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Ante Room to Become PG Common Room?

Dec 29 2006 16:04
Ashley Brown
Live! has seen documents showing that the GSA has put in a College space request for the Ante Room, despite Council objecting.
The SCR - not available to taught postgrads

An attempt by the GSA to secure a postgraduate common room is in full swing, with the Deputy President (Graduate Students) Shama Rahman putting in a space request for the Ante Room in Sherfield.

The idea of a postgraduate common room surfaced last year, after it was suggested to then DPGS Luis Hui. The Senior Common Room is open to staff and research students, however taught postgraduates are not allowed in and must use the Junior Common Room instead. Taught masters students expressed a desire for access to the SCR, which was denied due to the current space constraints.

Divided views

No consensus could be reached when the issue was discussed at Union Council in November, however research postgrads wanted assurances that they would not be thrown out of the SCR, as having a place to network with their research group was vital to their research activities. Students on doctoral research programmes have far more in common with members of staff than undergraduates or taught masters students.

Both the Rector and the Deputy Rector are aware of this and in fact suggested the Ante Room.
Text from the space request

Of particular concern is the issue of segregation and where you draw the line. The argument for taught PGs not using the JCR is essentially one of age - masters students are older than undergraduates, although many are the same age as 4th year students who would be excluded from the proposed PG common room. Mature students on undergraduate degrees would also be banned, despite being older than most of their classmates.

No authorisation

More worrying is that the space request appears to have no authorisation from anyone except the DPGS herself: neither the ICU President nor the Union General Manager have signed the document, however a number of items are listed under the "financial consequences" section. If the space is transferred to Union control, the Union would be responsible for any changes, including installation of "a transparent partition to provide a corridor to the MDH", repainting and conversion of the bar. Quite where this money would come from is unknown - neither exec nor council have approved any expenditure and the GSA has so far failed to attract additional sponsorship from College for its events this year.

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Discussion about “Ante Room to Become PG Common Room?”

The comments below are unmoderated submissions by Live! readers. The Editor accepts no liability for their content, nor for any offence caused by them. Any complaints should be directed to the Editor.
1. Why?   
Dec 29 2006 23:15

Do Postgrads feel they're too good for the JCR?

2. Tris   
Dec 29 2006 23:41

The ante room is already a valuable space used a lot by clubs and socs. Is the Union going to provide another, equivalent space for their displaced members?

...or has their duty to their contituent clubs entirely vanished in their eyes?

3. mary   
Dec 30 2006 01:49

the union actually represents clubs now?

Madre de Dios!

Dec 30 2006 02:10

This is absolutely despicable. Who exactly does the DPGS think she is? Never mind individuals not authorizing this, Council were against it. Has she even bothered to speak to anyone about this before she did it?

Come to think of it, does the DPGS speak to anyone about anything? I've tried to see her before but she's never been in her office and no-one seems to know where she is, aren't sabbs meant to be in the office at certain times?

Can this common room thing be stopped until we have some form of vote on it?

5. cynic   
Jan 04 2007 17:23

well, at least there is now some evidence that she has actually done something this year (apart from sleep late, leave early and ignore the finance regs that is)

Jan 04 2007 17:35

Is there any stopping the increasing BBCification of Live!? The new text excerpts seem incredibly familiar...

Jan 04 2007 17:59

We could ITVify it if you'd prefer, Mr Grade...

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