Oxford University Cave Club

TGM Trinity 2002 


Minutes, etc.

"OUCC this term"

OUCC Home Page


Pippa Crosby, Chris Rogers, Paul Garver, Simon Goddard, Steve Roberts, Hilary Greaves, Anette Becher, Alison Waterfall, Rosa Clements, Matthew Balaam

Meeting started: 9.37


  1. Apologies for absence
  2. Matters arising
  3. Officer's Reports
  4. Discussion and voting on some information from the NCA called 'Underground Britain- one stop shop'
  5. Letter to Manchester University Athletics Union
  6. Decide on a time to meet Howard Jeffs from OUSF if we haven't already
  7. AOB (and Keith's party's on the 31st May at Linacre Bar)

1. Apologies for absence:


2. Matters Arising:

System for novice trip leaders: The new system has been decided by a subcommittee, which included Hilary and Steve. Before each novice caving trip departs, a current or past committee member must decide who is able to lead the trip and this is recorded in the logbook. The OUSF have been informed of this decision. In practice for Freshers trips in October, the Committee will be email each other and decide on the leaders beforehand.

Constitution: This has now been completed to the satisfaction of OUSF. We successfully made some changes: Firstly that if the Club is dissolved, the assets will be distributed in a way directed by the members and acceptable to the University rather than under the direction of the University. Secondly the University membership criteria include employees of the University and spouses and families of University members as well as University members themselves.

3. Officer's Reports:

President: All documentation has been sorted.

Chair: No report

Secretary: No report

Meets Sec: It's good to be caving this year rather than talking about Foot & Mouth. The next meet is Mendips at the end of 7th week so come to it.

Treasurer: The current treasurer (John Pybus) was absent but the previous treasurer (Hilary Greaves) presented last year's accounts. It appeared that the club had made a profit of £566.84 but this was because the accounts were from October to March so they included membership fees but not all the transport subsidies for trips. The trips were making a loss but they were supposed to, as heavily subsidising transport on trips is the most effective way to benefit undergraduate cavers and those who cave a lot.

It appeared that the club had made some profit when it hadn't because people had made donations to CROs through the club and there was a small time delay between the club receiving the money and donating it.

It was suggested that paying up front for trips would be a good idea but this would be difficult to organise, as people often don't know if they're going on a trip before it happens, and food standards on trips vary a lot.

All anomalies were explained and it appeared to be a normal year.

The Ario 2000 accounts are to be sorted by Pip and John. The 2001 accounts are nearly sorted.

It was suggested by the 2002 Expedition Committee that the club could subsidise the expedition to buy some gear because all the gear used by the Club in the UK is actually bought by expeditions. This is because we only get grants for expeditions, but if the club bought equipment then the club might get grants too, especially since ropes are safety equipment. This would help to cover the cost of losing maillons etc. There was general agreement and the club will donate £200-£300 to expedition, to be discussed by Paul and John (Expedition and Club Treasurers).

Gear officer: The club currently has 8 lights, of which 2 work, 2 are very dim, and 4 don't work at all. There was some discussion about what parts of the lights don't work, but we still need to get new lights. We need 4 new lights so we have around 6 working lights for early Yorkshire trips when there are lots of novices, but we will hire lights for the Freshers' trips. Matthew and John will find the best deal for new lights. The non-working lights will be disposed of unless anyone wants them.

Librarian: We are still getting caving journals but DTT is in limbo, and even the log book has been sparse lately. It is important for the club to document its activities or there will be no record for the future. Everyone is encouraged to send stuff to DTT; although part of the reason why people aren't submitting things is that they aren't receiving DTT. DTT has had the same editor for a long time, and it was suggested that a new editor might help to revive it. Anette volunteered to ask Tim if he would like to revive DTT or if she should become the new editor.

4. NCA Proposals for a One-Stop Shop:

Everyone tried to read the document NCA sent us, and a few people understood it. Steve explained that in the current system, individual cavers join caving clubs, which are affiliated to large regional bodies (e.g. Cambrian Caving Council or Council of Northern Caving Clubs) and/or large specific interest groups such as mines or cave diving. The most influential body is the BCRA; although it's intended to be just about cave research. These large groups make up the NCA, so there is a long chain of contact between the NCA and individual cavers so the NCA is seen as being out of touch with its members. The One Stop Shop Principle means replacing the NCA and BCRA with one big organisation that does everything and would be more empowering to its members. It has been discussed for a long time.

In the current proposal, each individual member would have a vote and each club would have a vote proportional to its size. This means cavers would be able to vote once individually and once through each club they were a member of. So people who were members of several clubs could vote more than people who were members of 1 club. In addition, the Regional Clubs have very large membership (up to 3000 (?)) but can't consult all their members directly, so they would get a proportionately large vote but it would be decided on by the person currently in charge of that club.

For this reason it was decided to vote against the current proposals but this doesn't mean we oppose the One Stop Shop idea. It was proposed to send the NCA a letter saying why we are voting "No" so we can constructively criticise the current proposals.

No one felt able to vote on the NCA's proposal to add an insurance cost to membership fees as it was unclear what the insurance was against. In the current system, people pay NCA membership several times if they belong to several clubs. It was suggested that adding an unknown insurance charge might confuse the system further. This will be added to the letter to the NCA.

5. Manchester University Athletics Union:

Many OUCC members have signed a petition against MUAU's decision to stop funding the Manchester University Caving Club on the grounds that caving is non-competitive. It was decided to find out MUAU's reasons and write a letter arguing against them. Anita was concerned that MUAU might resent this, but the letter is meant to be from an interested party in support of caving, rather than telling them what to do. Hilary will draft the letter and the Committee will all sign it.

6. Meeting with Howard Jeffs:

Chris Densham will organise a time to meet Howard Jeffs.

7. AOB:

There is a President's Invite this year but the only available time is 1st week Michaelmas term, and there is only one hut available.

There is an additional meet after term: the Expedition training week in Yorkshire (Bull Pot Farm). This is primarily for inexperienced cavers going on expedition to learn SRT, rigging, and rescue. It is important to have some experienced cavers to train the inexperienced cavers, but the emphasis is on new cavers getting practice rather than following the experienced cavers. There was some discussion as to which caves would give the best practice for Spain, and Steve suggested staying at the Bradford hut, but Bull Pot Farm is already being booked.

There might be an Expedition Dinner at some point

No one is sure what the situation with the gear order is.

Meeting closed: 10.40