The proceedings from the GSC meeting on 2006-01-18
GSC Agenda: January 18, 2006: 6:00-7:15 – FOOD AT 5:45!
Graduate Community Center – 2nd Floor, Nairobi Room
Quorum for this meeting is six voting members.
1. 5:45 FOOD
2. 6:00 Handouts and introductions
3. 6:05 Announcements (Tom/Jenny)
Minutes from 1/11
4. 6:15 Caltrain Update (Hannah)
5. 6:25 Funding Committee (Adam)
i. Koreans Students Association
ii. Pakistanis at Stanford
iii. Mexican Student Association
6. 6:45 GSC Funding Requests (Stephen)
i. Dance floor
ii. Pub events
7. 7:00 Office Update and Budget (Troy)
8. 7:10 New Business
9. 7:15 Adjourn
Tom – Adam is going to be late so we need to move the financial topics to the end of the meeting. Were there any— corrections to the minutes?
Tracy – There were no corrections submitted to the minutes, but please look over the attendance from last week as I forgot to pick up the attendance sheet at the end of the meeting.
Tom – Seeing as how there were no objections to the minutes, they are approved by consensus. David needed to step down as Humanities Rep due to class conflicts this quarter. If you know anyone who is interested in the position, please have them come to a meeting.
Maria – That is also announced in the Winter Bulletin.
Hannah – The Provost has agreed to fund the GOPass for 2006 only provided that we have a $75 buy-in, we put the GoPass on the special fees ballot, and we promote the program as much as possible so that people will pick up the passes and vote. The program should be in place by Friday or Monday. We need to do a lot of promotion to let people know about the renewal of the program and for the special fees ballot, so we are asking for $1000 for advertising funding. The more people who pick up the pass the lower the cost to the university.
I think there is a big psychological difference between $75 and $60 as a buy-in cost. Based on the number of people who used the pass last year, we need a maximum of $34,000 to subsidize the pass in order to reduce the buy-in cost by $15.
Cullen – Isn’t there some amount of money that students receive if they don’t drive on to campus? [yes, the clean air cash for people who don’t buy parking passes]
Hannah – For people who solely commute by train, yes, they get that money on top of the subsidy, but a lot of people also have a parking pass and use different transportation depending on their needs that day.
Paul – How much is the Provost funding?
Hannah – We have to buy 3,200 passes from CalTrain for $100 each. The Provost is going to put up that money and then take the $75 per pass from the buy-in cost to reimburse his funds.
Stephen – Where is the GSC subsidy coming from?
Tom – We can take it from Programming and if that gets overspent then we can take it from Reserves.
Stephen – I think that would have to be run specifically through SSE. They may not agree it is Programming.
Tom – This is something that is being used for students, not for GSC operations, which is by definition Programming. Also, this is something for off-campus students who don’t take advantage of as much of our on-campus programs. So this is one way to help balance out the funds we spend.
Troy – Can you tell us a little more about the special fees timeline?
Craig – Essentially, we will bring a special fees proposal forward in February and then we will have a campaign. First, we need to find out if the Provost will put up the money next year as well.
Hannah – We are also looking into having a free 10 ride pass for the on-campus students to provide incentive for them to vote yes on the special fees ballot.
Josh – Are only off-campus students eligible for the GoPass?
Craig – That is the CalTrain policy. We really want to finish out this year with the program since the ending of the program caught so many people off guard because P&TS did not communicate the temporary status of the program. The grad students can then vote on whether they want to continue the program in the future, but at least they will be prepared to accept the result of the vote.
Tracy – I object to blaming P&TS. The GSC was fully aware that this was a temporary program and we did not communicate this to the students. We have been discussing this problem internally since last May. I have no particular affinity for P&TS, but it is not fair to blame them solely for not communicating the status of this program.
Stephen – Do we need to vote on this now for people to get their passes and the Provost’s funding?
Hannah – The Provost’s funding is going through and they are beginning the passes either Friday or Monday no matter what. They will be paying $75 for the GoPass. If we pass this funding proposal tonight, then the students who pick up a pass will be subsidized an extra $15 of the total cost of the pass.
Cullen – Let’s say 1000 people really use this thing. CalTrain is still going to charge us full price for 3,200 students?
Hannah – Yes.
Tom – Part of the reason to make the subsidy $60 is to encourage the people who use the service sporadically, for a weekend trip or a ballgame, to buy in to the program. If we get a few more people to buy in to the program because we lower the costs, then it is worth it to me.
Maria – Are on-campus students eligible?
Tom – No. CalTrain originally wanted to charge us for all students and Moriah and Marcus negotiated to break up the grad student population to make the program more affordable and available to the most students who will use it effectively. For the special fees ballot, we are working on giving free passes to on-campus students.
Zhuo – If the fee passes this spring, then when do we begin charging students?
Tom –The fee will be charged starting in the Fall for 2006, and will be used to pay for the 2007 Go Pass. CalTrain sells the pass based on calendar years, so we have to do it this way. For the fee to continue, then it will have to pass every year. We will need to get at least 15% of the population to vote and at least 50% of those to vote for it.
Tracy – Considering our history for trying to get 15% of the graduate student population to vote, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for this to pass.
Stephen – Where did the number $15 come from for the GSC subsidy?
Hannah – Originally, I wanted to lower the cost by $25 to $50. From our survey, we thought $40 would be a great number, but we just couldn’t approach that level with the Provost. This isn’t exactly my field of study, but $60 gets rounded to ‘that’s close to $50’ in my head while $75 gets rounded to ‘that’s almost $100’. It just seems psychologically different and more people will want to buy in even if they only use the CalTrain sporadically.
Tracy – Could you compare $35,000 to what we spend on other programs?
Stephen – It compares to what we would spend on a large party for all graduate students. We would probably do a transfer of reserve moneys if we can convince SSE to approve it.
Cullen – But it isn’t necessarily going to by $35,000. That is just a maximum if everyone who got it for free last year is willing to buy in this time.
Tom – All in favor of funding the GoPass subsidy for a maximum of $35,000?  Opposed?  Abstaining?  This bill passes.
GSC Purchase request for Pub events
Stephen – The mention of the dance floor was on the agenda because I thought it might be cost effective, but after looking into set-up and damage logistics I decided against it. The funding request that I am bringing is for sponsoring music/comedy/etc. acts on Saturday evenings at the Pub. This will be a weekly GSC night at the Pub. This funding, up to $2,000, would allow us to go ahead and confirm some groups and start booking Winter events.
Tracy – Who would be in charge of scheduling events?
Stephen – We don’t have someone in particular, but Donna and I have been talking with the Pub and developing plans. I would like the GSC to create a permanent position for the future that will handle Pub programming since it is really too much to ask the Party programming coordinator to coordinate this as well.
This $2,000 request will fund the groups and subsidize some food/drink coupons. The Pub will take care of advertising and staffing.
Tom – Are there any objections to funding Pub programming for $2,000? [none] This passes by consensus.
Korean Student Association – We are having a Lunar New Year party next Friday. We are inviting all of the Stanford community to attend the Korean style party. We will have members supply music and entertainment.
Maria – We are really only approving funding for $2,000 because the other $200 is being rolled over from funds we approved for last quarter.
Tom – Are there any objections to funding KSAS $2,200? [none] Approved by consensus.
Pakistanis at Stanford – We are inviting a famous comedian. There is a big Muslim organization in Santa Clara who is inviting him to town, so he is lowering his honoraria and there will be no travel expenses.
Cullen – Their budget has decreased based on other funding they have received from US and other sources.
Tom – Are there any objections to funding Pakistanis at Stanford for $1,025? [none] Approved by consensus.
Troy – This budget proposal outlines the costs and ideas for office supplies. [goes into more details] Tom has also suggested painting the room. I am getting very mixed messages on furniture for the room, so we are going to discuss that later.
Josh – You don’t have taxes added.
Troy – Can we just round this up from $260 to $300? [yes]
Tom – Are there any objections to allocating $300 for the office? [none] Approved by consensus.