, Kings College

Present: Claire Borrage (Kings), Amber Monsell (Kings), Miranda Semple (Liaison
Officer), Jenny Shaw (Churchill), Christine Escoda (Churchill) Jessica Ford (Trinity Hall), A
Susi A Henry (Emmanuel), Megan Dorey (Clare), Joanna Facer (Trinity), Suzanne Myrrell
(Campaigns), Katherine Thompson (Secretary), Laura Cooper (Corpus Christi), Sohini Banerjee
(Darwin), Amelia Bercusson (Campaigns), Carolyn Lund (Caius), Elisabeth Cole (Sidney), Vonetta
Hyde (Trinity Hall – MCR), Nicola Kimblin (Selwyn – MCR), Kirsty McDougall (Clare – MCR),
Bethany Honeysett (Girton), Sara Ibrahim (former Women’s Handbook editor), Lucy McWilliam
(Website Officer), Emily Esplen (Emmanuel JCR)

Apologies for absence: Helena Horston (Christs), Jacqui Griffiths (Trinity), Amy
Bascom (St Edmunds), Tigger McGregor (Gender Agenda editor), Jo Read (Newnham), Alison Phipps
(Jesus), Tara Alberts (Newnham), Emma Kelly (Peterhouse), Rakhee Modha (Downing) and Galya
Reuter (Peterhouse)

1. Welcome
Chris introduced herself to the Council as the Women’s Sabbatical Officer and invited women’s
officers to join her for a coffee to discuss plans for the year. Chris also explained
briefly about the work she has been doing over the summer.

2. News and matter arising
There were no matters arising as it was the first council of term. It was noted that Women’s
handbooks are available for distribution in colleges from Chris and that the positions of
secretary and handbook editor will be up for election at the next council. Women’s officers
were invited to advertise these positions in their colleges and those interested can contact
Chris for more details.

3. Pro-Choice Society
A pro-choice society is up and running and was present at the Fresher’s fair. More details
are available.

4. Elections

Campaigns officers – two vacant positions up for election. The following candidates
stood:

  • Sara Ibrahim with a proposed portfolio including raising awareness and collecting feedback
    from the JCAP report on women’s academic under-achievement and safety issues. Her proposals
    on safety include the Backs lighting campaign, attack alarms and the resumption of a night
    bus.
  • Sohini Banerjee with a portfolio on combating sexual harassment. Sohini intends to use
    her experience of combating sexual harassment in India to raise awareness of the problem and
    encourage colleges to draft agreements on the issue. She also hopes to set up funds in
    individual colleges to enable women to travel abroad and study sexual harassment in other
    countries.

Lesbigay officer – Jo Facer, the LBG representative at Trinity and Women’s Officer
on the LBG exec for CUSU stood for this position. Jo believes that it is logical for the same
person to hold the LBG position on Women’s Council in order to facilitate effective
communication and coordination between the different councils. Jo wants to raise awareness
of LBG events and focus on the welfare aspects of the role also.

5. Women’s Council Motion – Reclaim the Night
Miranda Semple explained the history of Reclaim the Night and the proposals to hold an event
on November 12th. This date is significant because if coincides with the publication of
Gender Agenda and is the time of year when people, women in particular are feeling unsafe on
the streets. It is hoped that the event will raise awareness generally and also force the
university to consider this very important issue. Miranda answered questions about the
motion and the council expressed their support of the idea.

6. Discussion of CUSU Council Motions

Top-up fees – There was a brief discussion about how the CUSU President Paul Lewis
intends to campaign against top up fees. The motion was uncontroversial.

Wind vs nuclear energy – This motion was uncontroversial.

Intellectual property rights – Chris explained the motion to Council before voting
took place.

University audit – It was noted that this motion was particularly important since
the audit will include women’s academic under-achievement.

Improving access to CUSU offices – Chris explained the current problems of access
for disabled students and the plans to move to a new and expanded office enabling better
provision of services. A venue does not yet exist but the implementation of Disability
Discrimination legislation means that the issue of access must be given priority. Support
was expressed for this motion.

7. Any other relevant business
The long awaited JCAP report was discussed – the proposed release date is November 17th and
plans are already being made for press releases. Chris is setting up a working party and
interested members of council were invited to contact her for more information. It was noted
that the final release of the report represents a huge achievement and an important part of
the forthcoming work of both Women’s and Academic affairs officers.

Women’s officers were asked to distribute leaflets on breast cancer and put up Beeline
stickers in colleges.

Minutes of Women’s Council Meeting

Tuesday 5th November 2002 at 7pm, Chetwynd Room, Kings College

Present: Chris Holly (Sabbatical Women’s Officer), Claire
Burrage (Kings), Amber Monsell (Kings), Miranda Semple (Liaison Officer),
A Susi A Henry (Emmanuel), Megan Dorey (Clare), Suzanne Tyrrell
(Campaigns), Katherine Thompson (Secretary), Laura Cooper (Corpus
Christi), Sohini Banerjee (Darwin), Carolyn Lund (Caius), Sara Ibrahim
(Campaigns), Amy Bascom (St Edmunds), Tigger McGregor (Gender Agenda
editor), Jo Read (Newnham), Tara Alberts (Newnham), Kristin Abbott
(Emmanuel), Sanka Gupta (St Edmund’s), Mishal Khan (International
Women’s Officer) and Rhiannon Moss (St Catherine’s)

Apologies for absence: Jacqui Griffiths (Trinity), Emma Kelly
(Peterhouse), Vonetta Hyde (Trinity Hall), Jenny Shaw, Jessica Ford
(Trinity Hall), Kirsty McDougall (Clare), Caroline Standing, Lucy
McWilliam (Website Officer), Bizzy Cole (Sidney Sussex) and Christina
Escoda

1. Welcome

Chris introduced herself to the Council as the Women’s Sabbatical
Officer and asked invited questions arising from the circulation of her
sabbatical report. There were none.

2. News and matter arising

A National Fast Day is being held on Thursday 7th November which has
CUSU support. Women’s officers were invited to publicise the cause
within colleges. Tigger reported that Gender Agenda will be
distributed to colleges shortly. All colleges will be receiving five
copies but women’s officers can ask Tigger for additional copies if
there is demand.

3. Street Lighting Campaign

There are currently 967 signatures on the petition and participating
colleges who have not yet returned their petitions are being chased up.
There has been a very positive response to the campaign in an article
in TCS. The petition will be taken to the Council when it is complete
together with a side paper. It is anticipated that this will take
place by the end of Michaelmas and Chris said she will inform women’s
council fully at the start of the Lent term.

4. Elections

Secretary – Jo Read and Katherine Thompson stood for the
position.

Handbook Editor – there were no candidates so the position will
be up for election at the next meeting.

5. Women’s Council Motion

No motions received

6. Discussion of CUSU Council Motions

Homelessness – There was a brief discussion on the merits of
the motion. Jo Read made the point that CUSU may not be able to have an
impact by writing to the Council. It was noted that this was part of
CUSU’s shift towards involvement in issues which are not directly
related to students.

Ents Development – The success of CUSU Ents this term was noted
and there was a general discussion about the proposed plans for
interviewing new applicants. It was noted that the motion had full
backing of the Ents Officer.

7. Any other relevant business

LBGT Constitution – Jo Read raised the issue of recent changes
to the LGBT Constitution and expressed concern about how the definition
of women may impact on women’s council. Chris said she foresaw no major
problems in this area and that the there was consensus and awareness
between those involved. Katherine asked whether the only criterion for
being allowed to attend women’s council was a biological one – this was
answered in the affirmative but Chris said she would check the
constitution. Chris also stated that she would fully support the case for
women-only space.

Reclaim the Night – Is definitely happening! It is proposed
that people attending the event should walk to and from their colleges en
masse and Sara Ibrahim is coordinating the organisation for this. Women’s
officers were invited to contact Tigger or Sara if they were willing to
be a representative in college or to publicise the event.

Formal Hall – A suggestion was made for organising a Women’s
Council formal hall and interested members were invited to remain after
the meeting to discuss this.

Minutes of Women’s Council Meeting

Tuesday 19th November 2002 at 7pm, Chetwynd Room, Kings College

Present: Chris Holly [Women’s Sabb], Jo Read [Secretary], Tigger
Macgregor [Gender Agenda], Megan Dorey [Clare],Sian Oram [Fitzwilliam],
Alison Phipps [Jesus MCR], Sara Ibrahim [Campaigns], Jenny Shaw
[Churchill], Lucy McWilliam [Website], Jenn Piscopo [Darwin], Beth
Glamille [Homerton], Amber Monsell [Kings], Bizzy Cole [Sidney], Vonetta
Hyde [Trinity Hall], Cristina Escoda [Clare Hall], Miranda Semple
[Liason], Susi Henry [B&A] Proxy: Jo Richardson for Jacqui Griffiths
Apologies: Artemis Vogazianov, Rhiannon Moss, Amy Boscom, Claire Frith,
Katherine Thompson, Rakhee Modha, Emma Kelly

1. Previous minutes

No corrections.

2. Welcome from Chris

3. News

Reclaim the Night; Positive Action Fair; Chris introduced her idea for
a five year plan, encourged people to submit motions, and outlined
the importance of attending women’s council.

4. Next meeting

The next women’s council will be on 3rd December

5. World AIDS Day

The World AIDS day conference is on 30th November, organised by Alice
Pennington, CUSU Welfare Officer, who can be contacted on
welfare@cusu.cam.ac.uk.

6. Gender Agenda

Tigger talked about Gender Agenda and encouraged people to become
involved in the commmittee.

7. JCAP report

Megan [Clare] asked aif there was any news on the JCAP report, Chris
replied that the JCAP working party had met in the week and that the
deadline for the report’s release had been moved back again by the
university ebcause senior tutor’s had to be consulted.

8. Lightning Campaign

Amber [Kings] asked about the backs lighting campaign, Chris replied
that she hadn’t had a chance to do anything more this week.

9. Reclaim the Night

Bethany [Girton] asked about why men weren’t involved with Reclaim The
Night [RTN] and talked about problems that male students in her college
had with walking home at night. Chris handed the floor to Tigger, who
outlined the committee’s decision and talked about the possibility of
including men in later marches. Jo [Secretary] responded about the
involvement of men in Take Back The Night 2000

10. Elections for handbook editor

No-one stood. The position should be advertised again.

11. Women’s council motions

No motions had been recieved

12. CUSU Council Motions

LBG Constitution – Chris outlined the proposed
changes the the LBG constitution and it’s effects for the women’s
officer. Everyone voted.

CUSU Ents – Chris summarised the CUSU Ents motion. Tigger
enquired about the business plan and where the money would come
from. Chris explained the current financial situation. Everyone voted.

Oxbridge Admissions Guidance for Profit – Chris explained the
motion. Miranda [Liason] enquired how much money was charged, how long
it had been going on and whether this was a legal matter. Vonetta
[Trinity Hall] replied that she did not think it was a legal matter and
enquired about the worth of the motion. Chris outlined the problems the
company caused for the Access campaign and CUSU’s problems with the
company. Sian [Fitzwilliam] enquired how many people used this
service. Chris replied that she was not sure. Chris and Jo [Secretary]
talked about the advertising they had seen for this group. Everyone
voted.

Student Services Centre – Chris outlined the motion. Tigger
enquired about what was different about this motion from past motions
concerning a union building for students. Chris replied that it included
more recent details such as legislation that means all Student Services
buildings must have disabled access, which the CUSU offices building does
not. Everyone voted.

Extraordinary Open Meeting Follow-Up – Chris outlined the
motion. Megan [Clare] enquired why this meeting was an emergency. Chris
responded with her personal opinion that it was not. Vonetta [Trinity
Hall] asked whether the meeting was valid and Chris replied that no vote
was taken. Nicola [Selwyn] asked whether the motion meant a meeting had
to be announced within 48 hours, or take place within 48 hours. Chris
replied that the meeting would be held 48 hours after its
announcement. Everyone voted.

Other business

Attack alarms – Chris talked about the need for attack
alarms and how to buy them from CUSU. Jenn [Darwin] asked about the best
distribution policy for attack alarms, condoms and pregnancy tests.

Sexual harrasment – Alison [Jesus] talked about sexual
harassment procedure.

Taxis – Beth [Homerton] asked about collee funds for taxi’s
if people needed to get home late at night when it was not safe to
walk. Chris talked about the CUSU late night bus

Thanks – Chris thanked everyone for coming.