MCR Michaelmas By-Election Manifestos
Dear Clare MCR,
Voting for the Michaelmas by-elections will open at 5pm tomorrow and last until 5pm on Sunday the 4th of November.
Two of the non-executive positions ended up with a single candidate and therefore no election is necessary. Congratulations to the new Female Welfare Officer, Sam Hodder, and Swirles Officer, Campbell Hastings. Their manifestos are included at the end of this post for information.
There will an election for Bar Manager, Social Secretary and First Year Officer. The candidates and manifestos are as follows.
My name is Will and I am a physics PhD student, just starting my third year here at Clare. For the most part, I take slightly flexible things, put currents through them, wave a few magnets around them and hope for the best. However, I hope to be able to increase the scope of my already exhilarating life by becoming one of our bar managers.
My main objective will be to ensure the continued existence of the bar, making sure we are in good standing with college but also to stand up for the bar if/when under threat. I believe it plays an irreplaceable role in post-grad life here at Clare. Therefore, maintaining it as a warm and welcoming place with an excellent choice of very reasonably priced beverages is an absolute must as far as I am concerned.
However, I do believe there are some unique reasons to vote for me, such as:
- I will implement an online suggestion form for drinks to stock in the bar as well as occasional online polls to allow more input on what we order.
- A collection of brightly-coloured jumpers, with an inclusive and friendly attitude. Possibly with a matching brightly-coloured cocktail of the day…
- I will bring a focus on balance, making sure we don’t get so lost in our 17 types of pale ale and chocolate rose quartz porter infused with elderflower and Earl Grey that we forget to stock enough lager (or vice versa, of course).
- Will would.
There are always more ideas worth looking into. Some that have been floating around in the MCR that I’ve encountered so-far include stocking dairy-free baileys (easy to implement) and keg(s) for after formals (might be tricky). I will always be open to suggestions like these, perfectly willing to look into them and, if reasonable enough, implement them, should I become a bar manager.
I encourage everyone to vote, and I look forward to the opportunity to possibly be one of our bar managers!
Hello fantastic people of Clare MCR,
I’m Ester and I’m doing and MPhil in Comparative Literatures. As you may know, I come from Italy (I don’t have an accent so needed to make sure you all know my origins) and I’ve been in Cambridge and at Clare for two years. I love this college and its friendly spirit and this is why I would love to be part of the MCR Committee as social secretary along with Lydia!
I love organising events to delight people, I love tequila and I love you!
So, vote for me and then start to think about what Disney character you want to be! Cartoons’-themed formal is only the first of my promises for you! It’s gonna be lit!
Ciao belli e grazie!
First Year Officer
After only a few weeks in Cambridge, it is evident to me that the MCR community is an invaluable part of our life together in Cambridge. This community, especially for first years, is something which provides a sense of camaraderie, rest, and fun to us which is both invigorating and stabilizing — things I’m sure you will agree are most welcome in the quirky life of the academic. As First Year Officer, I want to be a proponent of this MCR community in two ways. The first is that I want to be sure that the community we experienced in fresher’s week — and continue to enjoy — does not fizzle out as the workload increases and the going gets tough. I’d love to plan monthly events throughout the year that get us out of our houses and back into the MCR where we can laugh, reconnect, let down our guard, and be refreshed by our friendships. Secondly, when the going does get tough, I still want to be there for you. Whether you have come from near or far, coming to Cambridge is likely a huge transition. If you need a listening ear, I’m here. As things come up that we can work through or figure out as a community, I’d love to facilitate that. One thing that I’ve noticed as a student is that even if everyone wants to be a part of a vibrant community, it takes someone listening to that community and being willing to work out some logistics in order for that community to flourish to its full potential. I would love nothing more than implement your ideas and mine in order to be that kind of encouraging force for our community. As your First Year Officer, I will do everything I can to make us feel at home in Cambridge.
Hello! I am Sam, an MPhil Biomedical student. Although I may have only been in Cambridge for a few weeks so far, I already love both Cambridge city itself and in particular Clare College. Everyone at Clare College has been so welcoming & approachable and 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.
Since the very first welcome pizza evening during fresher’s week, I have really enjoyed going to all of the events held by the MCR and meeting some genuinely amazing people. Before I had even arrived at Cambridge, I had heard that Clare College was a particularly ‘friendly’ college with one of the best MCRs and indeed it has exceeded all of my expectations. I want to be your First Year Rep and help the MCR committee continue to make sure that the MCR is as welcoming, inclusive and enjoyable as it has been for me.
I am approachable, friendly and an enthusiastic individual (I like to think so anyway!) who always puts 100 per cent into anything I do. If I were fortunate to be elected as your First Year Rep, I would always be there to listen any concerns and ideas you all may have. I will ensure every MCR member voice is heard. I always get involved in every MCR event and often work in the MCR so I will be easy to find and talk to! As your first year rep, I will raise any issues that students may have, academic, welfare related, or otherwise, to ensure that our first year at Clare is the best it can possibly be.
I would also organise unique and exciting events throughout the year such as bowling and cocktail nights to continue to bring all the postgraduates together and to keep us all sane during the more stressful periods (hopefully there are not too many). I know it is so easy for everyone to get engulfed by his or her courses, whether they involve being locked in labs or in a library reading, but it is so important that we all have social events to look forward to that break up the hard work! I have quite a bit of experience organising different events from my time at Birmingham University. At Birmingham I was on the Snow Sports committee and helped organise ski trips as well as smaller weekly social events such as mini-golf trips. I will use this experience to put together a variety of events that appeal to a wide range of people and personalities.
I would be privileged to be a part of the MCR committee this 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.
Female Welfare Officer
Hi Everyone! I am Sam and I am an MPhil Biomedical student. Although I have only been in Cambridge for a month so far, I have really enjoyed being apart of the Clare College postgraduate community and being involved in college life. Everyone at Clare College has been so welcoming and I feel so lucky to be a member of one of the liveliest graduate communities in Cambridge. The whole of the MCR committee have done an incredible job in making sure that our Freshers week had the perfect balance of number, type and variety of events and this has made our transition to Cambridge and college life considerably easier. Everyone in the MCR is so supportive and friendly; it feels as if I have lived here 4 years as supposed to four weeks!
However, I understand that sometimes settling into a new university, in a new city with lots of new people and an unfamiliar course can be equally as daunting as it can be exciting. If I were to be elected as your female welfare officer I would ensure that I would ALWAYS be there to listen to any problems anyone may have over the course of this year. Whether the concerns maybe academic, financial or social I will listen and help advise anyone to the best of my ability and together find the best course of action. I would be more than happy to listen to any concern no matter how big or small to help anyone feel more at ease and in control, there is nothing worse that feeling that you are out of your depth.
At the University of Birmingham I was a student mentor for my course. As a student bioscience mentor, bioscience students could come and speak to me regarding any problems they may have encountered. I have learnt to be a good listener and have experience in helping advise students through any obstacles they may encounter. As your female welfare officer I would make sure that I come and sit in the MCR at least three times each week for anyone to drop in if they feel they have anything they would like to talk to me about. Alternatively, if someone felt that they had an issue that they would like to speak to me more privately about, I would be more than happy to meet with anyone one-to-one. Every week I attend the free Clare yoga sessions and as your female welfare officer I will continue to make sure that the free yoga takes place regularly throughout the academic year. I would also like to introduce more afternoon tea sessions on Sundays, as these are a great way to relax! Finally, I would also like to help organise events throughout the term such ice-skating, cinema trips, walks/bike rides to Grantchester and potluck dinners to help break up more stressful points in the semester.
I have really enjoyed my time at Cambridge so far and feel so fortunate to be apart of Clare College and in particular the MCR community. I would love to have the opportunity as your female welfare officer to help all members of the MCR have a year they will never forget.
My fellow Swirlies,
In the picture above, I had just received news from the frontline of Mem Court that I had been allocated Swirles. I thought to myself “FML… is a 40-minute walk away.”
A month in, I seek to provide a voice for such #swirlesstruggles – to advocate for your welfare and enjoyment whilst living here.
My mission is simple: to ensure that you have a wholesome, fun and safe time living at Swirles. I’ve canvassed several Swirlies to get a sense of their experience and have identified some common pain points. I’ll chart these #swirlesstruggles for you, and then offer eight remedies.
- Distance to town:
- Need to use or cross high traffic arteries to get to your destination
- Frightening and long cycle or walk back at nights (post MCR formal and libations, or even week night library sessions)
- Lack of catering options close by
- Need to spend a lot of £ on taxis/Ubers over the duration of a term
- Distance to town:
- Soulless Community
- Clarites are but a drop in an ocean of Girtonites (???)
- Lack of formal opportunities to meet and socialise with fellow Swirles residents – Clarites (herein, Swirlies) and Girtonites
- Currently no formal mechanism in which to organise and reach out to fellow Swirlies
- No Clare non-Swirles members ever visit because it’s so far away
- Soulless Community
I would like to remedy these problems and solve the #struggles. If I am fortunate enough to be ~swirled~ into office (🌀-> 🏢), I will advocate on our common behalf for the following:
- Taxis back from MCR formals, and for occasions when you feel too unsafe to walk or cycle back to Swirles alone
- Provision of shared transport (taxis or Ubers) to and from the train station at the end and start of term
- An online group for you to voice any #swirlesstruggles, and to arrange meetups
- An anonymous notice board in C4 where you can provide feedback, and ideas for events or welfare initiatives that you would like to see
- For future residents, a bike resell/recycling program for Swirles members to have first right of refusal on bikes for sale by Swirles alumni
- A monthly catered event to swirl us Swirlies together (🌀+🌀=🌀🌀🌀).
- A monthly dinner “swap” program with other Clare accommodation units (e.g. Clare Court, Chesterton Road) to foster inter-accommodation friendships (and expose the rest of Clare to the #swirlylife)
- Swirles SWAG
In delivering on these programs, I hope to solve the #swirlesstruggles, and build the number of great things associated with living in this faraway land.
In full Swirles sincerity, it really would be a wonderful privilege and responsibility to represent your interests and welfare. Please check out my quick-fire questions and answers that address my qualifications and suitability below.
Your living situation defines a large part of your time here – let’s make it as great as we can.
Quick-fire Q&A – Qualifications and Suitability:
- Founded a successful non-profit in Scotland (St Andrews) that does impactful community-based work. Advocated for welfare of groups in need and represented interests of said groups within community and University bodies.
- I lived in ‘far out’ accommodation in my first year of undergrad and saw the impact that a few good initiatives could have.
- I have no other community based extra-curricular engagements, so can devote myself fully to this.
- I love meeting new people and have got to know all the Porters (and even the Heads of Maintenance and Housekeeping [don’t ask]) really well. I will be an approachable and steadfast ally.
- Love for Swirles:
- While I bemoan the #swirlesstruggles, I actually do like Swirles and think it provides a great standard of accommodation; the cycling also keeps us fit!
- I really would like to make the overall experience of living at Swirles better. It’s my hope that we’ll all be proud to be Swirlies (with our SWAG), and a swirlsome time together.
- Love for Swirles: