Students in uproar over King’s College JCR perks

A motion to introduce perks for the King's JCR (KCSU) executive committee has proved controversial among students at the college. The motion, presented at an open meeting on Saturday, was intended to introduce a system of accountability and encourage more participation in KCSU after some of the positions, including the Presidency, were uncontested at the last elections.

During Saturday's meeting the proposal drew staunch opposition from the floor. Ben Abrams, a third-year Politics student, doubted the effectiveness of perks as a method of ensuring that executive committee members did their job, saying, "it's not so much a carrot and stick approach as carrot and absence of carrot".

Third-year Philosopher, Chris Perry, took issue with the motion on the grounds that it would separate the KCSU executive committee from the rest of the student body.  He said that he felt proud to belong to a JCR that could truly represent students, as the executive committee had the same experience as other students.

Many other JCR committees enjoy considerable privileges. Caius, Christ's, Magdalene, and Pembroke all have particularly nice rooms set aside for their JCR President, for example, and the Murray Edwards and Queen's Presidents automatically get the top position in their room ballots. The Magdalene JCR President, Secretary, and Treasurer get to eat at high table twice a term and the Robinson committee have a committee dinner paid for by alumni.

The motion's proposer, and KCSU Chair, Patrick Kane argued that while "the number one perk of an elected position is doing a good job," the motion aims to "address the democratic deficit that many believe exists within our union". "It's far from a perfect system," he continued "but I think it strikes the balance between practicalities and effectiveness."

The proposal was to allow committee members to reserve two formal tickets per term, which they would still have to pay for. Competition for King's formal tickets is fierce so this aspect was particularly contested and KCSU is now trying to find an alternative.

Alice Moore - Deputy News Editor

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