Keble College JCR

Author Archive: Tomas Ford

Rent Negotiations and the Hall Scheme

Good morning Keble!

The rent deal for next year was approved by Governing Body yesterday, so we are happy to finally announce the figures.

Rent will increase for next year by 3.58%

Prices in Hall will be fixed and a new hall scheme has been agreed such that for every weekday evening meal you have in hall 10p will be taken off. So the first meal will be £4.28, the second £4.18, the third £4.08 and so on. If you attend all 40 sittings of hall in a term your average meal cost will be £2.28

In order to secure the rent figure we reduced the deficit in the Domestic Account (the one we have to balance) by £40,000, meaning that next year’s committee should be starting from inflation.

So hall will be a lot cheaper, rent has gone up by inflation and from this point on Keble should be looking to agree rent at least at the inflation level, and potentially below it. This leaves us still very low on the table comparing rents between colleges.



These are the headline figures however below is an explanation of how we got to them for those interested.

College offered us a figure of 6.1% which was comprised of:

VNI for the next year of 2.9%. This is the expected inflation for Oxford Colleges calculated by the Bursar’s Committee.

An adjustment for an undervaluation of last year’s VNI of 0.68%. Bursar’s committee also calculated that their prediction last year was an underestimate, given how much colleges have actually spent, accordingly they want to make up for this this year.

A 2.5% structural deficit in the Domestic Account. College is being run well when its three accounts break even. Domestic Account which we primarily contribute to consistently is in loss. In order to deal with this the Bursar wanted to make an increase in our rents of 2.5% which would eradicate a £50,000 deficit last year.

The MCR President and Treasure El Jaskowska and Jack Rowse, joined me and Rishi in tackling this figure. After many hours going through college’s accounts we found miscaluclations in the Photocopying account, telephone account, and the allocation of Hall Staff costs. We managed to challenge this figure and  have the costs shifted to other accounts. This resulted in the removal of the structural deficit as noted above and therefore the 2.5% was removed from the offer.

We are happy with the final figure given that we had the highest offer of any Oxford college this year and we have to thank the Bursar and College for being so reasonable and open to us looking into the accounting system.



State of the Common Room

Santa Jack

Merry Christmas from the JCR and Santa Jack!


Welcome to the JCR’s State of the Union. Part trumpet blowing, this is also a record some of the successes of the term and more importantly we can see what is left to do (New Year’s Resolutions – coming 2014). This is not a full list of every task we have done as that would be far too boring a list for me to write, never mind for people to read. These are just the highlights, like Match of the Day.

A brief disclaimer: each section of this article was written by its relevant officer, so apologies for the stylistic changes from report to report.

The JCR as a whole:

  • Moved to weekly JCR meetings
  • Got a pool table, a piano, a display cabinet and a PS3.
  • Made folklore, by topping the Queen’s portrait with the Missing Coffee Cup saga.
  • Got some new officers: Vice-President – Chris Allnutt E+E – Jake Palmer          Entz – Deanna Greenhalgh, Severin Limal and Greg Albery Careers + Alumni – Emma Brand
  • Paid our respects to others: Vice-President – Luka Boeskens E+E – Fiona Elliott Entz – Sascha Eady, Joel Duddell and Tom Stokoe Careers + Alumni – Sort of Gompels


  • Liaised with college regarding welcome drinks and decanal issues (phrased diplomatically)
  • Finally took a JCR kitchen proposal to committee level. The 6 page document is available to be read, and governing body will be discussing the issue at the start of a new year. (#keepthejcrkitchenalive courtesy of the MCR President)
  • Stocked the lodge with cheap bike-locks, which has saved students around £500 this term.
  • Carried on James’ legacy by learning how to use the website, and I will take this opportunity to apologise for spamming the noticeboard.



  • Organized trials for a JCR/MCR University Challenge Team (Congrats to Hossein Sharafi, Peter Larner, David Owen, Emilie Brignall & Nathan Graff)
  • Decreased selected bar prices by a few cents, to be implemented at an undefined time in the future;
  • Re-enforced the washing machines to be repaired within at most least 2 days;
  • Potential slight diversification of the sandwich selection.

rishiJCR Treasurer:

  • Administered the finances of the JCR, ensuring all reimbursements (other than one) have been made within one day of receiving the necessary paperwork and details.
  • Ensured the matriculation photos ran smoothly
  • Created a short battels guide so first years knew what to expect in each battels statement!
  • Organised, along with Welfare, a chocolate fountain event
  • Ensured College took responsibility for paying the license fee for the TV in the bar
  • Organised the Children in Need Raffle and bar tournaments raising in excess of £975 for charity.
  • Created the JCR discount card!

735054_10200415927542367_1180347060_n (2)Secretary:

  • * Successfully inducted the Freshers to the JCR; well-attended induction session; disposable camera idea went down well with the Freshers and montage in the JCR to prove it; several motions submitted by first years early in the term; first year candidates for committee positions in 6th week
  • * Great emails (I think you’ll agree?!) on time, colourful as promised, coherent minutes produced (clutching at straws here)….
  • * Organised entertaining and largely well attended JCR meetings with the help of Jack Field


  • Organised two great bops
  • Fixed the speakers


ollie and floWelfare:

  • Peer Support Drop In Sessions
  • Text-a-Mince Pie
  • Welfare Teas, including an introductory session for Freshers
  • Fruit Bank
  • 5th Week Blues events including a free Zumba Class and Film Night
  • Provision of condoms, lube, and pregnancy test with a condom machine to come in Hilary
  • Working with the Dean to resolve and clarify Welfare issues

matt Academic Affairs and Access

This term we have met with the Senior Tutor to finalise the implementation of Academic Feedback Sessions, a new more personal system of feedback designed for you. This will be trialled in Hilary Term with a view to rolling it out to all subjects next year if successful. Our main successes this term however have been in Access, or outreach. We have sent (I believe) an unprecedented number of students to our target region this term, where they have met around 400 aspiring School pupils and carried out presentations, Q&As and mock interviews. The latter programme was described by school staff as “insightful and inspirational” and we were spontaneously sent a card by some of the students. On top of this , we continue to run up to three school visits a week, dedicated essentially myth-busting. A busy term! angus

Accomodation: 1) Did the ARCO ballot 2) Pushed for hobgoblin in the bar and for lower spirit prices 3) Passed a motion for the college phone book, more coming next term 4) Organising a new pool table for the JCR 5) Organising various art competitions for the bar which will come to a head next term arts

This term Arts&Pubs have …. * Ran weekly Art Soc plus extra slots … * EXTRA Art Soc – on 5th week and 8th (Artsmas) * Keble goes to Endgame * Artsmas events in Bar after panto * Set up our KAF Subcommittee * Bought publications through JCR Motion – Oxfam Syria Appeal Anthology * Will open submissions for all entries to Fig.


  • Organised between several members of the committee to organise the 5th Week Blues event, and was particularly involved with Keble Goes Bear Faced
  • Along with Alex Fox produced a very memorable Panto which raised a lot for charity.
  • Among the great causes this term have been: Meningitis UK, DEC Philippines Appeal and Movember Europe

The last photo taken of Alex Fox whilst still at Keble. We will miss you.


Attended the bi-weekly meetind and fed back to the JCR on key issues such as the Vice Chancellor’s speech and the protests regarding lecturer’s wages.



  • A term of dealing with the JCR bikes, we got a new bike and bought them some lights
  • Organised the Student Switch-off Campaign






Equal Ops:


Dave really took this opportunity to heart…

Our saga begins in that week of joy and confusion known in common parlance as freshers’ week, a week practically lost in the mists of time (otherwise known as October). On the fifth day of freshers’ week, Keble gave to you a sexual consent workshop, run by Flo and I. Now, I’m not saying that there were lots of people there, not when compared to, say, the number of people watching the moon landing, or the number of people out there who are big fans of oxygen, but we definitely turned up. That was part of a scheme championed by my predecessor, actually, so very Keble related. What came next? Well, the black history month movie night of course, where one of Spike Lee’s finest, and most controversial, works was displayed for the enjoyment of you guys. It was, of course, ‘Do The Right Thing’, and personally I thought it was a brilliant movie.

Who could forget, too, the Disability Awareness Week Games Night put on in our very own JCR! There were competitions, there were blindfolds, there were phones, there were people headbutting the table in an attempt to text. You think I’m joking? Fine then, have some proof! Disabilit Awareness

Proof! There you go! A good time was had by all, and hopefully some people became made aware of how difficult everyday activities can be for those people who have disabilities. But don’t stop looking now, boys and girls, because there’s more to come next term! So stay tuned for LGBTQ month and more, coming up, after this holiday break. Merry Christmas! Freshers Pres

Freshers’ Week President

  • Pusey Room welcome on Monday
  • Stash organised including hoodies, t-shirts, mugs, diaries
  • Roving welcome team
  • Gate shifts
  • Helpers for evening activities Monday-Friday
  • Tour of Oxford
  • Assistance with Keble induction
  • Keble Treasure Hunt
  • Keble Freshers’ Fair
  • Oxford Union Tour
  • Oxford University Student Union Freshers’ Fair Escort
  • Gerard’s Bar Quiz Setup
  • Jazz Night including In The Pink/Alternotives


  • We got a new one:

    A great storyteller, Jack Field still remains savvy enough to use his Discount Card

    Jack lives by a simple motto: Look ream. Smell ream. Be Ream.

  • Made some memorable trailers
  • Bought him a bell
  • Introduced story time to the JCR





‘We should all want a smarter, more effective government. And while we may not be able to bridge our biggest philosophical differences this year, such as whether the toasties in the cafe are better or should Matt be allowed to sing at next term’s open mic, we can make real progress. With or without this College, we will keep taking actions that help the common room grow. But we can do a whole lot more with your help. Because when we act together, there is nothing the JCR of Keble College can’t achieve.(except a kitchen)” – Barack Obama, Jan. 24, 2012

5th Week Blues

The JCR committee has organised an extravaganza of events to keep away the dreaded 5th week blues:


Rishi Chotai – Tennis Player, Philosopher, Organiser of great bar tournaments

1. We have the bar tournaments throughout the week with big prizes up for grabs:

Table Tennis on Monday

Darts on Tuesday

Pool on Thursday

Fifa will be going on throughout the week

If you would like to enter any of these email


Matt Gompels uses College rugby as a light warm up for Zumba. The headband channelling 1980’s classic Flashdance

2. If this isn’t your thing we also have a free Zumba session on MONDAY at 7-8pm, so turn up and dance those blues away.


The only team to design their own image for the website. Creative

3. We also have ArtSoc on every single day of next week, so head down to JCR 2 from 3-5, Monday through Friday, to get creative

Further to this there will be a Life Drawing Class provisionally on Wednesday. More details to follow.

4+5+6. We also have Open Mic Night on Friday (all singers, dancers, musicians, comedians do apply) and Gerard’s Bar Quiz on Saturday at which we will draw the raffle prizes. If you don’t know about this check your emails, as there are some amazing prizes up for grabs. Tickets will be being sold most days in lunch or brunch and even Matt the Barman is getting involved, and will be contributing 10% of Bar Profits to Children in Need (big thank you to College).

7. We also may be having a comedy night and film nights, but will update this page if and when.

8. Perhaps most importantly – Jack Field is doing double story time at this weekends JCR meeting. Get pumped.

The next week has loads going on, and the committee has spent a lot of time sorting this all out, so do get involved.



Weekly meeting trial

At the meeting, last Sunday, the JCR voted to trial weekly meetings for the remainder of this term.keble

That means there will be meetings on Sundays of 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th week.

The reasons for this was to make JCR meetings more of a habit and also to cut down on overly long meetings.

735054_10200415927542367_1180347060_n (2)

This is Katie. She only smiles when she gets sent motions

This does mean that Katie will be expecting motions regularly so do feel free to send them in whenever to

If we do want to make this a permanent change, this will be a constitutional change and we will vote on it in 8th week.



Bring your kids to work

This Sunday we have our second JCR meeting of term. Seeing as the family dinner in Fresher’s week didn’t go exactly to plan, we thought it would be nice to get college families to eat together in hall on Sunday and then introduce their children to the JCR by attending the meeting (promised to be shorter than last time).

As well as this we have the first of Jack Field’s bedtime stories, the perfect way to end a JCR meeting.

A great storyteller, Jack Field still remains savvy enough to use his Discount Card

A great storyteller, Jack Field still remains savvy enough to use his Discount Card

Both these events are obviously optional, but we thought it would be a nice break as we hit the halfway point of term.

Also don’t forget to submit motions for the meeting to Katie (, the deadline is on Thursday at midnight.



New JCR Bike!

Speeding to the back of Sloane Robinson

Speeding to the back of Sloane Robinson

Following the motion in second week meeting, the right honourable Felix Hamer has acquired the new JCR Bike.

The JCR now has three functioning bikes and they are ready to be signed out at the Lodge.

Happy cycling!

Felix Bike

With complimentary D-Lock