Current Affairs

£1800 overspend at St John’s JCR open bar night leads to motion of censure

An open bar night at the Isis Farmhouse, hosted by the St John’s Junior Common Room (JCR), has led to an emergency JCR meeting which yielded several motions.

The event, intended as a celebration for finalists and freshers, had a budget of £2500, designated by the then Entertainment Officers of the St John’s JCR. However, according to minutes from an Extraordinary General Meeting of the JCR on 17th June, “at the first sitting of 60, people had spent a little over £2000”, meaning that either the second sitting would be far smaller than the first or the budget would be significantly exceeded.

As a result, St John’s JCR received a £4364 bill leaving “eight percent of the entertainment budget” left for Michaelmas Term 2021, equivalent to £466. This has raised questions about the use of JCR funds, which are supposed to “promote and further the well-being and academic, sporting and cultural interests of the undergraduate students of St John’s College”.

This led to a series of motions in order to prevent similar circumstances from arising in the future. The first motion, a motion of censure, was passed to “express the belief that on this occasion the Entertainment Officers did not fulfil their obligations as Trustees of the JCR” and “mandate the Entertainment Officers to acknowledge this motion through a formal email to all JCR members before the start of the next General Meeting”.

In order to ensure adequate entertainment finances for Michaelmas 2021, a second motion was passed to reallocate funds from other JCR budgets towards the entertainment budget for Michaelmas Term 2021, which usually sees around £3000 spent on entertainment.

The third motion passed, namely “This should not happen again” Standing Policy Motion, acknowledges that JCR Officers are trustees of the JCR and have a responsibility to make sure that the JCR is well-run. Accordingly, JCR Officers at St John’s are now mandated to secure committee approval on spending of over £750 from their budgets.

The President of St John’s JCR and the Entertainment Officers during Trinity Term have been contacted for comment.

Image credits: Tetiana Shyshkina on Unsplash