Oxford University Cave Club
AGM Hilary 2000
Wednesday 16th February 2000
Apologies received from Tim Guilford and Lynn Mulelly.
Present were: Chris Densham (chair), Steve Roberts, Britt Jorgensen, Joanne Whistler, Hilary Greaves (secretary), Pip Crosby, Jemma Viavala, Simon Goddard, Lev Bishop, Joan Arthur, Rich Doyle, Emma Marshall, Charlotte Regan, Paul Mann
The minutes of the Michaelmas 99 TGM were accepted as a true, accurate and fantastic representation of the meeting.
Yorkshire accommodation debate: re. Southerscales. Chris contacted Mrs Beresford to ask about the possibility of us getting a discount. She said they have no problems filling the place, so it doesn't look likely that our request is going to work.
Caravans: It was agreed that we'll have an Ingleton caravans weekend again next term.
"In the interests of speed and efficiency the President has nothing to report"
Chris has contacted OU Sports Federation about the possibility of the Cave Club getting some more money from them. He suggested four areas where we may be deserving of cash: (i) transport subsidies, (ii) personal equipment for use by/selling onto novices, (iii) lamps, (iv) training. The initial response looks promising. Some of these issues are related to safety and will be appropriate for our upcoming meeting with Steve Finch, the OUSF safety officer (see (4) below). The transport issue will be discussed with Jon Roycroft, OU Director of Sport. We notice that other clubs who necessarily travel long distances (eg for matches) have their transport subsidized. Our van costs certainly represent a significant part of the cost of caving trips, especially for undergrads (and others in Oxford): therefore transport subsidy would be an effective way of aiming the main financial benefit at the club's student members. On a related note, Paul admitted "I have broken it down in the past" (you and me both... in fact, who hasn't... etc... tee hee) To avoid attacking OUSF in a confused manner from all directions, Chris will remain the club contact point on these issues and will deal with both Steve Finch and Jon Roycroft. Can everyone else please go through Chris, so to speak.
Bevington Road: The security system is being changed: new swipe cards are being issued. We have to pay a £5 deposit for each card we need. We will ask for 2 cards, one to be held by the Treasurer and one to be kept in a safe place in the gear hut. (You need the card to get to the new toilets - you can't get into them directly from outside, only access is via the front door of the building.)
Mailing lists: General consensus that these have been a Good Thing. Only problem is with the Ario2000 list, which is occasionally being misused, i.e. people are broadcasting messages to the entire list when they mean to direct their query to the committee. This is presumably because we just haven't publicized the intended purpose, and membership, of the list well enough. (There is no committee-only mailing list. Queries intended for the committee should be sent directly to the individuals concerned.) Hilary will send an email to all list members explaining the above.
NCA Training: Following the University Forum at the BCRA conference, the NCA is again running training courses for cavers who are "personally competent but find themselves in a position of responsibility" ie organizing and leading trips, looking after novices. Reports from those who took part last year (from other university clubs) were very good. There is a choice of courses. The most convenient is Tony Flanagan's, at the end of 8th week in Yorkshire. Accommodation, food and transport are not provided, so participants could go along with the "normal" club weekend to take part in the course. The cost is £40 per delegate, of which we agreed half would be provided by the club, half by the delegate. Anyone who wants to take part should contact Hilary ASAP. Hilary will send an email round to ask who wants to put their name down.
d) Meets Sec
Rich thanked Chris for his help with organizing the New Year meet. This went very well as did the Mendip weekend. Come to Wales!
The accounts are doing well at the moment. We got a £250 grant from OUSF. We are currently £1250 up on what we'd expect to have, this is partly due to the time of year and funds tend to go down in the summer term. However lots of money is owed by members. We will consider reducing minibus transport charges for caving weekends. A quick survey of the undergraduates present demonstrated that the high cost of a trip was a very real factor in limiting the amount of caving students can do.
Paul will look into what might be a reasonable reduction. Paul may be moving out of Oxford in the foreseeable future, in which case someone else should take over as treasurer. Paul could still oversee the accounts and offer help to the treasurer, but someone Oxford-based should get involved. We will look out for suitable candidates.
f) Gear Post
The ropewashing party happened on the dinner weekend. It wasn't grim and squalid, in fact it was positively enjoyable, and we got all the club rope washed. It now needs checking, and damaged ropes will need to be cut/relabelled/shrinkwrapped. We'll meet to do this on Monday of 9th week, starting lunchtime (students and similar non-workers) and continuing into the evening. This is another Big job and will be best done as a social occasion with Loadsa People, so COME!! We'll probably do a BBQ at the same time or summat, and get pissed, obviously.
Hut keys - these should be held by "club officers and other particularly active caving members", basically, anyone who's quite likely to need to get into the hut other than when they're meeting other people at the hut anyway. If you don't have a key and think you should, contact Hilary (claimants so far: Jo, Lev) - similarly if you have "acquired" one and don't need it.
g) Lamp Post
The club lamps were in a good state before the Greenclose meet last term, when 4 or 5 of them went missing. These have still not been traced. Of those remaining, 2 were lost to CUCC at New Year, 4 or 5 are currently out of order, 6 are working. Doyle will contact the Greenclose hut warden in an effort to chase up our lost lamps. (They're all marked with white numbers or with "OUCC".) Lev will get hold of some spare parts and get the out-of-order lamps working.
h) Van Men
The red van engine is now in the white van, creating of course the Van Rose.
The van has not been doing at all well of late, between various repair jobs and a hole being drilled in its petrol tank a few weeks ago, and is requiring a lot of money and time to keep going. The van account owes a lot of money to the club account. Chris has tried to sort out the van accounts but "it all got a bit confusing". Paul will come to the rescue. Paul will calculate, on the basis of our past van-owning experience, whether it seems cheaper to keep our own van or hire one as we need it.
i) Expedition Leader
The Extremero 99 report is nearly finished, thanks to everyone who has contributed! Plans for Ario 2000 are coming along nicely. Expedition dates are 3 July to 22 August, exploration aims up- and downstream 2/7, sun, booze and good times... Speaking of which, we're sponsored by Thornton's again J Graham Naylor is organizing a Xitu team whose time in the Picos will overlap with the main OUCC expedition. More info to be sent out shortly, contact Pip with any queries. And of course... Come to Spain!!
Hilary went to another Captain's committee meeting and reports that it was gripping.
Minibuses: The deal between OU and Hotson's is changing as of the start of next term. If we hire minibuses through this scheme, drivers must have passed the OU test. This costs £10 (club will pay) and is easy. Jo, Paul and Britt have already passed, Doyle, Steve R, Simon and Hilary will take the test next term. Each to book own test - contact bob.barnes@admin for dates/details of tests. The deal is open to "matriculated members and employees" of OU, who are 21 or older, and have been driving for at least 2 years. (For the record: if you passed your test after January 1997, you'll need to take an additional test to be allowed to tow trailers on vehicles with over 9 seats.) Also for the record, some insurance small print. If you're 25 or over, the insurance excess is £250. If 21-25, it's £400. So always pretend the old bastard was driving...
Safety: OUSF now requires us to carry out a Risk Assessment and to write a club Code of Practice. The latter is to include sections on Club aims, Health and Safety and accident procedures, equipment maintenance and use, and training. Steve Finch is the new(ish) OU Sports Federation Safety officer. He will be meeting with some of the committee (probably Steve Roberts, Paul, Chris, Hilary, or some of these) within the next few weeks, to discuss caving safety issues and the involvement of OUSF. OUSF recognizes and respects governing body guidelines, in preference to interfering with uninformed views. Anyone going to this meeting should read the NCA guidelines for university and college caving clubs first. We believe OUSF may agree that several aspects of cave club expenditure deserve financial OUSF support on safety grounds, and this is one of the things we will be discussing. However we recognize the potential harmful effects of portraying training as a safety issue: we do not want to encourage university authorities to consider professional training an essential for caving safety, and would emphasise that courses such as the NCA student courses (see sec's report) and the rescue training we are planning for next term are bonus extras, on top of the basic (and adequate) in-club training system.
Impending paperwork: The following developments are in the pipeline.
Iffley Road facilities: A swimming pool will open sometime in 2001. We will ask Steve Finch about possibilities for SRT training in the Iffley Road complex.
Tim is doing a bat survey in Draenen. Results of this will go to the "biological recorder" (as opposed to a museum). Steve Roberts has offered to put the Draenen website on Norbert. In the meantime Chris knows where it is - ask Chris.
Intentions: These are personal, from my experiences as treasurer and with expeditions. I hope these suggest directions in which the process may move; without pre-empting the deeds of any working party. Please suggest other points that need consideration, and counter any of these you strongly disagree with.
OUTCOME: Motion passed. A working party consisting of Steve, Paul, Chris, Jo and Simon will draw up a new constitution. The rest of the club should contact this group with any suggestions/comments.
Pauline has recently been busy but is happy to continue editing Proc 14. Collection of material is almost finished - still remaining include some slides from Paul, an F64 survey from Steve... Help with editing will be offered at Pauline's request. Proc 15: Paul was designated to edit Proc 15, but has been been too ill/busy and suggested that someone else may want to take over. Nobby's name was put forward as a possible editor (but we haven't asked him yet...) Lev doesn't want to be editor, but volunteered to act as local hassler if someone from out of Oxford was chosen to edit. Joan also volunteered to act as an assistant to an editor.
Amidst traditionally fierce competition the following battles were fought and the losers' entrails ceremoniously draped across the boardroom table:
|Chris (proposed Jo, seconded Steve)
|Jemma (proposed Hilary, seconded Chris);
Lynn (proposed Lev, seconded Doyle)
|Elected - Jemma
|Hilary (proposed Chris, seconded Jo)
|Alison (proposed Lev, seconded Jo);
Britt (proposed Chris, seconded Hilary)
|Election deferred. Paul will continue as Treasurer at the moment but an apprentice is sought. Alison was absent.
|Simon (proposed Lev, seconded Hilary);
Doyle (proposed Chris, seconded Paul)
|Elected - Simon
|Simon (proposed Lev, seconded Hilary);
Doyle (proposed Chris, seconded Steve)
|Elected - Doyle
|Chris (proposed Steve, seconded Hilary)