Balliol College’s JCR passed a motion on Sunday evening to use a three tier approach to savings and investments. This motion included the proposal to put £20,000 in to “a medium risk” investment and £10,000 in to an easily accessible savings account.
According to Ali Travis, JCR President, this still leaves the JCR enough money for day to day running of their bar and pantry.
Travis said this investment “reflects students appetite for risk. There may be some people who think we have this money therefore we should spend it, but we are being cautious for the future.”
The motion was passed with no objections. One Balliol student said: “I have no idea what it even means. It doesn’t interest me.”
Ex Balliol JCR Treasurer, Seb Fassam said: “We have a lot of money in reserve and this seems like a better use of the money.”
Fassam also said: “People wanted to make sure these savings and investments were ethical”, something which Ali Travis confirmed was top of his list of priorities. The JCR President said he took professional advice on the investment from a bursar.
When asked if other colleges might follow Balliol’s lead, outgoing treasurer of Kellogg College’s MCR Tes Noah Asfaw said: “I think that’s a good idea as long as it’s done democratically but a JCR or an MCR is not supposed to be a profit making thing.”
A 2nd year Balliol student said: “It seems quite risky. I’m not sure it’s the most beneficial thing for our students. I don’t think they’re making it about us- it seems to be more of a business transaction.”
Balliol JCR has the highest income of any college in Oxford at around £250’000 and their investment strategy could very well keep them in that position for some time to come.