MCR General Election 2020 Candidates and Manifestos
I am pleased to announce the nominations for the MCR Committee General Elections 2020.
The online voting will open on Tuesday the 5th of May at midday for 72 hours. Link to vote: https://www.vote.cusu.cam.ac.uk/clare-mcr/19-20/mcrcom/
The list of candidates for available positions can be seen below, as well as the manifestos for Executive Positions.
- Will Wood (nominated by Daniel Muthukrishna, seconded by Lena Morrill)
- Sam Hodder (nominated by JoJo Benn, seconded by Andrea Paterlini)
- Tom Zago (nominated by Sam Hodder, seconded by JoJo Benn)
- Henri van Soest (nominated by Will Wood, seconded by Pieter-Jan Sterenborg)
Bar Managers (x2)
- Pat Taylor (nominated by Will Wood, seconded by Pieter-Jan Sterenborg)
- Tom Edinburgh (nominated by Will Wood, seconded by Pieter-Jan Sterenborg)
Social Secretary (x2)
- JoJo Benn (nominated by Tom Else, seconded by Fiona Nugent)
- Tom Else (nominated by JoJo Benn, seconded by Kira Williams)
- Samantha Mason
- Aliya Ali
- Ross McGinn
- Glynnis Maynard
Admiral of the Punts
- Will Kitchen
- Leland Stange
- Danny Parle
NB: A technical error on the ballot means the voting for this position will need to happen in a separate future ballot.
- David Ewing
- Calum Ashcroft
Hiya! In case you’ve never met me, I’m Will and for just shy of two years I’ve been one of your bar managers. In the MCR, it’s become something of a tradition that a bar manager becomes president in each election. It seems that spirit lives on once again as now I’m here running for president.
My tenure as bar manager has been a real privilege that has given me the opportunity to get to know so many of you, what you value and what you want from your MCR. Since my main job as president would be to represent you all I believe this, coupled with my near 2 years worth of committee experience, puts me in a good position to be your president.
Before long, I will be entering my fifth year here in the MCR. Through this time I have seen a lot change, good and bad, and how each change has affected our community. I have seen how precious our community is, but also how fragile it can be. We are very fortunate to have such a vibrant and active MCR that keeps us graduates engaged with college and one another. Therefore, my main objective as your president would be to protect this.
The next academic year threatens to be a tough one for us, with the hall closing, the buttery being put in a tent and us all still reeling from the impact of the current pandemic. This further increases the need to focus on community and means working with college is going to be even more important. I intend, with the next vice president and committee, to be a strong voice for you all in what promises to be trying times for the MCR. To stand up for us and advocate our interests to college. As long as we do that, I believe we can weather what is to come.
If that all sounds good to you, then it would be my honour if you were to vote me in as your next president. Of course, my manifesto would not be complete if I were not to say: vote for Will because Will Wood. Thank you.
Hello lovely members of Clare MCR,
I am Sam and I’ve been at Clare for two years now, first for my MPhil in Translational Biomedical Research and now for my PhD in Cancer Biology. Since the very first welcome pizza evening during fresher’s week in 2018, I have really enjoyed going to all the events held by the MCR and meeting some genuinely amazing people. I feel so fortunate to be a member of not only a beautiful college but also a member of one of the friendliest and most vibrant graduate communities in Cambridge.
I have been your female welfare officer for the last two years now and I have loved every minute of it! I have had a great time organizing, and talking to you all, at the various welfare events whether they were board games nights, film nights or when watching our very own David Attenborough!
Next year, I would love to continue to have an active role in the committee as your Vice President. I want to help continue to make sure Clare MCR is as welcoming, inclusive and enjoyable as it has been for me for the last two years. If I were fortunate to be elected as your Vice President, I would always be there to listen to any concerns and ideas you all may have whether they are academic, welfare related, or otherwise, to ensure every MCR member voice is heard.
It would be privileged to be a part of the MCR committee next year, and I hope you will be happy to have me working on the committee for you to ensure that this cohort will have the most memorable year here at Clare.
Miss you all and hopefully see you all very soon!
Dear Members of the MCR,
First things first : I am Tom, a first year PhD in Early Modern European History and member of Clare’s MCR since 2018. During my time here at Clare, I have experienced the MCR as an immensely inclusive and welcoming community. Now is the time to give something back !
Without any doubt, the MCR figures as mainstay of Clare’s social and cultural life, contributing to the college’s renowned and admired community. As forum of interaction and thus vital component to the dynamic and vibrant environment that unfailingly distinguishes Clare, the MCR takes up an important part in ensuring good relations between graduate community and college officials. This everyday experience of community and the responsibility each and every one of us has towards the college, but especially towards the graduate community, is embodied by the MCR committee.
Therefore, I am delighted to run for the office of secretary and become actively involved in shaping the MCR. As secretary, I will be given the opportunity to do my part in assuring that the MCR works efficiently and according to the needs of its members ! Ensuring a transparent and fair flow of information, it is my ambition to uphold and continue the MCR’s integrative and participative policies.
2020 has, so far, been an incredibly challenging year for Clare. Paralysing college life and forcing many of us to abandon what we hold so dear, it now is all the more essential that we strengthen our sense and our awareness of the community by actively and enthusiastically assuming responsibility. I, for my part, would like to achieve this by becoming member of your MCR committee and I sincerely thank you for supporting my candidacy.
With all my best wishes,
Henri van Soest
In the words of the feared Canadian buccaneer Stephen Toope: ‘These are uncertain and challenging times’. While you are trying to make sense of this rapidly collapsing world, the last thing you want to worry about is the state of the MCR’s finances.
But ‘lo, what is that sail at the horizon? It is the HMS Clare, whose below decks is filled with treasure. In my year at the helm of the HMS Clare, I have not simply kept the boat afloat amid the tempest of Brexit and the storm of Covid-19. Nay, I have steered the ship towards the shores of plenty. Together with Admiral Townson, I arranged Freshers’ Week taxis for those living in Swirles Court, and I set up the Explore Cambridge fund. I have provided the necessary doubloons for accommodation brunches, general assembly pizzas, quiz prizes etc. In addition, seasoned MCR sailors will know that repayments from the treasure chest have been swift.
There are yet more far-flung lands to explore. In this upcoming year, I will maintain a steady course towards prosperity. I will continue to build on the initiatives started this year, in particular the Explore Cambridge fund. I will also defend the interests of the MCR in the great pirate councils known as the college finance committee and investment committee. I will maintain the high standards of financial management that MCR sailors rightly expect. Under my watch, no mutiny will be tolerated.
Vote Henri for MCR treasurer and remember, when life gives you lemons, you won’t get scurvy.
Hi Clare MCR,
For those of you who don’t know me I’m Pat, a 2nd year PhD student in physics working on computational metallurgy.
In more normal times I can typically be found on one side of the bar or the other on a Friday night. But these aren’t normal times and we’re not even sure the bar will be opening during my tenure as bar manager. For now I can just promise to throw a great party once the bar can open normally again and without any restrictions. And in the meantime I will carry on running the virtual events that Will and PJ have organised.
Thanks for your consideration,
Hi! I’m Tom, a 2nd year PhD student in Maths and I work with clinical data from intensive care.
Studying in Cambridge isn’t always easy but the MCR and the bar is often a place for the best of times and the fondest of memories, whether it’s a quiet drink with a few friends or the busy post-formal/pre-Spoons buzz. I’m sure many of you are missing that at the minute (if you are missing it but you’re also unsure whether you will be returning to Cambridge, then the most I can do is to reassure you that I want to make sure the bar stays in excellent shape for whenever you next get the opportunity to visit, which is hopefully soon).
For me, working shifts behind the bar on a semi-regular basis has not only been a lot of fun but has also stopped me from disappearing almost completely from the MCR community, and I’m keen to step up and play a bigger part this coming year. I’ll strive to maintain the good relationship the bar has with college, help to build on the excellent ideas of Will and PJ alongside Pat (hopefully), and diligently work behind the scenes to ensure the drinks keep coming. One thing I’d like to ensure is that the bar (and more widely the MCR) is as accessible as it can possibly be to anyone who feels they are struggling with a sense of belonging. There are also a few small things I’d like to trial, such as expanding the range of non-alcoholic drinks that the bar offers.
It’s worth acknowledging that talking about the MCR bar like this assumes the MCR is fully functional again, but in these ‘unprecedented times’/‘new realities’/‘exceptional circumstances’/[insert a relevant snippet from your favourite Toope email], it remains unclear when the bar will return in its normal form. It seems very likely we will all feel the rippling effects of SARS-CoV-2 pandemic on many aspects of life for quite some time. The MCR bar may not be the most important on that list but it is a central pillar of college life and I will work hard to ensure, whenever it may be, that its return is as smooth as a good single malt and as fun as ever.
Just last night I had a dream I was back in Spoons, and what a beautiful dream it was.
Most of you will probably have seen me at some point on a Friday night in the MCR or Spoons, where I likely spoke some unintelligible nonsense to you, and for that you have my apologies. But for those who don’t know me, my name is JoJo (Jonathan to be formal) and I’m a first year PhD student down in the Dementia Research Institute at Addenbrookes.
I was fairly certain that with graduate life I would wither away into old age, but the MCR community has given me life that I never thought possible post Undergrad. I was fairly concerned about coming to Cambridge last September, but the MCR freshers week made me feel at home instantly, and was in fact far superior to my undergrad experience. As your social sec I would be keen to ensure that a similar quality freshers week is held this year, where all incoming students can feel as welcomed into Clare as I was.
I’m fairly sure that between us, me and Tom have been to every formal of the year and I’m sure many will agree when I say that they’re the highlight of the week. Next year will bring challenges to our normal routine, with the closure of the great hall and any enduring effects of the current pandemic, but as social sec I would do my upmost to ensure that these weekly gatherings are maintained in whatever format we are capable of.
Thank you all for making my time in Cambridge so enjoyable and I hope to be able to see you all soon (with any luck in Spoons).
For anyone that doesn’t know me, I’m a first-year PhD student at the CRUK Cambridge Institute. The social side of the MCR has been the highlight of my first year at Clare and I hope to be able to continue the great work of the current committee as one of your social secretaries for the next year.
Formals are a really important part of the MCR social calendar. With the redevelopment of old court and the hall (as well as other social challenges at the moment…), it will be more important than ever to make sure that social events are as enjoyable and inclusive as ever. Particularly, I want to make sure that formals continue to be as enjoyable as before, by working closely with the college, the other social secretary, and the bar managers. We’ll also keep the other great social events like the pub quiz and the great freshers’ events, and take suggestions on other ways that we can make the MCR social experience as good as possible.
I’m really excited to be your social secretary and hopefully, we’ll be able to organise some extra social events as soon as possible, to make up for lost time this year.
Can’t wait to see you all!
Hey everyone! I’m Sammie, a first year PhD student in the Department of Medicine, and I would love to be your female welfare officer next year. My research looks at cardiac regeneration and repair, but please don’t break my heart by not voting for me.
One of my absolute favourite things about my time so far at Cambridge has been you lovely lot – the Clare MCR. I’m sure I won’t have been alone in feeling pretty nervous about coming to Cambridge and embarking on a postgraduate degree, but the welcoming MCR community made me feel at home straight away. As welfare officer, I will work hard to maintain this open and inclusive environment, so that everyone from all walks of life and all over the world, also feels at home here at Clare.
As an MCR regular, I will provide a friendly face that hopefully everyone will feel comfortable approaching. I will do everything I can to help tackle any problems you have and direct you to the best support. Having been a mentor to struggling first year students during 2 years of my undergrad, I believe I am very well equipped for this! I also promise to organise many wholesome events throughout the year to help everyone ease their stresses. These will of course include film nights, bake off, Bridgemas and screenings of any documentaries from our pal Dave (who I think you’ll all agree is THE most notable Cambridge alumni). I also hope to expand on the wide variety of activities currently offered, introducing new ones such as board game evenings and cinema trips.
These are unprecedented times that we are currently living through, and therefore I will work hard from the get go to make sure that no matter where in the world you may currently be locked down, every one of you still feels supported in your studies, in your general wellbeing and in being part of the MCR community. I would be super keen to keep up the weekly virtual bar openings, quizzes, and even introduce some game nights and Netflix party film screenings! I also propose we follow on from the Easter weekend bake off with different monthly lockdown competitions that everyone can get involved with.
I hope that from this manifesto, you all see how much I care for the Clare community and want to see it thrive. I love Clare and I really want to be able to give something positive back to the people that have shaped my first year here.
P.S. Thanks/congrats for reading to the end of this.
I sincerely hope you, your family and friends are all well and safe during this crisis. I’m Aliya, a first-year MPhil student at the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies where I work with 9th century Arabic texts.
When I first joined Clare, I immediately realised that we have a supportive and inclusive postgraduate community. I met many wonderful people and made life-long friends. I spent hours chatting and finding out more about people and engaging with the MCR community. I’ve attended numerous events and I was a regular face at Friday formals.
I am running for the position of Female Welfare Officer because I think that mental and physical health are a key component of being a successful student. If I were elected as your Female Welfare Officer, I would ensure that I am available to listen to your concerns and if I can’t be of help, then direct you to the right place.
At a moment where we are all away from collegiate life, I’d like to continue the spirit of community. There have been a ton of online social gatherings and classes happening during this outbreak and I would love to organise some online events for our community.
I am keen on organising regular bi-weekly events for the MCR community. Events such as an online yoga class run by a professional teacher so that regardless of ability you can join in and take one hour out of the week to unwind.
I would also provide a space for the MCR community to feel comfortable in approaching me for any feedback on what they feel needs improving.
Although not required, Leland Stange and Will Kitchen both submitted manifestos for their positions (something for you all to enjoy whilst in isolation):
Admiral of the punts
Aloha! For those who don’t know me I’m a fifth-going-on-sixth year med student here at Clare. I am also an overly keen rower, so have spent much time on the River (and in it) and thought I’d take the next step up the ladder and take a shot at handling the punts for a while.
– Have only once allowed so many school children (at Clare for an access visit) to get on a punt that it sank, leading to an emergency evacuation onto Trinity backs.
– Have only once led a punting trip requiring ambulance attendance.
– 50% score on boat navigation. Very experienced with port. Less familiar with starboard. I blame the bar…
On a serious note, we are unique among the Cambridge colleges in that we have FREE PUNTS AVAILABLE 24 HOURS A DAY and I am VERY keen for this to continue. The punt booking system relies heavily on the porters, and having been at Clare longer than most I’ll have no problems liaising with them to make sure that the same level of easy access continues long into the future. Furthermore, the punts are a joint JCR-MCR asset and as a medical student I’m actually a joint member of both the JCR and the MCR, so will be able to cater to the needs of both student groups for their joint aquatic betterment. I’ll also work with the College to ensure that access to the punts continues through the Old Court construction works – we don’t want a £40 million roof, we want to drink cheap Sainsbury’s prosecco whilst being badly steered down the river by a person who is also trying to distract themselves from their PhD. If this vision of river life appeals to you, vote me. Taa! xxx
Hello lovely Clare MCR,
My name is Leland and I dearly hope I’ll be on campus next year to serve as your Library Officer. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m currently doing an MPhil in Political Thought and Intellectual History and will be here for a second master’s next year. I hail from Tulsa, Oklahoma, where my mother was a children’s librarian for over twenty years. She was a bit of a luddite and resisted paying for the internet in our home until I needed it before heading to university. As a result, she took me to the local libraries just about every day, and I ended up formally volunteering or working at various locations all the way through university, where I developed a passion for rare books and manuscripts as a specialized tour guide at the Beinecke library. My biggest claim to fame (infamy?) back at uni was leading a mass browsing revolution against Yale’s top librarian to prevent the unnecessary closure and removal of tens of thousands of books from the school’s undergraduate library (I swear, google it). So, if your library rights are ever in even a hint of danger, I’ve got your back.
I’d love to organize regular private tours of rare book libraries in other colleges, help to discipline the undergraduates just a bit in their cleanliness habits in the LCR, and maybe work to make cross-college book access more easily available for post-graduates.
Best wishes in this wild time,