UPDATE #5 - JCR President’s Blog - Running for JCR President

As with all JCR Committee positions, elections will be open for JCR President in Lent (week 3 specifically). It’s an experience that I couldn’t recommend enough for personal development, and there are all kinds of benefits in clout, rooms and friendship.

What makes a good JCR President?

The JCR President has to be able to get along with everyone, from porters to the President. Fellows and staff members will want to hear your thoughts. You will have to be more diplomatic (and sometimes level-headed) than the committee managing these relationships, while also being the one encouraging and supporting all of the JCR’s ideas and proposals.

Do you have to have been on the JCR before? It definitely helps (I was and this was useful in already knowing people and processes), but it’s not essential. Make sure you know what you’d be getting yourself into by getting in touch. With so many second-years on the JCR Committee, it seems likely that there will be plenty of experience on the next committee.

Do you have to have had some other experience? Nothing specific. Dedication is the most important. Ask yourself “if I saw a JCR storeroom in a mess, would I care enough to sort it out?”. Since my treasurer days “answer messages and give a shit” was my JCR mantra.

Is it too much work?

There’s no doubt that it is a lot of work, an hour or two a day maybe, even in more normal times. I am aware that it might seem I (Tomos) do nothing but work on the JCR, and while I certainly do an awful lot including behind the scenes, I would say this is an exceptional case of a fourth-year JCR veteran in a committee of younger years, who struggles to delegate anyway, sees this role as more important in future life than degree content most of the time, and is unusually attached to the notion of a college. Oh, and there’s this thing called COVID-19 that’s required us to do everything from the ballot to freshers’ week from scratch.

It might not be so heavy on the President’s shoulders for a few other reasons next year:

  1. The committee will hopefully be more experienced, and the President not so much older, so everyone will take on more equal responsibilities.
  2. The new committee make-up means that the Vice-President and Secretary will be a role of almost equal importance. Power-sharing - yay!

Who knows what will happen with COVID, but even if restrictions subside there will be a challenge reinstating so many Queens’ traditions and events., so it’ll still be a big year.

Please get in touch (in confidence if you want!) if you want to discuss running for president.

Tomos Wood

Queens’ JCR President 2020 - 2021