Introducing our new JCR President: Alfie Mowse
Congratulations to Alfie, who has just finished his first year at Queen’s, on being elected as President of the Junior Common Room (JCR – our undergraduate student body). Alfie will take up the role at the start of the next academic year and, in the meantime, we asked him a few questions to introduce him to the wider College community.
Can you tell us about your background, how you came to Queen’s and what you’re studying?
I spent my childhood living in London before moving to a small town in Hampshire where I spent my teens. In both cases I attended my local state comprehensive schools and sixth form college. Having decided to apply to study at Oxford it was then something of a surprise to realise I had to also choose a college! Not knowing anyone at Oxford who could give me an impression of their reputations, I have to admit my choice of Queen’s was fairly random. I knew I wanted a middle-sized and old college – and Queen’s certainly has not disappointed!
At Queen’s I’m reading Philosophy, Politics and Economics. I enjoy the breadth of the course; each of the components helps to deepen your understanding of the others. There is also quite a lot of choice in the modules you study once you get to second year. I have chosen to drop economics, which means I can specialise in options in politics and philosophy.
What do you like most about Queen’s?
I’m sure nearly everyone feels their college is the best one, with the nicest people. Nonetheless, I truly would not rather be anywhere else. The best aspect for me is the community. On the whole everyone is so lovely; the College bar and social spaces are well used and there are opportunities to make friends with people of all backgrounds, doing all subjects and across all years. All my tutors so far have been fantastic and I feel I’ve learnt so much this year. I also really like the College’s gardens and neo-classical architecture, and the Queen’s library is a very special place to study.
And what are the best things about Queen’s JCR?
Queen’s JCR is a very active group. There tends to be good turnout at College events such as bops and end-of-term events and you can always find someone playing a game of FIFA in the common room or a game of pool in the bar. There always seem to be people directing plays and films, writing poetry, editing student magazines and newspapers, writing articles and making music, among so much else. It’s inspiring to be in such a creative and proactive community.
Why did you decide to run for President and what are you hoping to achieve?
I ran for President because I’m anxious to get as much as possible out of my three short years here. I hope it will be a good opportunity to meet people I wouldn’t have otherwise met, from staff and students within Queen’s to the presidents of other college JCRs and just generally get really stuck into college life (also not to mention that I’m told the president gets the best room in College).
I see the President’s role as being primarily to push for issues that have been raised by the JCR rather than my own agenda, so the areas I focus on will depend on what JCR members are concerned about. However, it is clear already that this will involve ensuring transparency with regard to coronavirus arrangements and making sure that College and JCR anti-racist actions are robust and upheld. Also, given the urgency of the climate emergency, I am keen to support the JCR’s Environment and Ethics rep to push for College divestment.
What else have you been involved in so far at Oxford?
At Queen’s I have been involved with QCAFC ANIMALS (our 2nd football team) which is great fun and luckily requires no footballing ability at all. I initially tried out College rowing as well but quickly realised the early mornings and training regime were not for me! I am also a member of the Oxford University Mountaineering Club and together with a group of students have set up a Queen’s climbing club which will launch in Michaelmas. I’m looking into starting a pottery/ceramics society too, which would be based at Lady Margaret Hall. Outside of societies I’ve enjoyed seeing lots of live music over the past year, climbing at the Brookes’ centre and trying some of Oxford’s many cafes and coffee shops.
In last term’s elections, the following were also elected to the JCR committee:
- Social Secretaries – Ella Farmer and Marcie Bamber
- Treasurer – Arthur Carpenter
- Female Welfare Rep – Seren Ford
- Male Welfare Rep – Mukahang Limbu
- Academic and Careers Rep – Luke Geoghegan
- Equalities Rep – Gracie Wilson
- Sports and Stash Rep – Ying Wong
- Webmasters – Bethan Storey and Annie Roberts
- Environment and Ethics Officer – Charlotte Forrest
- Arts Rep – Klara Zhao
- OUSU Rep – Shaurya Kothari
- JCR Chair – Zac Hudd
- Entz Reps – Emily Thompson and Natascia Fragapane
- Bike Reps – Zahra Alawoad and Marcus Roberts
- Keeper of the Boars, Bees and Eagles – Julian Whitaker
Pictured below: Alfie Mowse