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Scrabble tiles on a wooden stand that spell out the word vote.

I rejoice that vaccines, diligent testing and sensible use of masks have made Michaelmas Term 2021 much more sociable than I feared it might be. It has been good to see The Nest busier than ever. Our Formals have been enormous fun too.

I particularly enjoyed Friday's Halloween themed dinner. Many thanks to all on the JCR Executive who have worked so hard to make these events such a success. I am very proud of South's gloriously relaxed and inclusive approach to this excellent and inspiring Durham tradition. Oswald approves too, and he was particularly thrilled to be so involved in the Halloween festivities. 

Note please, that the election of a new JCR President is now underway. Voting closes at 7pm on Saturday 6th November. Please engage in debate and, above all, use you vote. If you are not a member of the JCR, take this chance to join and get involved. Democracy is among our most precious inheritances and, in South, a core principle. Liberty thrives when electorates make active and informed choices. I hope to see 100% turnout. Nobody can reasonably complain about the performance of elected representatives who spurns the duty to participate in elections.

Beyond our own College affairs, COP26 dominates the news agenda. It is right that it should, but headlines do not create progress. We rely on world leaders in attendance in Glasgow - and some who are not - to achieve the change we need. Virtue signalling, corporate image-polishing and political gestures will not be sufficient. Commitments without the hard policies that can deliver them will not get us to net zero and limit warming as we must. This global challenge requires global answers. I fervently hope the leaders in Glasgow can agree a way forward that delivers real change and the renewed optimism that can come with it.