This summer has been different for all of us for so many reasons - the cancellation of Easter Term as well as holidays, festivals and so many other plans means we’ve just emerged from three months unlike any other. However, this irregularity was punctuated by what is becoming a significant event in every JCR Committee’s calendar: the Big QJCR Survey. Inaugurated last year, the aim of the survey was and continues to be to understand the general consensus of the Queens’ undergraduate population with regards to a number of different topics, themes and aspects of College life. Having completed this year’s survey report (available to read in the ‘reports’ section of the website), now seems like a good time to reflect briefly on the significance of the Survey both in 2020 and in years to come.
The 2020 Survey was always going to be different given the context of a nationwide lockdown, but we were keen to not simply add a ‘COVID’ section to the end - given the success of 2019’s iteration we wanted to build on this as effectively as possible. Part of that was encouraging as many members of the JCR as possible to fill it in, resulting in an onslaught of emails, newsletter mentions and Instagram stories. Fortunately, this was successful: a turnout of 49% (up 62% on last year) demonstrated that what certain JCR committee members lost in credibility we gained in survey respondents - a good trade off. This broader outreach has given the 2020 Survey the mandate to push for real change in College, and the ‘Action and Recommendations’ page at the end of the report is a list (note, not an exhaustive one) of some of the action we hope to take over the coming months. It’s vital that we don’t ignore the trends and concerns that emerged amongst the data and (in many cases) very personal comments that we received, and the report produced helps us to ensure that this Committee acts upon these concerns and also that our little part of the College’s institutional memory remains intact and transparent in the years to come. 2020 will go down as a year of seismic change at Queens’ due to this pandemic, but thanks to the Survey we hope to add a few more things to that growing list of positive changes that occur.
Thanks again to everyone who filled in the Survey back in July - hopefully you can see the value of the exercise. Don’t forget to have a read through the report either!
Queens’ JCR Secretary 2020