Minutes of Women’s Council Meeting Lent I – 2004

Minutes of Women’s Council Meeting Lent I

Tuesday 27th January 2004 at 7pm, Winstanley Lecture Theatre, Trinity College


Nicola Poulloura               (Christ’s CCSU)

Hannah Austin                 (Corpus Christi JCR)

Shauna Garvey                 (Darwin)

Saffron Wyse                   (Downing MCR)

Cat Barton                       (Fitzwilliam JMA)

Claire Walls                     (Girton JCR, Executive Secretary)
Rebecca Barr                    (Jesus GradSoc, Graduate WO)

Sarah Jackson                  (King’s KCSU)

Katie Earnshaw                (King’s GradSoc)

Cathy John                      (King’s GradSoc)

Stephanie Hyde                (Lucy Cavendish)

Gemma Edgcombe            (New Hall JCR)

Aarti Shah                       (Newnham JCR)

Emily Tew                       (Pembroke JP)

Remy Ware                     (Peterhouse JCR)

Holly Wiles                      (Queen’s JCR)

Becky Bowtell                   (Robinson JCR)

Vicki Mann                       (Sidney Sussex JCR)

Tamara Black                   (Trinity JCR)

Caroline Roberts               (Trinity Hall JCR)

Natalie Ridgard                 (Trinity Hall MCR)

Jane Ding                         (GU)

Helene Williamson             (LBG WO)

Georgia Walker                 (Sidney Sussex)

Mio Takatsuka                   (Robinson)

Naomi Holford                   (King’s)

Anna Booth                       (King’s)


Belinda Graham                   (Churchill JCR)

Davinder Badial                   (Girton MCR, Int’national WO)

Beth Glanville                     (Homerton)

Galya Reuter                       (Peterhouse MCR)

Rachel Cook                       (Welfare Campaigns)

Jessica Blackstone               (Website)

1. Welcome – Jo (Women’s Sabb) welcomes all new JCR and MCR women’s officers.

2. News

  • Academic committee on which Jo has been invited to sit has been examining the Maths Department’s position on women. Although it has
    promoted three women to top positions the department is still lagging
    behind accepted practice. The department is investigating setting up free
    summer schools for state school pupils to make the transition to university
    maths more easy. As the majority of ex-state school pupils in the maths
    department are women this would be a positive step forward for female
  • The JCAP committee has not yet met again. Jo is getting official permission from their secretary to produce her “alternative Tompkins table”
    which would mean she would be able to display the results publicly.
  • A SACSMS working party once mandated with protecting students against bullying and harrassment is now twelve years out of date with its policy.
    This policy does not cover important issues such as bullying or racism as
    causes of bullying or harrassment. Jo is urging them to meet again to resolve this problem.
  • <p
  • The Springboard Committee, who run a mentoring campaign for women
    have not met for the past two terms. They will try to meet this term. 
  • Women’s Council attendance records will now be publicly displayed on the Women’s website. If any women’s officer is absent three times then Jo
    will send a message to urge them to attend council.
  • The college survey will end in third week. So, a final push to get people to take part, particularly ethnic minority students who may be most
    vulnerable to oversights in college policy.
  • The Campaigns Committee currently has seven members. If anyone wishes
    to take part in the work of the committee please contact Jo.
  • If anyone wants to help organise International Women’s Week please contact Jo.
  • If anyone wants to be part of a committee to write next year’s Women’s Handbook please contact Jo.
  • No college news.3. Corrections to minutes:No corrections to minutes.4. Matters arising from minutes of the last council:No matters arising from minutes of the last council.5. Announcements by the Executive:


  • Helene Williamson (LBG Women’s Officer) announced that LBG Awareness Week will be held next week, beginning this Friday, January 30th.
    There will be a Women’s Event during this week, held on Tuesday, February
  •  6. Questions to the Executive:No questions to the Executive.

    7. Steward’sReport

  • Jo’s report into her activities as Women’s
    Sabbatical. Everyone is happy with the work done.8. Council Dates
  • The choice of date for Women’s Council Lent III can be either Tuesday 2nd March or Tuesday 26th February. Jo suggests 2nd March in
    order that we could then have hustings for the new CUSU candidates in
    council. They could then address women-related questions that are not
    answered in separate college hustings and generally cower at the wrath of the Women’s Union.
    Votes for date of 2nd March with hustings: 24

    Votes against:

    : 1 
    Women’s Council votes to meet on 2nd March and hold elections for CUSU candidates.


    Jo encourages everyone to bring three other friends to ensure a strong turnout.

    9. International Women’s Week

  • Jo expresses enthusiasm about what has been organised this year. Attractions include a film festival, former women’s
    sabbaticals returning, talks by Sandy Toksvig and the Vice-Chancellor, various campaign-related events, and a dinner for women’s officers on International Women’s Day.10. Campaigns
  • There are two campaigns posts free on the Women’s Executive. One is a Target Women role working in conjunction with CUSU Access and
    Academic Affairs. One is an open portfolio. There is a two hour a week
    commitment for these positions including attendance at Women’s Council so
    Jo enourages applicants for these positions. She also welcomes those that
    want to take part in campaigns, but not hold a formal post.11. Women’s Council Ordinary Motions
  • Graduate Women’s Committee
  • Rebecca (Graduate Women’s Officer) argues that this committee will stop alienation felt by
    women’s officers in some MCRs and will ensure their involvement in the work
    of the women’s union
  • Everyone votes: 21 Yes, 0 No, 0 Abstention
  • Black and Asian Women’s Committee
  • Jo argues that the CUSU Black Students Campaign is a new campaign, and hasn’t been able to develop effectively as yet.
    By putting this committee in place the B&A Women’s Officers would have a remit to move forwards on, without having to rely on the CUSU Black Students’ Campaign so heavily for support and resources.
  • Holly Wiles, Queen’s JCR, argues that “notes iv” is a sweeping statement and could be too generalised.
  • Tamara Black, Trinity JCR, agrees.
    Votes to remove “notes iv”:

    Votes to retain “notes iv”:

  • Women’s Council votes to remove “notes iv” from the motion. There were no speeches or questions against the motion as it now stands.
  • Everyone votes: 17 Yes, 0 No, 4 Abstention12. No Women’s Council Emergency Motions 13. NUS Women’s Conference Elections
  • Meeting temporarily chaired by Claire Walls, Secretary.
  • Elections for DelegateSpeech by Jo Read in support of her petition to attend the NUS Women’s Conference: Jo has attended before, knows how the conference and procedures
    work and is good at networking. For these reasons she could do a good job
    and represent Cambridge well. Jo would support women in education and
    access. Jo is opposed to motion 9 because of it’s one-sided and misreprestative nature. She will encourage the NUS to focus on only putting in motions
    relevant to female students in their capacity as students.
  • Election for Observer (two places)Speech by Rebecca Barr in support of her petition to attend the NUS Women’s Counil as observer: As an executive member of the graduate union she understands the protocol of the conference. She is interested in going in order to understand the process and because she is considering a career in
    women’s rights.
  • Jo Read asks which motions she is interested in.Rebecca replies that she, too, is interested in motion 9 and the effect the debate would have on Israeli and Jewish female students.

    Speech by Helene Williamson in support of her petition to attend the NUS Women’s Council as observer: Wants to go to encourage the NUS to only put policy into place that affects students because she argues that doing otherwise is illegal.


  • Jo Read takes up chair of the meeting after voting. She says that as the motions for the conference are long it may not be optimal to vote on them all now as members of council may not have had a chance to read all of
    them. However, she urges members of council to contact her if they want to raise issues or questions about any of the motions or if it is decided that a large meeting would be suitable to discuss the motions.
  • 14. CUSU Council Ordinary Motions
  • Graduate Students Charter
  • (Jo) Introduces motion.
  • Everyone votes: 19 Yes, 0 No, 2 Abstention
  • Homerton Rep
  • (Jo) Introduces motion.
  • Everyone votes: 17 Yes, 0 No, 4 Abstention
  • Autonomous Campaigns Committee
  • (Jo) Introduces motion.
  • (Rebecca, Graduate Women’s Officer) Asks what the function of the committee is.
  • (Helene, LBG Women’s Officer) explains that the committee will allow underfunded autonomous campaigns to work together, particularly smaller campaigns who
    find it difficult to gain support. Common areas would include harrassment
    policy and finances.
  • (Rebecca) asks if the committee would compromise the autonomy of the Women’s Campaign.
  • (Helene) argues that although the CUSU president would be included in the committee this would not mean that the various campaigns would follow a policy dictated by CUSU. Instead, the president could provide a useful overview for all bodies present.
  • (Jo) further argues that although the committee would only meet twice termly this would not rule out informal meetings.
  • Everyone votes: 8 Yes, 2 No, 11 Abstention
  • Swimming Facilities
  • (Jo) Introduces motion
  • (Helene, LBG Women’s Officer) questions whether this motion is an effective use of CUSU resources.
  • Everyone votes: 6 Yes, 2 No, 13 Abstention
  • CUSU Alerts
  • (Jo) Introduces motion
  • Everyone votes: 13 Yes, 0 No, 8 Abstention
  • Admissions Tests
  • (Jo) Introduces motion
  • Everyone votes:17 Yes, 1 No, 3 Abstention
  • Constitutional Changes
  • (Jo) Introduces motion
  • Everyone votes: 19 Yes, 0 No, 2 Abstention15. AOB
  • Claire Walls (Girton JCR)is selling raffle tickets for CUSAFE at the end of the meeting
  • Jo asks that anyone who is interested in organising a prochoice group should contact her after the meeting
  • Helene encourages everyone to come to Unique at Life
  • Holly Wiles (Queen’s JCR) describes a possible merger of the women’s and welfare posts on Queen’s JCR and asks for advice from council members about possible courses of action.Remy Ware (Peterhouse) describes the situation on Peterhouse JCR, which she finds positive. Here, the women’s and welfare positions are separate with
    the welfare officer as chair of an equal opportunities committee which
    meets independently of the JCR.Jo urges caution of single equal opportunites reps who could be uninterested or unfavourable to women’s issues. Instead of this dependency upon such a position she argues that it is always better for the women’s
    officer to have a separate role, and therefore vote, on the JCR. Jo will
    ask people who have suggestions for Holly to email her in the women’s email bulletin.Meeting ends: 8.12pm.