Minutes from Women’s Council – Easter I 2001


Women’s Council
Easter I
Tuesday 1st May 2001


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Welcome and corrections to minutes: The minutes of the last council
had not been published, and there were therefore no corrections.

2) News and matters arising: Laura mentioned that Alice Street
sent her apologies and therefore the report from NUS Women’s Conference
would be presented next time, but it had gone well.

Jo spoke about Take Back the Night – Thursday May 3rd at Newnham.
She emphasised that it is not a demonstration or ‘political’ or ‘feminist’,
and that all are welcome!

Laura gave feedback on what she had been mandated to do at the last
council – she had written the letters regarding CUWBC and received
some positive responses.

On smear test awareness, she and Isabel (Welfare Officer) had had
a positive meeting with the College nurses.

She also invited suggestions for the women’s handbook. And mentioned
that the two ‘campaigns officer’ positions on the Exec were open –
one allocated for sexual health awareness.

It was noted happily that Sidney Sussex now has the newly created
position of women’s officer!

Mary Chester-Kadwell mentioned that with our new title of Women’s
Union, she is undertaking to re-design the whole website, so suggestions
for that are very welcome.

3) Motion One – Rape is Rape

Rachel laid out the background to the motion, of the rape case that
had been dropped in Scotland because the judge
had ruled that even though there was ‘plenty of evidence’ that the
victim had not consented, it was still not rape.

We discussed the discrepancies between Scottish and English Law, but
agreed that the general principle was the
same and consistent to the motion.

Believes 4 was amended to read ‘Every individual has the right…’
The Vote took place.

4) Emergency Motion – Mentoring scheme

Laura explained the idea behind this – that it was a scheme based
on recognising the problem of isolation of women
graduates and creating a network of contacts for those in (particularly
the higher levels of) academia. It is suggested
that this should be an on-going project for the women’s campaign.

There will be a launch day for the scheme ‘Connect’ on Saturday.

5) Discussion of CUSU Council motions

1) Private sector investment in Universities.

It was agreed that this seemed like a fairly straightforward, logical
mandate for the new Ethical Investment Officer.
Laura mentioned that the new EI Working Party was also formulating
a policy concerning objectification of women in
advertisinig accepted by CUSU.

Deborah mentioned however that in the Christ’s OM, the concern had
been raised that potential funders of the
university would be discouraged by too stringent criteria.

2) Climate Change

It was clarified that the suggestions in this motion would not cost
any more.

It was decided that Laura should ask at CUSU Council what initiatives
were in place to encourage energy-saving in
the individual colleges.

3) ID Working Party.

All the concomitant problems with the various suggestions on this
issue were trawled through at great length, with
individual college responses to the new ID system discussed. The vote
was taken.

4) Constitutions of Liberation Campaigns

International Students
Black Students

Ellen mentioned that at Corpus, there had been concern over the Black
Students Constitution in that some people were worried about the way
in which ‘black’ was defined and the idea of self-definition. It was
suggested that some students who experienced discrimination on the
grounds of their ethnicity or background might not feel included in
the campaign if they did not consider themselves ‘black’.

Laura urged people to get in touch with Pav and Nadine if they wanted
more clarification, and stressed that the CUSU Exec was keen to address
any type of discrimination issue. We considered the idea of ‘Black’
as a political term including all non-white or ethnic minority students
enabling them to define themselves in a positive way.

It was noted that the Women’s Council ought to support the constitutions
and aims of other autonomous campaigns, as they would support ours.

6) AOB

The New Hall women’s officer mentioned that she was meeting problems
distributing free condoms as college authorities insisted this would
be in breach of the contract with the condom machine manufacturers.
We discussed similar problems in other colleges – it was suggested
we should liaise directly with the suppliers, rather than going through
what college said!

Laura gave out pregnancy tests to those who needed them for their
colleges. It was noted that it was very important that the packs should
contain information on all the support options available for those
with unplanned pregnancies or worries about pregnancy or contraception.

The next Council will be on Tuesday, May 15th, the day of the by-election
for sabbatical women’s officer.

Easter II
Tuesday 15th May 2001

Welcome and corrections to minutes: there were no corrections
to the last minutes.

News and matters arising: we thanked Jo for all her work on Take
Back The Night.

Conference 2001: Alice Street, as Observer, presented her

Diet Day News. Laura presented the background to the event. Our
picnic will take place on 22nd May at 7pm in Newnham Gardens.

Update. The previous Saturday had been very successful. 3rd
Week of Michaelmas was designated as the launch date for grad women.
term there would be a women’s union/connect event or garden party.

are coming up to the Fawcett Society to which we are
affiliated. Laura will email the candidates’ manifestoes round to
everyone. Penny Pereira, sabbatical Women’s Officer 1997-8, is standing
for the Executive.

Elections for Campaigns Officer and Women’s Handbook Editor

stood for Campaigns Officer but there were two candidates
for Handbook Editor (one pair jointly and one on her own).

Emergency Motions

were no emergency motions.

Discussion of CUSU Council motions

at the CUSU Council motions, each was discussed. There were
worries about the workability of the ethical investment guidelines.
We also discussed various aspects of TCS with regard to its constitution.


There were no AOBs.