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Friday, June 24, 2022

Concerns over Teddy Hall welfare changes

Concerns have been raised that a recently proposed motion in St. Edmund Hall could make it more difficult to run initiatives such as subsidising women’s sanitary products and raising awareness towards testicular cancer.

A source told Cherwell that the President and Vice President put forward a motion that would mean all spending would have to be justified at a JCR meeting in front of a group of members.

Teddy Hall’s current system allows the college to run certain programs and initiatives from a separate fund overseen by the men’s and women’s officers.

By merging all the funding together, the fund would have to be voted upon in a meeting along with other calls for initiatives.

There are concerns that the motion would only raise complications and obstacles for these initiatives that are deemed important by JCR members.

Teddy Hall’s JCR President and Vice President told Cherwell that the motion was to “hold a referendum for constitutional changes” which would see a change to the role of the men’s and women’s officers roles.

They said: “The motion was to hold a referendum for constitutional changes that would serve to provide men and minority gender identity (abbreviated men) and women and minority gender identity (abbreviated women) with representatives who could focus purely on events to raise awareness for such things as testicular cancer and to provide schemes such as funding for mooncups (n.b. sanitary products are pro- vided for free for all JCR members through the welfare fund regard- less).”

“Previously, men’s and women’s officers have served more of a social purpose, which the proposers of the motion felt could be undertaken by the social secretaries instead so as to allow the men’s and women’s officers to focus on the aforementioned events instead of social events.”

The source also described that the Executive retracted the motion when the JCR body appeared to move against the motion. When there were calls to vote upon the motion, with the intention to vote it down, they were refused this option.

A second source has corroborated these events and told Cherwell that sanitary products are absent from communal bathrooms such as the toilets in the bar, the library and around the dining hall.

The JCR President and Vice President said: “The motion was withdrawn following concerns being raised which highlighted the problems associated with women’s events having to ask for funding through JCR meetings. The idea behind withdrawing the motion was to allow the concerns raised to be properly considered and met through an amendment of the motion.”

The current women’s officers at Teddy Hall told Cherwell: “The withdrawal of the motion for editing will hopefully address the concerns that were raised when the motion was first brought to the JCR. We therefore support the motion’s content, and will continue to support it once our concerns about women’s funding have been resolved, which is what is continuing to be worked on by ourselves and the JCR exec.”

Other colleges which provide sanitary products for free include St Anne’s, Hertford and Lady Margaret Hall.

The amended motion noted that “There should be one team of officers who are responsible for organising social events in college, and that these officers should be given discretion over the use of the Entz fund.”

It further stated, “Women*’s and Men*’s representatives should have a protected fund in order to ensure the organisation of events relating to important gender-specific issues and adequate supply of necessary provisions (such as sanitary products).”

If passed, the motion will result in a referendum to change the roles, which would then come into effect from Trinity 2020 onwards.

The new amended motion will be brought back to a JCR meeting on Saturday 9th November.

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