“I think this is a great scheme. Very rewarding for comparatively little effort”
Recently appointed Rep, 2014

Purpose of the Rep Scheme

The Brasenose Society is the College’s Alumni Association. The Society’s Year Rep scheme aims to build and strengthen links between members of College who matriculated in the same year and also keep them in touch with the College community. Most years have one Rep, usually JCR. Some years also have an MCR Rep. There is in fact no reason why there should not be two Year Reps if they wish to work together. Brasenose wants to have the first really effective year rep scheme in Oxford. The College believes the social links built independently by alumni are the strongest.

A donation of your time via the rep scheme is very meaningful: the College has limited office resource and much can be achieved via consistent, energetic and committed Rep communication. There is in any case no substitute for peer to peer contact.

The relative roles of Reps and the College

The scheme is headed by Drusilla Gabbott (1982) and David Clarke (1971), working in close liaison with the Alumni Relations Officer. The Year Rep is intended to work closely alongside the College Alumni and Development Office, but with clearly different responsibilities. In between Annual General Meetings of the BNC Society Year Reps form the key link between the Committee of the Brasenose Society and the membership of the Society. We particularly encourage Year Reps to join the Society Committee, even if changing life or career demands mean they can only do so for a brief period. Reps’ direct contact with their year group’s opinions is particularly valuable to BNC.

The College’s Role

  • To maintain the College database of alumni phone numbers and postal and email addresses
  • To arrange Gaudies and other reunions and celebrations
  • To inform all alumni about college events and news via a programme of letters, emails and the Brazen Nose and Notes.
  • To run the college’s capital fundraising and the ‘Annual fund’ for small regular donations.

The Rep’s Role

The Rep’s role is purely social. Reps are not asked to fundraise. (The College does however ask Reps to become informed about the reasons why the College may need funds, and pass on spontaneous enquirers to the right person).

  • Reps should obtain regular updated versions of their year list from the College, and are asked to follow the data protection protocol to protect these from misuse or loss. A note on this entitled “Year Rep - Brasenose Society Practical Guidance notes on compliance with data protection” will be forwarded to all Year Reps and is available from David or Julia. A key requirement is to use the bcc function when circulating year group members by e-mail.
  • Year Reps should attempt to contact all their Year Group at least once a Year and should encourage communication between Year Group members using appropriate communication techniques and social media.
  • The college efficiently informs all its members about College events. The role of the Reps is to personally encourage members to attend them. Reps are also encouraged to arrange their own informal gatherings and reunions, both person to person or via Social Media
  • Reps should keep interested in what is coming up in college or the University via college publications, the College website and Facebook site or by personal contact so they can spot relevant opportunities or give superior advance warning, for example of Gaudies. This is really helpful where alumni have very busy diaries. Reps are encouraged to visit the College and to dine. Attendance at Society events is of course strongly encouraged.
  • One of the most important Rep functions is to keep roughly on top of what their year group is up to and where they are. People move, and sometimes the last place they think to inform is College. It is of immense value to BNC if Reps can pass on information about altered addresses. This of course can only be done with the permission of the relevant alumnus.
  • Year Reps will often become aware of illnesses and deaths amongst alums and their family and can provide sympathy and support either themselves or by making the College and other alums who know the person aware of the situation. This is particularly the case, but not exclusively, for older Year Reps.
  • Finally it would be helpful if Reps summarise their activities occasionally for the Year Rep Coordinator, so he can share your successful ideas and experiences with other reps and check all is healthy with the scheme in every year group.
Tenure

There is no definitive tenure as a year rep but as a suggestion it could be seven years (from Gaudy to Gaudy), during which time Year Reps might seek out and recruit their successor. Many Year Reps wish to carry on for longer and some need to hand over sooner. The main thing is that if you do want to hand over you help to find a successor.

Rewards

As a ‘thank you’ the College offers Reps the following benefits:

  • Dining with a guest once per year at High Table (term time only) as the guests of the Development Office
  • Free ticket to any event when more than five attend from their year
  • Best available room when they stay in College for an event
  • Free accommodation at their Gaudy
The biggest “thank you” comes with the great feeling from contacting old friends and from bringing your community together.