The President is in many ways the face of the GPC. They are ultimately responsible for setting the tone for and running the committee, chairing meetings of the GPC, organising and ensuring that all committee members have the support they need to fulfil their roles effectively, and setting the agenda for what the GPC wishes to achieve by way of new and ongoing initiatives for the benefit of Pembroke graduates. The President, together with the Vice President, represents the interests of the GP to College at a variety of regular meetings of various committees. They are also the conduit, together with the Vice President and the External Officer, between the GP and the Students’ Union (CUSU) and Graduate Union (GU), representing the interests of the GP at regular meetings of both bodies.
The VP’s role is one of the most flexible and therefore exciting on the committee. The VP participates in all College meetings alongside the President, representing the graduate student body, and is also encouraged to attend meetings with CUSU and the GU. Furthermore, the VP assumes the rules and duties of the President in their absence.
The Secretary is responsible for organising the GP Committee, for safeguarding/updating important documents and for sending out regular bulletins that inform all GP members about the upcoming activities and events. For GP meetings (committee or open), the Secretary takes and posts minutes, and follows up on decisions made at meetings to ensure they are implemented. Thereby the Secretary liaises closely with all other members of the committee, so the position provides a good opportunity to engage with all aspects of GP life. The Secretary also organises Graduate nights at High Table and manages Associate Memberships.
The role of Treasurer is an important role, combining general responsibility for looking after the GP’s accounts and finances with a strong input into the GP’s day-to-day spending decisions. The Treasurer drafts the following year’s budget at the end of Easter Term, and is thereafter responsible for taking decisions as to how the GP’s money is spent, working together with the rest of the committee, so they therefore play a really important role in basically everything the GPC does! The Treasurer will need to build a relationship with the College Representatives who manage the formal accounting systems that govern the GP’s finances.
The GP Steward is one of the most visible and essential members of the GPC and of the GP experience. They are charged with the unspeakably important task of keeping the Puboard fully stocked and in good working order! They are in charge of ordering all medicines, elixirs, and bevoires deilicieux and having them delivered to the GP. Accordingly, the GP Steward is responsible for marshalling the GP’s Puboard Stewards, who are not members of the GPC, and arranging the Puboard staffing roster for GP events. Also, they have the equally important task of maintaining the larger space of the GP itself. The GP Steward collects the magazines and newspapers from the Porters’ Lodge and arranges them in the GP. They are responsible for the cleanliness of the GP, together with the rest of the committee.
The chief duty of the IT Officer is to maintain the GP website. They can also advise you on computer-related issues and tell you where to get help. They represent the graduate student body at meetings regarding computing and keep in close contact with the college computing office. The IT Officer traditionally also maintains the AV equipment in the GP. But it’s not all technical – IT Officers have in the past run GP blogs and tend to manage the Facebook group and the GP’s social media platforms!
Together with the rest of the committee, the Events Officers come up with fun events for the graduate community to do together. They aim to have a positive impact on how people perceive their time at Pembroke by planning and hosting the sort of events people enjoy, and they are a creative force for organising the big events that we put on for the GP community. The Events Officers come up with themes for BA dinners and Bops and host a large variety of events.
The External Events Officer organises swaps with other colleges, allowing Pembroke graduates to dine in Halls around Cambridge. The External Events Officer also invites students from other colleges to dine with us. This role will suit a person who is excited to forge links with other colleges and to invigorate the GP’s social, culinary, and cultural calendars.
The External Representation Officer will maintain links between Pembroke GP and other MCRs through attending CUSU (Cambridge University Students Union) Council and GU (Graduate Union) Council and UCU meetings (University and College Union), when necessary – with the GP President and Vice President. The External Representation Officer will provide regular updates to our community, to engage Pembroke graduates with the work of student unions, and wider University issues. This role is primarily University oriented, although the External Representation Officer will also be part of the GPC.
The Welfare Officer is responsible for the welfare of the graduate community in Pembroke. This involves liasing with college on a variety of issues including the tutorial system, Pembroke listening scheme, provision for students with families, and any other issues which you think are of particular importance. In addition, they are responsible for keeping the welfare section of the GP website up to date and ensuring new graduates have the information they need on arrival in Pembroke. The Welfare Officer is also, crucially, responsible for the running of tea and cake on Sundays. As part of the GP committee, they are required to attend regular committee meetings, occasionally steward the Puboard and help out with GP events. They can also put on welfare-specific events, such as board game nights or pizza evenings. Most importantly, the Welfare Officer is friendly, approachable and available to anyone who would like to chat.
The LGBTQ+ Officer in the GPC is elected to represent sex, gender and sexuality minorities among the members of the GP. A non-exhaustive list of these might include GP members who identify as:
- lesbian and gay,
- bisexual and pansexual,
- trans*, including non-binary genders,
- asexual and aromantic,
- and intersex,
as well as those who have a queer/questioning relationship with their sexuality, sex and gender identities. The LGBTQ+ Officer is there to support and act as an advocate for GSM members of the GP as well as to answer questions about issues around gender, sex and sexuality that any member of the GP—whether they identify with one of these identities or not—might want to ask. If you’re interested and want to learn more about any of these identities and the issues around them, that’s a good enough reason to come and ask! You can ask via email or by putting a note in the Officer’s pidge. But in addition, the information in the links below would be a good starting point.
- Not your mom’s trans 101 (article)
- Gender neutral pronouns (information sheet)
- Lies about gender-nonconforming children (article)
- Everyday cissexism (article)
- 10 things you’re actually saying when you ignore someone’s preferred pronouns (article)
Bisexuality and pansexuality:
- 5 myths and misconceptions about asexuality (comic)
- How asexuality is more complicated than you think (video)
The women’s officer is a port of call for female grads. If you have any problems, be it gender inequality issues, sexual health concerns or any other worries, I’m here to talk to and to help. In terms of general women’s welfare, we have a women’s welfare box (located above the lockers in the GP toilets) filled with personal attack alarms, pregnancy tests, tampons and numbers to call.
The Charity Officer selects several charitable organizations and organises diverse GP initiatives and events to raise money for them. The officer also liases with College on joint fundraisers and reminds GP members of important charitable events happening outside of College.
The BME Officer is responsible for providing pastoral support and representation for graduate students who identify as BME. The BME Officer will liaise with CUSU’s BME Campaign, as well as other BME Officers, in order to advertise relevant events, and will be assigned a budget to organise events – whether discussion groups or social events. As part of the GP committee, they will be required to attend regular committee meetings, occasionally steward the Puboard and help out with GP events. The BME Officer must identify as BME.