Photo by Lafayette Photography
Graduate Students are members of the Middle Combination Room (MCR), which is both a physical place and the nickname for the Clare College graduate student community. Traditionally, undergraduate students are members of the JCR (Junior Combination Room) and the Fellows (academic staff) are members of the SCR (Senior Combination Room).
The MCR room itself can be found in Clare’s Old Court on the ground floor of E staircase. This space was renovated in 2014 and serves to provide a central hub for graduate students with comfortable chairs and sofas, a well-loved coffee machine and a daily supply of newspapers and biscuits. It also houses the MCR bar, which is open on Wednesday evenings to accompany various social events such as quizzes or movie nights but which really comes alive on Friday evenings: this is the night that Clare’s MCR members congregate to socialise after their weekly Formal Hall (a smart dinner in the Great Hall for graduate students and their guests only). The MCR benefits from a speedy Wi-Fi connection and is supplemented by other computer and printing facilities available in the adjacent Hepple Room.
In addition, the acronym ‘MCR’ represents the organisation responsible for representing the interests of postgraduates at Clare College (see our external MCR website). The MCR is in many respects analogous to the Union of Clare Students (UCS) which represents the interests of undergraduates. Each year its members democratically elect an MCR Committee, responsible for a wide range of functions which aim enhance the social lives of Clare students and offer them a student-run support network.
The MCR Committee is at the heart of the postgraduate ecosystem at Clare College and its work can be broadly summarised as a combination of representing and protecting the MCR’s interests to the College authorities, helping its members have fun, and making sure that its members are looked after and happy.
MCR Committee Roles
The President is the main conduit between Clare’s graduate community and the College’s Fellowship and staff. This involves attending Governing Body meetings on behalf of the MCR, having fortnightly meetings with the Senior Tutor, chairing MCR committee meetings, and generally representing and working for the interests of the graduate cohort. The President is also a good point of contact for general questions about College or any relevant issues.
The Vice-President supports the President in their role as a representative of the graduate community. In addition they help to keep the MCR running smoothly by assisting fellow committee members and students in the co-ordination and management of MCR events. The VP can be approached with any issues concerning Clare, the MCR or ‘student life’.
The Secretary writes the agendas and takes minutes for MCR Committee meetings and acts as Returning Officer for elections and maintains the MCR notice boards and newspapers. They also manage graduate mailing lists and attend College Health and Safety Meetings.
The Treasurer maintains and administers the MCR account, oversees membership subscriptions, liaises with the Financial Tutor and attends Finance Committee meetings.
The Social Secretaries are solely responsible for delivering Clare MCR’s vibrant social programme. This includes organising Formal Hall on a weekly basis, along with delivering bops (nightclub style-events), garden parties and the much-loved Clare MCR Fresher's Week programme of events. They also attend the Catering Advisory Committee to provide MCR feedback on Clare’s excellent catering services.
The Bar Managers maintain and operate the Clare MCR bar and work with the Social Secretaries and Welfare Officers to co-ordinate social events in the MCR.
Clareity President (formerly the Graduate Research Forum Officer)
The Clareity President organises Clareity, which showcases a range of academic events with the goal of providing open and informal opportunities for all members of the Clare community to exchange ideas and learn about the latest research being carried out in the College. This includes organising monthly research discussion evenings in the MCR as well as the yearly Clare Research Symposium. This is an opportunity for all members of Clare, from undergraduates to Fellows, to have the opportunity to present their work to a keen but diverse audience.
Welfare Officer (Female) and Welfare Officer (Male)
The role of the Welfare Officers is to provide peer support and guidance to MCR members on issues broadly relating to health, happiness, inclusion and general well-being. They promote a safe and confidential environment for MCR members to discuss issues both personal and academic. The welfare officers will organise a number of welfare-oriented events over the course of the year to facilitate college cohesion and to promote awareness of the sources of support available to MCR members. The role of the Welfare Officer (Female) specifically is to be a visible proponent of women's rights and gender equality and to be available for consultation on issues that are deemed to be particularly relevant to women within the college. The Welfare Officer (Male) is primarily concerned with men’s health issues. Both officers will work with the Welfare Officer (LGBT) to promote the inclusion of all genders and sexual orientations within the MCR and college more widely.
Welfare Officer (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender or LGBT)
The Welfare (LGBT) Officer is in charge of the general welfare and representation of the LGBT community at Clare and also organises social events in conjunction with other colleges to better integrate it with the wider Cambridge LGBT community.
The Accommodation Officer answers queries relating to Clare graduate housing. They also sit on the college Accommodation, Estates, Gardens and Old Court Working Party Committees. Finally, they liaise with the St Regis Officer, who represents the students living in accommodation on the St Regis site.
The Green Officer is responsible for promoting and liaising with the College on sustainability issues. This includes coordinating events which highlight these concerns. Together with the UCS Green Officer, the Green Officer actively works towards reducing the environmental impact of the College.
Admiral of the Punts
Clare’s Admiral maintains the two Clare MCR punts - ‘Silence of the Cam’ and ‘The MC Ark’. This includes being responsible for the punts booking system.
The Computing Officer maintains the MCR webpage, databases and mailing lists.
The Exchange Officer coordinates joint events held with other Cambridge colleges and this includes primarily organising regular Formal Hall swaps. They also arrange annual events held with our Oxford sister colleges, Oriel and St. Hugh’s.
Fourth Year Officer
The Fourth Year Officer represents those MCR members who are currently in the 4th year of their undergraduate degrees (most Cambridge undergrad degrees are three years’ long, so we embrace those doing longer courses into the MCR family).
Mature Students’ Officer
The Mature Students’ Officer represents the interests of any students at the College who self-identify as ‘mature’.
St Regis Officer
The St Regis Officer represents those students living in accommodation on the St Regis site near Midsummer Common. This includes becoming involved in everything from organising social events to dealing with welfare issues.
Graduate Statistics 2010-11
Graduate Population Overall
(including clinical medics and vets)
Total Students: 298: 159 Male and 139 Female
Total Number of First Year Graduates: 83
(including those admitted in January and April 2010)
Other (including part-time courses): 4
Male Students: 44
Female Students: 38
Male Students: 23: 17 Sciences and 6 Arts
Female Students: 15: 11 Sciences and 4 Arts
Male Students: 21: 6 Sciences and 15 Arts
Female Students: 19: 5 Sciences and 14 Arts
MAST (formerly CASM) : 1