I'd like to first acknowledge the work that staff and sabbatical officers do to run the student union to a high level. I've had experience working alongside SUSU and I understand the difficulties they face.
However, I am throughly disappointed to find out that the JCR's are being replaced with a 'Halls Committee'. Something that had such a strong history and meant so much has unfortunately been lost. Only a handful of highly respected universities maintain their respective JCR's, and are something they greatly value.
I'd love to know the rationale behind the change, and why it's deemed necessary to whitewash over a long lived history like this. As a previously serving JCR officer, I'm sad to find all this out.
I’m sorry to hear of your disappointment with this name change. JCRs have, and will continue to be (albeit under a different name), a fundamental part of life here at the University of Southampton and I know that everyone who has been involved with them feels very strongly about about this.
The rationale behind the name change is three-fold. This first came as a result of a large amount of research within the student body for the Halls Representation review, which suggested that few knew what the acronym ‘JCR’ stood for, or what the JCRs did for them. Secondly, we carried out research looking at how other universities around the country name and operate their halls representation groups. The overarching conclusion we drew was that Southampton was one of very few universities without a collegiate system still using the term ‘JCRs’ – in fact many have recently changed the name due to the fact that many students didn’t know what ‘JCR’ stood for. In essence, we felt that the name ‘JCR’, despite the long history associated with it, was just not cohesive with what the JCRs actually do, and that with the other changes occurring under the review, the time was ripe for a name change that fitted in with the new committee structure we were developing. The final part came with a ‘tap choose change’ poll that gave us a fairly conclusive (70-30 if I remember correctly) result in favour of ‘Halls Committees’ over ‘JCRs’.
Basically, what I want to say is that the name change does not change the history of the JCRs, and is simply another phase in the evolution of the way that we represent students in halls. The name ‘JCR’ means a lot to a lot of people, myself included, and the name change will not for a second remove the legacy that has been created over the years – it serves to help the committees more effectively represent their residents.
If you have any further questions, please drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org - I would be more than happy to continue this conversation.
Flora Noble, Halls Officer 2015/2016
Monday 14th Dec 2015 4:18pm