The constitution was revised significantly in the 2017-2018 academic year and will likely go through further revision in 2018-19.
Any questions? Please email Tamzin, our Computing/Communications Officer, who helped to enact these changes.
You can read the current version of the Constitution >>here.
The current version was approved by the MCR and by College in Lent term 2018. Final changes will be made in Easter term 2018 by the MCR Committee and College Council.
The motion passed was:
The MCR resolves to adopt the proposed constitution as circulated subject to any drafting changes recommended by Senior Officers of College or by the MCR Committee which do not materially change the effect of any provision.
Here are some relevant documents about the change:
- The new draft constitution, noting key changes [PDF]
- The old constitution [PDF]
- Presentation about MCR constitution update [PDF]
- Minutes of Lent Open Meeting [PDF]
Why was the constitution changed?
- The previous constitution was outdated and made it difficult for the MCR to best serve students
- It wasn’t compliant with the Education Act 1994 or the University of Cambridge statutes.
- It gave membership to ‘lectrices’ and librarians but left out groups of students
- Members couldn’t participate remotely, (eg: by online voting or assigning a proxy to vote/speak at meetings).
- It made it difficult for MCR committee members to resign or be replaced.
- It was inconsistent in parts, especially around elections and Open Meetings.
- And…. it referred to New Hall rather than Murray Edwards
Why does it say she/her instead of using gender neutral language?
This is an important and interesting question. The status quo at Murray Edwards is to use female pronouns but there are strong arguments both ways.
In order to pass these urgent structural changes the MCR Committee proposed to keep female language for now, and will hold a vote to decide between female and gender neutral language later in 2018 after allowing proper time to discuss this issue.
What’s the grievance and disciplinary policy / committee code of conduct?
A strong MCR should provide an opportunity for any member to raise concerns. Currently, this process is set by Council through our old constitution. We want to bring these decisions back to students, supported by College staff.
These policies are currently being drafted and will be finalised by the end of Easter term 2018.
Why does the new draft have less detail about elections and other rules?
Previously, all the decision-making power lay with College Council, including things like usage of our computers and attendance at formal hall.
The new constitution lets the Committee decide instead – and as your elected reps, this means that students get to make decisions.
The old and new constitutions lay out a process for any member to raise concerns about the MCR Committee and ultimately to petition to have the Committee dissolved if enough members agree.