Student Association Meeting
Tuesday 6th October 2015

1. Matters Arising

The meeting was opened by Jasper Bruce-Wright who welcomed everyone before addressing issues which were raised at the end of September’s meeting.

  • In response to issues raised from students and the teaching staff about websites being unavailable, the Student Association has contacted the network manager asking if something could be done. Jan Dent responded saying that due to the 200mbps limit, some websites have been blocked so the Wi-Fi doesn’t need to be turned off altogether. However, he hopes that by the end of this year our connection will have been upgraded.
  • Following issues raised in September about the portion sizes in the canteen decreasing whilst prices increase, Jasper, Nile, and Grace had a meeting with Michael who runs the canteen. He said that this is an issue out of his control as the prices of the ‘Chartwells’ in college are the same as every other ‘Chartwells’ in the country and not determined by him. However, since the last meeting, most prices have gone back down to the level they were at before the summer holidays. The canteen is currently working at putting nutritional information next to the food and if there are any suggestions of meals which students would like adding to the menu, they should contact the Student Association.
  • There has been an increased demand for parking spaces to be reserved for students who car share. Unfortunately, the parking spaces around college are owned by the council so this cannot be provided. It has been recommended that students set off to college with plenty of time to spare to ensure they find a parking space and that they are prepared to have to park five minutes away and walk.
  • Following students suggesting this last meeting, the Student Association Executive have conducted a vote and decided that Save the Children will be their charity of the year.

2. Guest Speaker from Save the Children (Irene Wilkinson)

Clare introduced Irene Wilkinson who showed a short video explaining some of the work that Save the Children has done in the past year. They are a charity passionate about children’s rights and they are deeply involved with Syrian refugees at the moment. They work in refugee camps to provide clean water, sanitation, food, healthcare, and other basic essentials. Any donation to Save the Children between October and December is being doubled by the government.

Leaflets with more information about Save the Children are available from the Student Association office.

3. Guest Speaker from Cadets (Steve Regan)

Jasper introduced Steve Regan who is setting up a Combined Cadet Force (CCF) at QE.

The CCF is not being set up to recruit students to the forces (although adequate training for that is provided). Instead, they aim to develop leadership skills and assist character development. Cadets will receive uniform as well as being taught discipline and how to shoot. There is also an annual camp after the exams have finished in summer. The CCF meet on a Thursday night at 16:20 hours (or 4:20PM in civilian speak). If it is a success, they plan to establish an Air Force and Navy Cadet Force as well.

More information can be found in the Student Association office or via Steve Regan (course leader of computing).

4. Student Association Action Plan 2015–16

Jasper laid out the points in the Student Association’s action plan for the next year.

They will focus on better communications — both amongst themselves and between them and tutor groups.

They plan to host a variety of enticing events in the next year including Battle of the Bands and a possible charity ball as well as their usual fundraising activities in hope of raising more than £2850 (the amount which the Student Association raised last year).

They want to promote healthy living in QE as well as try and make QE as green as possible.

Finally, they seek to increase student participation in clubs and sports within college.

5. Student Discounts

There is a full list of student discounts available in the library. These include a 10% discount at Dorothy Perkins, House of Fraser, Mountain Warehouse, Rymans, New look, Top Man, and Top Shop.

There is also an app called ‘Distinct Darlington’ which is available to download on your smartphone. This app provides further discounts.

6. Review of “World’s Biggest Coffee Morning”

Becca thanked everyone who bought cakes and hot chocolates to raise money and awareness for Macmillan Cancer Support. In total, £190.05 was raised.

7. Black History Month

Laura informed students that October is Black History Month.

Black History Month is important because it promotes knowledge of the black history, it is an opportunity to disseminate information on positive black contributions to British society, and it heightens the confidence and awareness of black people to their cultural heritage.

As well as profiles on significant black figures, there is also a quiz on the subject in the library, Atrium and outside Student Common Room where a £10 Amazon voucher can be won.

8. Upcoming Events

Zee spoke about the cross college fundraising day on the last day of term (23rd October). Students should dress in red to show their support for Save the Children. Cakes and sweets will be on sale in the common room with profits going to Save the Children.

Christmas Jumper Day will take place on Wednesday 16th December where additional fundraising will take place.

Kit spoke about bad habits and how students should use ‘Stoptober’ as an opportunity to stop them. This doesn’t just have to be smoking, but students can aim to stop excessively drinking, overeating, and other bad habits (e.g. nose picking, chewing gum, and being obnoxious in general).

9. Christmas Shoebox Appeal

Josh told students about the shoebox appeal where the college sends boxes of toiletries, sweets, and toys off to people in need.

This year we are doing this for the charity Stella’s Voice. The charity’s vision is to “be the voice that speaks for the orphans of Moldova, from the smallest child, to the older teen. With the number of human trafficking victims on the rise including victims of child trafficking.”

Last year over 50 boxes were put together.

Students should aim to produce one box per tutor group before the deadline of Friday 13th November.

10. Battle of the Bands

Grace advertised the annual Battle of the Bands in QE.

Heats will take place in the common room/main hall during November and the final will be on the last day before the college breaks up for Christmas.

Soloists and bands alike to enter as long as one member from QE.

The winning act will win £200 worth of recording time at the Forum. Deadline for entry is Friday 23rd October and application forms are available from the Student Association office.

11. Student Funding

Jacob explained that funding has been allocated for student clubs and activities.

Students can apply for some of this by an individual or party of a group.

Deadline for applications is 25th November. Application forms are available from the Student Association office.

12. Any Other Business

Jasper spoke about how representatives will be in college from 7–9 October advertising the National Citizen Service. They run volunteering programmes for students aged 16–17 in the October half term, Easter half term, and summer holidays. They also have an international programme for students who are 18.

Students have been shivering in the common room so there has been a request that the air conditioning is not on constantly. The Student Association will inquire into this and get something done about it.

One student advertised the bi-annual Jabberwocky Market — which is a theatre festival in Darlington. The next one is in March 2016 and they are apparently “top notch”.