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Langwith JCRC hustings

The first since the college's relocation to the Heslington East campus over the summer

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Langwith College's 2012 Junior Common Room Committee hustings - the first since the college's relocation to the Heslington East campus over the summer - took place on a soggy Monday evening beneath the swooping, meringue-like roof of the Glasshouse bar, whose warm atmosphere was a welcome antidote to the bitter outdoors.

After delays caused by technical problems, the hustings began with candidates for the more minor positions, which were often uncontested. In spite of this, most candidates took their speeches seriously, delivering convincing arguments in their favour. Members of the audience were then invited to grill candidates with questions, which in some cases concerned the best way to cook a potato with a crisp skin and a fluffy middle.

"We're quite a new college," said a candidate at one point - this was clearly not true, Langwith being one of York's original two colleges, but there was a sense that, in relocating eastwards, Langwith has been reborn. Given an apparent reputation for lacking sporting prowess, and its convenient proximity to the new £9m Sports Village, it's unsurprising that joint Sports Officer hopefuls Mark Starling, Marcus Campbell, Becky Coomber and Charlotte Laverick hoped to replace James as "the sports college", by encouraging students of all skill levels to get involved. Both Treasurer candidate Dan Buchan, and uncontested Sponsorship Officer candidate Romit Patel, were keen to fund additional sports equipment.

There was a heartening feeling of optimism - candidates broadly praised the achievements of the outgoing committee members, saying they hoped merely to replicate their own positive experiences of previous freshers' weeks for next year's intake, and to "give something back". The college's "free food Thursdays" won widespread praise, an innovation sure to win hearts and minds if imitated by other college JCRCs.

The college may inevitably feel isolated from the larger Heslington West campus, but campaigns for more frequent bus services, a cash machine and a shop are all recently won battles. Welfare Rep joint candidates Katie Hignett and Alex Wright said they would continue this trend, by giving residents the same sexual health provisions as those to the west, and proposing an innovative scheme whereby contraceptives and pregnancy tests could be discreetly posted in envelopes to students.

The three-hour hustings were enlivened by some light-hearted "challenges". The potential Bar Officers raced to drink a number of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Raising and Giving officers had to sell tickets for an upcoming college event, with the proceeds going to charity. An audience member was persuaded to dance to the chart-topping K-pop single Gangnam Style.

The evening culminated with speeches from the candidates for JCRC Chair, Sam Maguire and Amy White, who recieved the loudest cheers of the night. Tossing aside his notes, Maguire delivered a charismatic speech, declaring his fondness for this "small college with a big heart", which under his leadership would become a "pinnacle of the collegiate system". He would make Langwith less "isolated from the other campus", in part by encouraging the student cinema to make use of of Hes East's Theatre, Film and Television building. He was also in favour of 24-hour porters, and promised a college road trip to Europe.

White's speech was less off-the-wall, but still spirited. She sought to dispel an image of being just "the nice candidate". But also of her opponent, she said, "he did a great job"; she hoped to neither continue any rivalry with Derwent College, nor shift the animosity to new neighbours Goodricke - indeed, there would be more collaboration with Goodricke, for instance through their shared General Common Room.

Although the provision of more non-alcoholic "alternative" events was a frequently mentioned policy, White and Maguire were both amenable, in response to a question from the audience, to pushing for more acceptance of the Langwith Punch, an infamous 30-year-old college tradition. Langwith Provost Dr John Issett banned the weekly event in 2009, "for the welfare of our community."

A number of positions had no candidates. Among these was Disability and Access Officer, of note after concerns were raised about the placement of disabled student facilities on the top floor of a Langwith building.

Voting opens at noon on Wednesday, and closes at 4pm on Friday, before the announcement of Langwith's results at Friday's Christmas ball.




THE CANDIDATES

Chairperson (1 person)
Sam Maguire
Amy White

Vice Chairperson for Welfare (1 person)
Ellie Hendy
Harry Toynton

Vice Chairperson for Entertainment (1 person)
Ed Kent

Secretary (1 person)
Anna Simmul
Lee Cook
Greg Carrick

Treasurer (1 person)
Matthew Jones
Joel Shenton
Dan Buchan

Welfare Officer(s) (up to 2 people)
Katie Hignett and Alex Wright
Jessica Jackson
Tegan Pearce
Jemima Busby and Diederik van Wersch

Campaigns Officer(s) (up to 2 people)
No candidates

Entertainments Officer(s) (up to 4 people)
Stephanie Reddel, Lloyd 'Bieber' Richardson, Harry Barber and Sean Gater

Bar Officer(s) (up to 4 people)
Matthew Taylor, Rhianna Johnson and Andrew McIntosh
Fiona Kingwill, Kirstie Mackay, Chloe Varty and Alex Billings

Sports Officer(s) (up to 4 people)
Mark Starling, Marcus Campbell, Becky Coomber and Charlotte Laverick
Louis Pegg
Lydia Buckley

Merchandise Officer(s) (up to 2 people)
No candidates

Environment and Ethics Officer (1 person)
No candidates

RAG Officers (2 people)
Charlotte Liddell and Jen Garry
Kiara Brennan and Emma Bowler

Volunteering Officers (2 people)
Kathryn (Katie) Turner
Jessica O'Shaughnessy and Janine Powell

Web Officer(s) (up to 2 people)
Laurence Joseph Smith

Sponsorship Officer(s) (up to 2 people)
Romit Patel

Newsletter Officer(s) (up to 2 people)
William Murray and Alex Killeen

Publicity Officer(s) (up to 2 people)
Natalie Cox

Equipment Officer(s) (up to 2 people)
Joe Rees-Jones
Jolyon Brown

LGBT Officer(s) (up to 2 people)
Henry Thorpe
Daisy Hale and Ricky Staniland

Off-Campus Officer(s) (up to 2 people)
No candidates

International (2 positions available)
Luisa Hohmann

Disability and Access Officer (1 person)
No candidates

Ordinary Member(s) (4 positions available)
Hannah Coyle
Eun Bi Sophia Oh

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