Renewal of the UCS Constitution

Following a referendum of students, the changes to the UCS Constitution was passed, meeting the requirements of two ‘yes’ votes to every ‘no’ vote. As such, it was taken to Governing Body to be ratified, and I’m pleased to say that the Fellowship was happy to do so.

Some of the changes were ones that should have taken place alongside old Constitutional amendments (the document was a little confused I’m afraid!) but here is an outline of the more significant amendments:

  • The removal of the Welfare Officer and the Women’s Officer, and in their stead the addition of a Male Welfare Officer, a Female Welfare Officer, and a Non-Executive Women’s Officer (i.e. a position off the UCS Executive Committee and elected by and from the self-defining women of Clare undergraduates)
  • The addition of a Charities Rep, to organise and provide support for charity work within Clare
  • The addition of a Bike Rep (who in fact existed before, but is now proudly enshrined in our Constitution!)
  • The provision for a vote on the Executive Committee for the First Year Officer

Do let me know if you have any questions about any of these changes, or if you’d like me to explain the more minor ones to you! We very much hope that they serve to better the function of the UCS as it strives to improve the lives of students!


Progress on UCS Goals

A successful exchange was had at Oriel College, Oxford. Next term will see our Oriel friends coming to Clare for what will hopefully be as much fun as our trip to Oriel

• An Open Meeting was had on welfare and gender representation and consequently a referendum will take place next term on the matter

• It was decided that the costs were too great to justify the purchase of a new pool table given that the faults of the old one are not too significant

• A buttery feedback form was organised successfully, with a great many responses from the student body that can help the Catering Department continue to improve

• Following an Open Meeting, a referendum on the balloting system was held, with a strong result in favour of change; the proposal will be presented to College Council at the start of next term

• Next term we are hoping to spend money from the Parents’ Fund to buy new equipment for the Colony Gym

• Terri Yoon was elected as the First Year Officer, so many congratulations to her!

A very Merry Christmas to you all from the UCS Exec, wishing you well for the vacation and the New Year


Exchange with Oriel College 01/11/13

For over 800 years, there has been kept a dark, dark secret. It is feared by all true Cantabrigians, but unfortunately they are all starkly aware of it deep down… There is, in fact, a university in this country that has a history nearly as rich as ours, and a reputation comparable. I am, of course, referring to the other place.

Rivalry has been rampant ever since the Fordies kicked out the best and brightest of their town and watched them found a greatly superior institution here in the Fens. Such rivalry is justified further within Clare ever since Hugh Latimer, a dear Fellow of our College, was, er, burned in Ox***d.

The last few years have seen our sisterhood with Oriel College, also founded in 1326, sadly neglected. It therefore gives me great pleasure to inform you that this sisterhood was merrily (perhaps too merrily for some) reaffirmed last Friday by a visit to Oriel.



32 Clare students made their way over by coach for a drinks reception and black tie dinner, followed by a couple of hours in Oriel’s college bar. The rules of “Pennying” in the other place are reversed (you can only penny when someone IS holding their glass), they call supervisions “tutorials” and they punt from the WRONG end, but never mind.

In spite of bad weather (upsettingly ruining our hopes of a college tour), I think it is safe to say that everyone on both our end and on the Oxonian end had an absolutely joyous time.

We’re all very much looking forward to welcoming our Fordie friends in Lent Term (or “Hilary”, as they say), and to future successful exchanges, perhaps eventually with some friendly sporting rivalry too. Hopefully given that Clare has just won for the second time running the intercollegiate Culinary Competition we can give them a formal that rivals theirs!


UCS Goals for the Term Ahead

• To organise and conduct a successful exchange with Oriel College, our sister college from the University of Oxford. We’ll hopefully be going over this term, and hosting our Oxonian friends in Lent

• To revise and update the UCS Constitution, including reforming the way that welfare, gender and sexuality issues are accommodated for both on and off the UCS Executive Committee, as well as giving the First Year Rep a vote

• To look into buying a new pool table for Cellars given that the old one is now pretty run down

• To organise a buttery feedback form so that the buttery serves us according to what we would like

• To review the room balloting system, potentially with an Open Meeting so that students can have their say

• To organise most probably for the beginning of Lent staircase meals that see occupiers of a staircase both old and new come together

Freshers Week

I’m thrilled to look back on Freshers’ Week this year, though certainly sad to see that it has finally come to an end! Then again, one more day and the UCS Exec might have just collapsed…

The freshers arrived, fresh-faced, on Saturday 5th October to a swarm of helpers, in yellow t-shirts (college pride and all that) both from the UCS Exec, from the Christian Union and some others who just fancied lifting luggage out of cars packed to the brim. Once the freshers had eaten lunch, taken a few tours around their new home and bought their gowns (with its three stripes in remembrance of the three deceased husbands of Lady Clare) it was time to find their “college parents”! The system of college families allows freshers to have a couple/threesome of second years to turn to for advice about living and studying at Clare.

The meals seemed a great success, with the entire year of freshers and almost the entire year of second years, with some older students too, being involved. The JCR, or “Cellars”, was the natural progression, and I have never seen it more alive than that night.

Disney BOP

Hopefully no-one was too hung-over when it came to being introduced as a new year to the UCS Exec, the infamous Clare Ents Committee, and various other representatives of the college’s various parts. The Clare Societies Fair was one of my personal favourites over the week: everything from Clare Sound to Clare Politics, there was something for everyone; the Great Hall packed full of sports and the Buttery, well, everything else. Other highlights of the week included the Disney Bop, which went down an absolute treat with freshers and older students alike, staircase meals, taster sessions with various college societies, and, though sadly I couldn’t attend a second time, Matriculation Dinner. Having said that, plenty of non-freshers were happy to take advantage of the university-wide societies fair, if not just to get a free slice of Domino’s pizza!

From speed dating to a charity quiz, I’m pleased to say that the whole thing was a great success. So here’s to more clubbing, more study skills and the amazing year ahead!



Freshers’ Welcome

Congratulations on getting a place at Cambridge! I’m delighted to welcome you to Clare College, a truly wonderful place in which to live, study and socialise. It may feel daunting at the moment, but I have no doubt that you will find Clare not only intellectually stimulating and rewarding but also hugely enjoyable.
My name is Harry Peto and I’m YOUR President of Clare College. This means I lead a fantastic group of people (the Union of Clare Students Executive Committee) who strive to improve the lives of everyone at Clare, and have been working very hard to organise Freshers’ Week. I’m sure you will enjoy it; please try to relax and remind yourself that you don’t have to make a hundred new friends a day! We have compiled this guide to help you settle into Clare as smoothly as possible. It contains a wealth of important information about living and studying at Clare. Our fundamental aim is to emphasise that Clare is an incredible environment bursting with lovely people, and to get you excited for your time at Clare and in Cambridge!
Clare will be your home for the next few years – the place where you’ll work, eat, relax, socialise, and sleep – and it’s important for you to be aware of the extensive network of support available in helping you to make the very most of this great opportunity. A vital part of this is your “college parents”, whom you should hear from very soon. They have already been at Clare for at least a year and remember exactly what it’s like to be in your shoes. One of them will study your subject and they will cook you and your “college sibling”, another fresher, a meal on your first night as well as continue to be a source of support for however long you need it.
So while you’re waiting to arrive, do give this a read and get pumped for the time of your life! Clare is indeed a buzzing community, full of diverse individuals, each with their own attitudes, opinions and beliefs, yet tied together by a fundamental tolerance and appreciation of others. Crucially, Clare is not for any one “type” of person, and its nickname “the friendly college” is not mere propaganda. Anyway, you don’t need me to tell you this; you’ll discover it for yourself the moment you arrive!
My ultimate goal is to ensure your happiness and wellbeing. So, if you have any questions at all, or if you understandably just can’t contain your excitement any longer, please feel free to get in touch by email (hp342 [at] cam [dot] ac [dot] uk), by phone (07580553393), or on Facebook 🙂
I very much look forward to meeting you all in a few weeks’ time!