Minutes from Women’s Council – Michaelmas II 2007

Women’s Council Minutes Mich II

Gonville and Caius Bateman Auditorium – 30/10/07


Voting Members:

Alys Cundy, Clare

Rachel Walden, Pembroke

Georgina Butterworth, New Hall

Koshka Duff, Fitzwilliam

Grace Capel, Sidney Sussex

Natalie Szarek, Newnham, Women’s Exec, Open Portfolio: Gender Matters

Juliet Mushens, Queens’, WU Secretary

Rhian Keyse, Trinity Hall, WU Welfare

Stephanie Alley, Newnham

Helen Maduka, Jesus

Eily-Meg MacQueen, Christ’s

Laura Vignoles, Caius

Jiexin Zheng, Downing

Non-Voting Members:

Elly Shepherd, CUSU Women’s Officer

Annie Ring, Caius

Mavela Daley, Emmanuel

Sophie Bates, Emmanuel

Charlene-Gisele Bourliout, Christ’s

Rachael Goodwin, Trinity Hall


Hannah Fair, Emmanuel

Nadira Huda, Trinity

Carol Atack, Lucy Cavendish



Elly: Had some very successful training for Cambridge Rape Crisis. 39 people showed up to be trained! Lots of positive feedback and centre is going well.

Next council, Academic Affairs officer will come before the meeting to obtain our views about what is wrong/right with the Uni for the

Student Written Submission for the QAA audit, so we have a chance to


Corrections to Minutes


Matters arising from minutes of last council


Announcements by the Executive

Natalie Szarek, Newnham: ‘Newnham Feminist Shebang’ meet fortnightly every Sunday, male and female, as a feminist forum – it’s on face book.


LBGT Women’s Officer

Annie Ring, Caius – Used to be at Leeds and was events planner for LGBT Committee. Very interested in sex, gender and cultural representation. Intends to have links between LGBT and Women’s Campaign. The word ‘campaign’ very important – coffee hour, communicative about social events. ‘No Definition’ LGBT magazine – can pass around if anyone’s interested!

(Annie Ring duly elected LBGT Women’s Officer)

Black and Asian Women’s Officer

Mavela Daley, Emma – Does SPS, aware of a lot of issues pertaining to women and inequality. Culturally aware – part of UN UK, Amnesty International and ISAC – lots of networks. Lots of leadership experience.

Sameera Abas, Newham – Absent

(Mavela Daley duly elected as Black and Asian Women’s Officer)

International Women’s Officer

Charlene-Gisele Bourliout, Christ’s As an international student, knows the problems they face: bank accounts, health services, who

to talk to with problems, how to fill in application forms, careers service (which doesn’t help with them). Would like to create email lists to get in touch with all international reps and organise many events. Maybe organise formals. Very motivated to achieve this position and to raise the profile of the Women’s Union.

(Charlene-Gisele Bourliout duly elected International Women’s Officer)

Open Portfolio:

Sophie Bates, Emma. ‘Gender-based violence’ 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence – she has already experienced it. It’s difficult to apply the label ‘abuse’ to your own relationship. Would like new posters which will make girls question the patterns of abusive behaviour they might experience. Wants to create a website for the University filled with facts for girls to question their own situation. Wants to make sure all colleges have decent procedures. Cooperation with Cambridge Mps to get a better response. Reclaim the Night, International

Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women – need men to get involved too! – and a film showing to raise awareness, followed by 16 days of activism. Encouragement to write letters, fundraising for Rape Crisis.

(Sophie Bates duly elected to Open Portfolio: Gender Based Violence)

Ordinary Motions:

A – Gender Matters

Proposed by Natale Szarek, Newnham, Open Portfolio: Gender Matters, seconded by Rhian Keyse, Trinity Hall, WU Welfare

Natalie Szarek, Newnham: Gender matters in every-day society: women don’t always have the same opportunities as men. Need to support campaign which raise awareness of this inequality.

Laura, Caius: We could say how this will help men fight their own

stereotypes as men feel they have to live up to a certain expectation as well.

Natalie: Women’s Union believes 4 will add that ‘sexism adversely affects men and they need to be involved in addressing sexism’.

Elly: Raise your paper if you agree. Amendment passes.

Alys Cundy, Clare: Any specific campaigns we’ll back?

Natalie, Newnham: The ‘Consent Campaign’ will be a campaign, addressing the difference in funding in male/female sports’ societies, addressing the different number of firsts.

Mavela Daley: What about children if women go to work?

Natalie: Childcare is really important. Some fathers would like to be

stay-at-home fathers, addressing gender inequalities could make this more acceptable.

(Motion Passes – 12 in favour, 1 abstention)

B – Women in Darfur

Proposed by Natalie Szarek,

Seconded by Rhian Keyse

Natalie Szarek, Newnham: Horrible things happening to women in Darfur. Need some attention to focus on their women. Home Office

doesn’t count rape/sexual assault as ‘torture’. The main aim is to consider rape as a form of torture and make it easier for them to gain asylum as well as making sure detention centres are safer.

Elly: Would be working with National campaigns over this.

Grace, Sidney Sussex: Would ‘rape’ have to be specifically defined as a weapon of war?

Natalie Szarek, Newnham: It technically is described as torture but the UK doesn’t follow this through.

Grace, Sidney Sussex: In terms of asylum would it make a difference? Would this cover male rape also?

Natalie: No, just as a weapon of war and a form of genocide. Yes, it would also cover male rape.

Sophie Bates, Emmanuel: Vice-President of AEGIS would be great to

coordinate something!

(Motion Passes, 13 in favour)

C – Consent

Proposed by Rhian Keyse

Seconded by Natalie Szarek

Rhian Keyes, Tit Hall: Is Women’s Welfare Officer. Good time to

run the campaign considering Rape Crisis Centre is getting started. Way to raise money and awareness, alongside them. Wants to make posters, have a film showing to raise money for Rape Crisis, any suggestions?

Laura, Caius: Volver?

Koshka Duff, Fitz: Will a big deal be made of alcohol in the campaign?

Rhian Keyes, Tit Hall: Yes it will be made a big deal of. Drunk women

cannot always offer consent.

Laura, Caius: Was thinking at Caius of running a series of debates over the grey areas that still exist, at a University level.

Rhian: Definitely, want to work with the Union on this.

Eily-Meg Macqueen, Christ’s: Would have to be handled carefully so nasty views weren’t expressed for a stylistic purpose.

Koshka Duff, Fitz: How much contact do we have with the Union, because they can be quite awful in debates!

Grace, Sidney-Sussex: Important to clarify the law so that people are aware of how the law is applied in cases where consent is questioned.

Koshka Duff, Fitz: BBC news page with pages of comments opposing the law – useful for soundbites!

Elly: A lot of Senior Tutors discussing this issue with her – v. high

number of incidents recently and Rape Crisis raised awareness too. ‘Dignity at Study’ worked on by Harriet, series of guidelines about harassment similar to ‘Dignity at Work’. Will be very positive when they come through, but how well trained are tutors to deal with this issue? Wants to set up training specifically with regards to this.

Natalie: Need to talk about how the law is enforced and almost what should the law be, as well as what it actually is.

Charlene-Gisele Bourliout, Christ’s: Studies law, would be interested to help with the debate. Important to discuss the law, important that the debate doesn’t get out of hand.

(Motion Passes, 13 in favour)

CUSU Council – Ordinary Motions:

A – CUSU Special Awards

Proposed by Ali Alim Marvasyi (CUSU anti-racism officer)

Seconded by Junior Juma-Penge, Black Students’ Campaign (BSC) Chair

Elly: CUSU Anti-Racism and Black Student’s Campaign want two awards each year for societies or individuals who do the most to promote racial diversity and equality.

Natalie, Newnham: Was this brought up last year? All for the awards, but doesn’t understand why they should give money.

Elly: Just correcting the last motion. The money enables the societies/individuals to fund further work to promote racial diversity and equality.

Rhian Keyes, Tit Hall: Will they check up on how the money’s spent?

Natalie: Could it be called a ‘budget’ rather than award?

Elly: Will bring this up with them.

(Motion passes, 11 in favour, 2 abstentions)

B – NUS Extraordinary Conference: NUS Reform

Proposed by: Pete Coulthard, CUSU Academic Affairs Officer

Seconded by: Mark Fletcher, CUSU President

Elly: Proposed by Academic Affairs Officer. NUS are in the process of reform, have a massive document they’ve just redone. The motion says that it mandates the CUSU team to write NUS a letter asking for a conference to discuss the reforms, which are very unclear.

Grace, Sidney: Why does it have the potential to be controversial?

Elly: Some think it takes power from liberation officers and reduces

democracy. Others say it would make NUS a viable body capable of working with students.

Natalie Szarek Different ways they could be discussed outside a conference?

Elly: These changes have to pass through two conferences. The reforms would be discussed this and next Easter, if extraordinary then this month and ordinary at Easter.

(Motion passes, 10 in favour, 3 abstentions)

C – Go Greener! Campaign

Proposed: Christine Berry (CUSU Ethical Affairs Co-Chair)

Seconded: Dan Chandler (CUSU Ethical Affairs Co-Chair)

Elly: Sheet about the campaign, please read. Campaign to make Cambridge a greener, more sustainable environment.

(Motion passes, 13 in favour)

Any other business

Grace, Sidney: Good news – had a very successful Pink Party. Has devised a questionnaire for her college about emergency contraception, got a fantastic response! Get in touch if you want the survey to give to college.

Annie Ring, Caius: Need to publicise incident in King’s College – girl mugged at 9:45am in the bar.

Elly: Exec Elections – still have three positions to fill! – women in

sport, graduate women’s officer, website editor

Juliet Mushens, Queens’: Love Your Body Night in the bar on Friday at

Queens’, please come along, 7:15pm!

Elly: Running small Love Your Body stalls in town, CUSU Love Your Body wristbands, food of varying nutritional value! Please send round emails to Elly about everything we’re up to.

Laura, Caius: Could we set up a calendar of events? What about overhauling the website – how to deal with a reported rape, for example.

Elly: Putting together packs of information and put more information on the website.