Students' Union

What is a JCR or MCR and how is the SU different?

JCRs and MCRs are just like our student union, but divided into undergrads and graduate committees. Because we are a mature college, we find that we have more in common than not, which is why we have decided to combine our JCR and MCR into a joint Students' Union.

Why do you have a grad rep if it's a joint SU, since you don't have an undergrad rep?

We do have a Graduate Representative, but this is mainly to reflect the fact that our community consists of a majority of grads, and to make sure your views and needs are represented. We find this can be especially important since many grads currently don't live on-site, which means some may therefore be less vocal in the daily running of the college. We are working for this to not be the case, and we hope you will make your thoughts known. When it comes to the committee, all Lucy students are very welcome to apply for any SU role!

How do you become a member of the SU?

All Lucy students are automatically made members of the SU. If you'd like to opt out, or if you have any feedback to give us, please let us know.

Why should I go to open meetings?

All Lucy students who are members of the Students' Union are invited to open meetings. According to our constitution, we need to establish quorum by having at least 8% of our members in attendance - right now that means 30 people. Not establishing quorum means we cannot approve any proposals, and this is problematic not least because open meetings is the only place where we can approve proposals of more than £500, such as branded sweatshirts orders and common room alterations. You can also provide us with a proxy vote at least 24 hours in advance which will count towards quorum, but if you have a concern or objection to any proposal your ability to provide and participate in discussion will be limited (read more about our voting system in the answers below).

In other words: without you our hands are tied.

How do I vote in open meetings, and how are proposals passed?

You can either vote in person or by proxy. Proxy votes are cast through an online form that is sent out by our internal communications officer along with each meeting agenda. This year, the SU is trying a new approach to the meeting and voting structure. At the moment you can vote according to four options:

Consent: The proposal is considered good enough for now, safe enough to try.

Concern: The proposal is considered good enough for now, safe enough to try. However, there are concerns about potential problems. Concerns may or may not be discussed, depending on time allowance which is allocated for every proposal, but they signal to the proposer that some issues may be present which can be discussed afterwards. The proposal is accepted to go ahead.

Objection: The proposal either contains a certain or likely consequence of harm to the SU's purpose and vision (not considered safe enough to try) - or - there is an immediate way to improve the proposal (such as lowering or altering the amount of a funding proposal). Objections are the main way to ensure that the SU’s vision is upheld and we encourage them - so long as they are well-grounded and result in amendments. Objections stop current and planned action and keep existing agreements from continuing without being reconsidered. The chairperson is responsible for resolving objections according to a separate process.

Abstain: You relinquish your vote.

A proposal is formally passed when a majority of present and proxy-voting members vote either Consent or Concern (both of which indicate that the proposal should pass). However, the ideal is that proposals pass when there are no objections left, since objections usually result in direct amendments that can be approved in the same meeting. If objections persist or collide, there are three options: 1) a task force may be created to rework the proposal in time for the next meeting, or 2) the proposal may be abandoned, or 3) if the proposal has formally passed, it may be approved based on majority. The decision on how to proceed with objections will be made by the chairperson, within the scope of the constitution. These same rules apply to committee cloesd meetings.

How do I bring up something for discussion in the SU?

There are a couple of ways to bring items up for discussion. One way is to contact an officer or give an anonymous suggestion which can then be brought up in a meeting. Another is to get help from an officer in handing in a proposal for discussion in an open meeting. If you have a substantial matter that you'd like to get college-wide input on, you can trigger a referendum. This requires 60 signatures from Lucy students who are members of the SU, and can be presented by using the proposal template and sending it to the internal communications officer.

Accessing forms and templates requires a login password, which is the same as the member's login for the college main website. Contact our internal communications officer if you have any trouble accessing the page.

How can I give the SU my opinion and feedback?

You can either contact an individual officer or give us your anonymous/general feedback through our contact form. You can also attend our open meetings where you'll be able to vote on proposals and have an impact.

How do you apply for an SU position?

You apply for an SU position by submitting a manifesto outlining what role you're applying for, why you're suited to the role and what your ideas are for how to contribute to the SU and student life. You must stick to the deadline set by the President, which will be announced in the newsletter and on our news page. Once your manifesto has been submitted, you will be invited to make a speech at Hustings which all Lucians are invited to attend. The elections are then held electronically using CUSU's main election services.

When are SU elections held?

Executive positions are filled in Lent term and non-executive ones in Michaelmas. This is to ensure a smooth handover and continuity, while making sure one-year students are able to join the SU.

What should I put in my SU application manifesto?

We have added a template to the members' part of our website, to help streamline your thoughts and make sure design aesthetics isn't a factor in our elections. You can access it here.

Accessing forms and templates requires a login password, which is the same as the member's login for the college main website. Contact our internal communications officer if you have any trouble accessing the page.

Where should I send my manifesto to officially nominate myself in an election?

Send your manifesto to the current President and you'll be added to the official list of candidates. Congrats!

What is expected of officers in non-executive roles?

As you will quickly notice, all SU roles are flexible and can be moulded to allow for different interests and levels of engagement. Your time in the SU will be what you make it. That said, there are some overall requirements:

  • Making fortnightly updates on Mondays to the committee
  • Installing and checking SU communication on our platform called “Slack”
  • Attending open and closed meetings, roughly 2 per term of each, around 30-90 mins per meeting (45 mins average)
  • Attending meetings in college relevant to your role
  • Independent drive to organise initiatives and potentially events
  • SU non-execs are expected to spend roughly 5-10 hours a week on fulfilling their role descriptions.

You will be joining an ambitious team, so grand ideas are encouraged!

How do I vote in an SU election?

Elections are held electronically using CUSU's main election services. Follow our newsletter and news page for links to the voting pages.

How is the SU funded, and how much money do we have?

The SU is funded through a grant from college of £5000 a term. We also make a small amount of money from selling merchandise and renting out SU beds. Our finance officer is responsible for creating and maintaining the budget, which is presented and approved in an open meeting.

What does the SU fund?

The SU funds initiatives brought forward by SU officers and college-based clubs and societies.

How do I apply for funding?

If you have something you would like to finance for the benefit of Lucy students, which aligns with the SU's purpose and vision, you can contact a relevant SU officer and put forward a proposal together. You can't bring a funding proposal to the SU without the support of an SU officer, unless you are a representative of a recognised club or society. All funding proposals must follow the funding guidelines brought forward by the finance officer.

Accessing forms and templates requires a login password, which is the same as the member's login for the college main website. Contact our internal communications officer if you have any trouble accessing the page.