MCR General Election Candidates 2017
I am pleased to announce the nominations for the MCR committee General Elections 2017.
The online voting will open on Monday 8th May at 12am for 72 hours.
- Cloe Legrand (nominated and seconded by Costa Televantos, David Orr)
Social Secs (x2)
Bar Managers (x2)
- Peter Asimov
First Year Officer
- Yasmin Begum
- Clare Bissell
- Kasia Brzezinska
- Andrea Paterlini
- Lachlan Fleetwood
Mature Students Officer
- Navin Ramakrishna
Admiral of the Punts
- Hi, my name is Cloé Legrand and I am a first year PhD student. I am fortunate enough to call Clare College my home, and to be a member of one of the friendliest and most vibrant graduate communities in Cambridge. I have acted as one of your social secretaries for the past 6 months and have thoroughly enjoyed being more involved in Clare and trying to represent our members’ interests. Costa and I worked hard in this role to bring you a wide variety of events that are fun and inclusive. If you know anything about me, you will know that my life is a bit of a “Work hard, Play hard” situation! I am passionate about creating an environment where we are supported in being academically challenged, whilst also engaging in a vibrant social life. I am excited by the idea of becoming your MCR president and representing the Clare community over the next year. Seeking to build on the strong foundations set by previous presidents and their committees, my aims can be summarized in three words: inclusive, efficient and transparent.
INCLUSIVE. Clare MCR is unrivalled in its capacity to bring people of all backgrounds together both personally and academically. With the key determining factor being our ability to incorporate our diversity. To better achieve this I will:
- Listen carefully to the ideas of the MCR members and committee through regular meetings and personal engagements
- Work closely with the first year, mature student and welfare officers to make sure that everyone’s voices are heard and that problems are being dealt with
- Encourage participation in MCR activities through maintaining the wide variety of events we offer, as well as expanding on the current non-drinking activities
- Encourage non-committee members to get involved in bringing their ideas forward and make sure funds are available to host these events (e.g. Bake Off, Planet Earth)
EFFICIENT. Clare MCR has a lot to offer. This coupled with your department, society involvement and the university can often become overwhelming. To make sure we work as a well-oiled machine, I will:
- Work closely with the social secretaries to plan “Term Cards” such that each term you are aware of the planned events well in advance
- Work closely with the secretary and computing officer to keep the MCR webpage and calendar up to date with any changes and/or additions to the events taking place
- For regular planned activities, such as yoga, schedule consistent weekly time slots
- Focus on team building within the MCR committee itself, encouraging representatives in different roles to work together as a cohesive team, which will in turn make the committee as a whole more efficient
TRANSPARENT. Clare MCR committee is here to represent you, its members, and to provide a liaison between you and the college. And the best way to represent you, is to keep you constantly informed. I aim to do this by:
- Carefully documenting and communicating all meetings with college administration, especially those to do with the redevelopment of St Regis
- Work with the treasurer to ensure a termly budget review is available on the MCR webpage
- Work with the secretary to ensure all committee and AGM meeting minutes are up to date and available on the MCR webpage
Not only do I have the skills to be your next President but I also have strong ideas and policies that are realistic and achievable. I love Clare and I really want to be able to give something positive back to the people that have shaped the most memorable experiences thus far.
- Hello Clare MCR!
My name is Parvathi (and yes, if the name sounds familiar its probably because you remember it from Harry Potter!). I’m a Venezuelan-Indian first year PhD student in POLIS, but have been in Cambridge and been a member of Clare since 2014, when I started my MPhil in Latin American Studies. You might find me around campus singing opera, jazz or bossa, or (perhaps more productively) with my head inside a book on Hugo Chávez.
As far as manifestos go, they are perhaps one of the toughest things to get to grips with: promoting and explaining why you feel you are good at something — but what I do want to start with is by mentioning exactly why I feel I want to be involved so deeply with Clare.
In short: my matriculation in 2014 was the day I met some of the most fascinating people I will ever meet, who happen to still be my closest and dearest friends. And Clare hasn’t ceased to surprise me with incredible people since. Clare is known as “The friendly College” and there are some structural reasons for this. We’re unpretentious but charmed with grace (much like the beautiful neoclassical buildings that surround us); we’re also deeply curious about our world (as proven by our Clareity events), and at the same time, we know how to enjoy the sociality that we’re afforded by our MCR bar (and our magnificent whiskey). That said, I was afforded the opportunity to interact with these people solely through the MCR and want to give that opportunity back.
The bit about me
Those that know me know that I gave up my career in opera and music to commit to understanding the current humanitarian crisis in which Venezuela finds itself at the moment, and I hope this level of commitment shows in everything I venture to do. Before music, I studied to become a Production engineer, so I like to prod myself to think of problems and solutions in both scientific and artistic ways. Moreover, I deeply enjoy spending time listening and talking to those around me about their ideas, visions, and even personal problems. So more than anything, it is important for me to represent and voice the concerns of our members.
In more practical terms I’ve tested the student political waters as Student Representative for my department at the faculty level, gauging and interacting with all the students of my department for feedback, resolving issues, concerns, and communicating them to the faculty – this included helping those that need assistance writing academic english find funding from the University to do so. As Head of Operations of Future First Global in London, an educational charity, I gained experience handling a lot of administrative bureaucracy, negotiating conflicting opinions, and becoming a hand of support in these back-stage operations to the CEO, as I would like to be for our President.
I want to commit to continuing the work of the two preceding VPs, Jiho and Toby, and help materialize the initiatives and ideas of our members, together with the committee by:
- Making sure that the information and resources that are available to the MCR committee are open and accessible to the whole of the MCR, as Jiho mentioned.
- As Olly mentioned, making sure that the students that are being moved from St Regis have decent (and enjoyable) living options, is a serious priority on the agenda.
- Working closer with other colleges has been on the list for a few years now, as Toby mentioned, and besides swaps, I hope to put a lot of effort into cross-college activities, that are viable enough for us to continue them after this year.
- I feel that we need to find ways to establish a sense of “greater” Clare, i.e. interact more often with our SCR fellows and, yes, our JCR juniors.
In more specific terms, I wish to continue to support the Olly’s great Pub Quizes and Navin’s Baking traditions; get some routine and more established movie nights and salsa/latin nights; continue “massage day” during exam weeks, an initiative that has waned. Also other lovely suggestions in past manifestos, by Ana González for example, included photography and art workshops, to which I would add career skills workshops, by inviting some of the amazing folk that work at the career centre to our MCR. Lastly it would be exciting to see a few Clare College Coding workshops, to my knowledge the first in the University.
You are the members of the MCR, and it is you our committee needs to strengthen, make feel at home, listen to, entertain, and serve 🙂
Thanks so much for reading this and considering my candidacy! Please drop me a line with any, any questions (pas89).
- Dear MCR community,
For those who don’t know me, I am Martijn, second year PhD student working on urban design and aircraft noise and a proud EU-immigrant. Last year I was the MCR’s Accommodation Officer representing our community towards building and accommodation managers but decided to run for VP this year. As I do have experience with VP and P positions and managing large committees, I would be happy to support the committee as VP. In addition to managing and representing the MCR towards College, the following three points form my manifesto for next year.
First of all I believe that the MCR is a unique and welcoming place, both as a room/bar and as a thriving community. The MCR provides an open and friendly place for people with various backgrounds forming a relaxing informal getaway in the turbulent and demanding reality Cambridge can be, and in particular if you come from other places in the UK or overseas. The fact that students do feel home from the first day in fresher’s week is the greatest merit of our community. As VP I believe it is worth fighting for a MCR that remains as open and inclusive as it is today, and where it doesn’t matter what your gender, sexual orientation, age, colour or belief is. This also entails that the MCR should remain a place where opposed ideas coexist and can be openly discussed over a pint, cider or soda drink.
Secondly, I believe that the MCR is mostly a social place meaning that the committee should encourage social activities. In my perspective this can relate to formal dinners, BOPs or other themed events alike, but also to the more intellectual events like Clarity, environmental platforms or political debate. The committee should provide (financial) means to organize events and stimulate student initiatives. As VP I want the committee to scrutinize the way money is spend and allocate more money for ad hoc student initiatives or those activities most students will benefit from (as it is your money in the end). An example are the social suppers at St Regis and Clare Court organised in Michaelmas, but also the recent initiative for regular debate around more serious problems like the distribution (and inequality) of wealth and worrying exploitation of our planet. The budget should be more flexible to accommodate such ideas and the committee should encourage students to take and launch initiatives.
Thirdly, I think the MCR can do more to push towards a greener and more environmental sustainable College. This all starts with how we run the MCR and the bar, but real gains can be made by sustainable procurement or waste management. The MCR should keep reminding College about it responsibilities and closely follow discussions related to procurement or (fossil free) investments. As Clare sees itself as a progressive college, we should remind Fellows and staff to live up this ambition in relation to how we treat planet, profit and people.
Together with bringing experience, these three points will be my main motivation and contribution for the year to come. If you support my ideas, please tick my name on the digital ballot paper.
- I am Elliot Lynch a 1st year PhD student in the Department for Applied Maths and Theoretical Physics. I hope to continue the work done by Becky to balance the MCR finances, and ensure we have a robust accounting system. I have attended a College Finance Committee with Becky, along with the last MCR Committee meeting, so I have a grasp on the current state of the MCR finances and the financial pressures that are effecting the college (and therefore may get past onto us). Policies and areas I anticipate will need to be looked into next year are,
- Inflation of Food prices means college is liable to look at raising formal hall prices next year. It will thus be important to work with the new committee to minimise the amount they pass onto us.
- Looking at moving the accounts to a distribute system so they are adequately backed up and easier for relevant parties to access/update.
- Bar profits this year have been very high and are currently being used to make up the shortfall in the MCR Finances. I want to liaise with the new bar managers to determine whether increased spending on events has had a positive impact on bar profits and whether we can thus keep event spending at a level that is above what we could support from MCR fees alone.
- Continued monitoring of accommodation prices, particularly in conjunction with the ongoing plan for St Regis Redevelopment.
- See whether we can get a new Coffee Machine and make Mexico/The College Pay for it.
Thanks for you time in considering this manifesto, and I hope to serve you well as treasurer next year.
- Hi fellow Clareites,
I’m Ed Hinton, a first year PhD student in the Department of Earth Sciences. My research is in the modelling of the injection and storage of carbon dioxide underground.
In my first two terms at Clare, I’ve really enjoyed being a part of the MCR and getting involved with many of the events. My favourite things about being a graduate at Clare are how welcoming and open the community is and that there is something going on for everyone.
It is a privilege to be nominated for MCR treasurer, I’m excited by the idea of representing the graduate body and ensuring MCR members get the most out of their money. As college tightens its belt for the renovations and Brexit inflation bites, I want to get a fair deal for graduates. Also, following the great work of previous treasurers, I want to keep membership fees fixed whilst working with other committee members to ensure there is funding for a wide range of events for lots of different tastes.
In my previous life as an analyst at an investment bank, I gained lots of useful experience of finance committees and balance sheets and so on. This will be invaluable in negotiations with college for things like rent increases, formal prices, buttery prices etc. I also know that an important aspect of the treasurer’s role is administration, being organized, responding quickly to new ideas and expense requests. I am committed to working hard at the nuts and bolts of the role. I believe I have the skills, experience and motivation to build on the excellent work of previous treasurers and keep Clare the best college for graduate life.
Thanks for reading. Clare love,
- Those of you who know me know that I take my social life seriously. If you do too, you know what to do.
- Great committee members represent the milieu of the MCR in clear and honest tones; the lens crystal that refracts the vox populi without distortion. However, the lens through which MCR social policies shine is often needlessly muddied with internet assembled personal agendas and pontification. I urge you all to spurn the ignis fatuus of such vapid sentiments so the light of the MCR can shine true. Also, if I get voted in I will send fewer emails. Nights of rest to you and days of tranquillity are the wishes I tender you with my affect respects – Constantinos A Televantos.
- I am a first year engineering PhD student, but I have been drinking in Clare since 2010 and have held various positions of responsibility, most recently running Clare Jazz.
The MCR is central to life for Clare postgrads and I think it is really important we keep this space working well and maintain good relations with the college. I want it to continue to be a place for everyone to meet up and have a chat or, if you’re feeling it, throw some shapes.
I have enjoyed being on both sides of the bar this year and I would love to contribute to keeping everything running smoothly. I have a few ideas which I think could make the MCR an even better place for everyone, whether you enjoy a tipple or not.
- A suggestions box to make it easier to request drinks we don’t have. Whether it’s an unusual whisky, your local ale or diet coke, let me know and I’ll try and order it in.
- Fix the music system so we can enjoy listening to non-stop TLC.
- I make my own spirits using fruit from my garden and around Cambridge. I’d like speak to college about making use of the apples and other bits from the Clare gardens to create our own alcohol.
- Clare Bar patrons: The Clare MCR Bar prides itself as a warm and special place to many in the college community. Whether you’re enjoying post-formal drinks with familiar faces or having a mid-week social outing, this spot always promises to foster an enjoyable and worthwhile collegiate experience. It is my intention to maintain a friendly, inclusive environment in the bar with a singular overarching principle: let the good times roll. Having worked in the New Orleans bar industry, where drink and hospitality are a centerpiece to life, I hope to encourage a good time for all in the form of tasty drink, booty-shaking jams, and lively company.
- At last Thursday’s Clareity evening, I was pondering what changes I would want to make if I were to run Clareity next year, and frankly, it was difficult to think of much. The presenters were eloquent and engaging, as proven by the wonderful questions they received from those in attendance, and the MCR was vibrant with discussion as the evening flowed seamlessly between scholarship and socialising. Primarily, I want to uphold and sustain the wonderful aspects of Clareity that are already in place: an inviting environment that encourages attendance (30+ people flocked to the MCR for Clareity last Thursday); a rich and representative diversity of speakers (maintaining balance among disciplines, gender representation, and Masters/PhD research); and an equally rich and representative diversity of pizza toppings and wines.
An opportunity for growth would be to try to involve Clare fellows on a more regular basis. We could invite Clare fellows as guest chairs for Clareity evenings, for example, or we could have fellows lead a workshop on presentation techniques at some point during the year, perhaps prior to the Clareity symposium. We are so fortunate to have the college’s support to run Clareity, and the series is therefore a natural venue through which to foster closer ties between our MCR and SCR communities. Furthermore, if you attend Clareity and have additional suggestions, I am open and receptive; and if you do not attend Clareity, I would love to know what I could do to bring you in.
The best thing I could personally offer as Clareity President is my genuine enthusiasm for the series and for all of our research. I have attended Clareity whenever possible since arriving at the college last autumn, have presented at an evening in February, and attended the symposium this year. I have discussed the role at length with Andrés and Magda (two former Clareity presidents), and will continue listening to their advice. My experience as an MCR social secretary (at a different college) has prepared me for the general responsibilities that committee entails, and I can assure other committee members to expect a helpful and organised colleague.
Thank you for taking the time to consider my application for this role!
- Hi, my name is Kasia, I’m in the first year of my PhD in Slavonic Studies, and I’d love to be Clareity President this year.
I think Clareity is a wonderful initiative as it’s so easy for us to get wrapped up in our own work, and confined to our libraries, offices or labs, it’s not often that we’re exposed to research outside of our own disciplines. I’ve really enjoyed listening to presentations and presenting my own research at Clareity Matters and the Symposium this year. I’ve learnt about such a variety of things that I wouldn’t have encountered otherwise. Aside from the quality and accessibility of the talks, I’ve been struck by the many intelligent questions and discussions that follow them, and I think this is where the strength of Clareity truly lies. By coming together from our various subject areas to share our ideas, we not only learn new things and expand our intellectual horizons, but are also reminded of the value of our work, and that what we do is also interesting and worthwhile to those outside of our domain.
I have quite a bit of experience organising different events throughout my time at university. At Warwick, I was the events officer of Warwick Volunteers, and one of the more rewarding events I organised was an evening showcasing the achievements of our hardworking volunteers to our community partners. At Oxford, I was the vice president of the Pembroke College ball, working alongside grads, undergrads and college staff to put together an incredible night for 850 guests. At the moment, Navin and I are organising the Great Clare Bake Off and I’ve also helped out with smaller events throughout the year, including Planet Earth screenings with Peter and Ridhwaan, and the MCR pudding club.
I want to use my experiences, build on the Clareity legacy, and put together stimulating evenings with varied presentations which will continue to encourage our fruitful discussions and sharing of ideas. Finally, as many of you will know by now, I’m a pretty keen baker, and if I were to become Clareity President, some freshly baked goods would be sure to make an appearance at Clareity Matters evenings!
Admiral of the Punts
- First of all, thank you for reading this.
I want to become the Admiral of the punts, because I love the punts. I will take good care of them and make sure you can have a good time whether you are booze cruisin or trying to impress your distinguished guests.
I think I’m suitable because I’m not afraid of water, live close to the river and am a reliable person. I have proven myself before on a demanding role as the treasurer of the Graduate Society of my Department (CRUK CI).
happy punting and I’m looking forward to seeing you on the river
Admiral of the Punts