Somerville charity pot buildup criticised

first_imgSomerville’s JCR charity fund holds over £27,000 as money donated throughout the years has not been distributed to charities.Somerville students have £9 added to their battles each term on an opt-out basis, which goes to the JCR charity fund. However, the college has lacked a Charities Rep to distribute the money and as some charities have not cashed the cheques presented to them, the amount has grown substantially and increased with interest.Byrony Taylor, Somerville’s JCR Charities Rep, took up her position Trinity term last year. She said that she had only become aware of the situation last term as Somerville holds the JCR treasurer responsible for the charity bank account.She explained that the JCR had set up a committee to examine the problem and to decide ways to distribute the money. She said, “We are in the process of going over past accounts and reissuing these cheques which should help clear some of the reserves.”Taylor explained that in the cases of exceptional, one-off donations, the money is currently being accessed through JCR motions, such as that which led to the donation to the DEC Gaza Crisis Appeal last term. She called this method “the most democratic way of dealing with the reserves.”She insisted that Somerville students should not worry that the money they had donated would not be distributed to charities. She said, “The money is contained in a separate account, the contents of which will only ever go to charity. Current students at Somerville can rest assured that any money collected from them has been and will be swiftly distributed to the charities they nominate and vote upon.”One second year Somerville student called the situation “pretty dire”, adding that the JCR “seem to be doing a lot of talking but no-one actually knows what to do. It will probably just carry on sitting there gaining interest.”Jack Wellby, OUSU Charities and Community VP said that the situation was “not ideal.” He praised the £9 opt-out termly donation but stated that the contribution needs to be alongside a “more effective donations system.”OUSU has proposed the formation of a working group to look into ways of distributing JCR money to charities. Welby stated that a “duel-pot approach” that would see some money given out through charity motions and the rest donated yearly to a set of charities chosen though a common room vote, would avoid such problems in the future.last_img

first_imgSomerville’s JCR charity fund holds over £27,000 as money donated throughout the years has not been distributed to charities.Somerville students have £9 added to their battles each term on an opt-out basis, which goes to the JCR charity fund. However, the college has lacked a Charities Rep to distribute the money and as some charities have not cashed the cheques presented to them, the amount has grown substantially and increased with interest.Byrony Taylor, Somerville’s JCR Charities Rep, took up her position Trinity term last year. She said that she had only become aware of the situation last term as Somerville holds the JCR treasurer responsible for the charity bank account.She explained that the JCR had set up a committee to examine the problem and to decide ways to distribute the money. She said, “We are in the process of going over past accounts and reissuing these cheques which should help clear some of the reserves.”Taylor explained that in the cases of exceptional, one-off donations, the money is currently being accessed through JCR motions, such as that which led to the donation to the DEC Gaza Crisis Appeal last term. She called this method “the most democratic way of dealing with the reserves.”She insisted that Somerville students should not worry that the money they had donated would not be distributed to charities. She said, “The money is contained in a separate account, the contents of which will only ever go to charity. Current students at Somerville can rest assured that any money collected from them has been and will be swiftly distributed to the charities they nominate and vote upon.”One second year Somerville student called the situation “pretty dire”, adding that the JCR “seem to be doing a lot of talking but no-one actually knows what to do. It will probably just carry on sitting there gaining interest.”Jack Wellby, OUSU Charities and Community VP said that the situation was “not ideal.” He praised the £9 opt-out termly donation but stated that the contribution needs to be alongside a “more effective donations system.”OUSU has proposed the formation of a working group to look into ways of distributing JCR money to charities. Welby stated that a “duel-pot approach” that would see some money given out through charity motions and the rest donated yearly to a set of charities chosen though a common room vote, would avoid such problems in the future.last_img

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