The proceedings from the GSC meeting on 2006-02-08
GSC Agenda: February 8, 2006 : 6:00-7:40 – FOOD AT 5:45 !
Graduate Community Center – 2nd Floor, Nairobi Room
Quorum for this meeting is seven voting members.
1. 5:45 FOOD
2. 6:00 Handouts and introductions
3. 6:05 Announcements (Tom/Jenny)
i. Minutes from 2/1
ii. Retreat Recap
iii. Secretary Volunteers
iv. Student Needed for Vice Provost search committees
v. Assistance needed for Friday’s Valentine Party
vi. Stanford Saver contract are being renewed
4. 6:10 Financial Manager Report (Justin)
i. Refund Report
ii. Confirmation of the Associate FM
5. 6:15 Funding Committee (Adam)
i. Political Economics Group
ii. Italian Club
iii. Stanford India Association
iv. Rational Thought
v. Russian Student Association
vi. Bioscience Association for the Interest of Minority Students (BioAIMS)
6. 6:30 Graduate Housing and GHAC (Tom/Jenny)
i. Rodger Whitney (Exec. Director – Student Housing)
ii. Kevin Mumford (GHAC)
7. 7:15 750/GCC Event Funding Request (Stephen)
i. $1500 for large hip-hop event
ii. Will subsidize cover fee for grad students
8. 7:20 Proposed Judicial Affairs Charter Changes (Tom/Jenny)
i. Typographical Errors
ii. Minor Changes
iii. Word Replacement
complaint àconcern accused àresponding student, guilty àresponsible, guilt àresponsibility, complainant àreporting party, cross-examine àask questions (of)
9. 7:30 JB5 – General Fees By-laws Changes (Adam)
10. 7:35 New Business
11. 7:40 Adjourn
Jenny Allen *
Stephen Hunt *
Hanna Scherer *
Cullen Buie *
Maria Spletter *
Josh Lippman *
Adam Beberg *
Aravinda Seshadri *
Zhuo Huang *
Natalie Chun *
Jenny: Tom isn’t here today, but I will be conducting the meeting. No
corrections received for minutes on Feb first. Are there any new corrections
today? Any objections to approving the minutes from Feb 1st? No? Then it
passes with consensus.
Jenny: The retreat over the weekend was a big success, 12 people attended.
Something that came out of that retreat was what to advise CGE (Mark
Horowitz) about our goals for the year, let’s go through them to see if you
agree or if there are any additions. Short-term goal: grad institute, like
Freshman College; Comprehensive quality of life grad life survey;
Campus-wide grad student orientation and admit weekend; Interdisciplinary
conferences, supporting work, mixers with topical themes. Long-term goals:
Increase grad diversity; Establish mentorship programs at the university;
Improve faculty teaching and advising (training programs for new faculty,
maybe even for post-docs).
Anything to add to this list?
Alex: Reduce bureaucracy in the university that is unrelated to academic
Jenny: Anything specific to work on in this area you can think of?
Alex: for example, I don’t know, review of admin software people use, since
it is different, it is hard to communicate between departments.
Jenny: Okay, we’ll add that to our list. Anything else? No, well if you
think of anything in the near future, let us know, we’d appreciate it.
Jenny: Secretary duties, Aravinda this week, Aneto next week. For the
permanent vice-provost, we need to have a selection committee put together:
We submitted some names. Cullen was interested, are there others who would
Aravinda: I wanted to know about the time commitment.
Jenny: I haven’t heard back from them yet, I’ll check up on it.
Alex: Put in my name.
Stephen: I sent it out to the med school.
Jenny: Please send this out to the lists if you want to.
Jenny: Valentine’s day thing Donna sent out an announcement about – want
volunteers between 7-9 for setup. Ben is organizing, we need more
volunteers, please let us know if you can. Stanford Saver. Justin, can you
tell us details about it?
Justin: Stanford Saver are businesses that offer discounts to Stanford
Jenny: Yes, well they’re renewing their contracts for next year, just so you
guys know. I met with some people at athletic dept. Trying to get together
grad students to be involved in the new stadium, interested in athletics for
something that will open in 2008.
Josh: I will come back with a report on what we actually need. We’re meeting
with the liaison tomorrow at 3pm to figure that out, we’ll be able to give a
better idea of what exactly we need later.
Jenny: Okay, we’ll discuss that later.
Justin: Have people reviewed the refund report? Rates for refunds were low.
Everything was under 8% grad refund rate per group, though some groups were
lower, such as the Speaker’s bureau. I’d like to introduce the Confirmation
bill for associate financial manager, selected by the committee.
We are responsible for all of the budget, ASSU, Cap group banking,
businesses we operate, 2 1/2 million dollars of revenue from 6 divisions,
that goes back to support the ASSU endowment and therefore the operating
fund. It is an important job for the long-term. Matt was selected by the
Matt: Before, I was a swimmer for 4 years, served as financial manager for
Ballard dining society, I’m an econ major. Right now helping Justin with
accounting and hiring. Justin: Matt graduated in December so he has 5 months
to train, which should make this one of the smoothest transitions ever,
which is saying a lot for an institution that has as many transitions as we
do. We confirm him now as the assistant financial manager and the final
decision is in spring quarter for him to be the financial manager.
Vote: 11 in favor, 0 opposed, 0 abstentions
Melanie: let’s give a hand to Justin for his work.
Jenny: And onto funding.
Adam: Some funding meeting members didn’t show up on Monday, the funding
meeting was. interesting.
Keyan: This funding request is for a inner we have every year, haven’t
finalized the location, on campus, usually at EV cottage, yearly gathering,
catered food from local Persian restaurants, get together, socialize, to get
members to come out and meet each other.
Aravinda: I know this is a social event for your group, but is the event
open and advertised to others?
Keyan: On our mailing list, which anyone can sign up for.
Adam: It will be on grad events
Keyan: It’s also on the calendar.
Stephen: How is the 65 estimate of grad students compared to years past?
Keyan: 70-80 in years past, 65 is the usual grad student count.
Jenny: Any objections to passing this? Okay, it passes by consensus.
Adam: The next group is Rational Thought
Martin: We are asking for funding for a panel discussion with three external
speakers confirmed, with a moderator yet to be selected. The topic is
church/state separation, with Alito’s confirmation, this issue is getting a
lot of press. It’s based in the secular tradition, but approaching from
different viewpoints like freedom from religion, philosophical basis, etc.
The main funding request is for travel expenses for getting speakers here.
Adam: The oddness of the numbers is to add up to 710, bring it to the
group’s yearly cap.
Jenny: Objections? Passes with consensus.
Adam: Italian club and Political Economics? It’s the same person and the
member isn’t here.
Isha: We are asking funding for 2 events, people getting together, we’ll
start with musical peformance, food and some alcohol perhaps and a dance
floor after that. Expect (a conservative estimate) 80 people to show up.
Adam: The numbers are there because of food caps, rental caps.
Jenny: No objections, passes by consensus
Maxim: We are asking funding for four events: a Russian style welcome bbq,
May 9th, Russian cuisine tasting. Russian food we’ll and organize and eat
maybe in EV cottage room. Our event, similar to the bbq. 2 will be in winter
and 2 in spring.
Jenny: Any questions?
Adam: So the breakdown is for event food, programming expenses, and general
office expenses because they’re a new group. The rental not done because
it’s off campus. Size of group and caps brought down overall number.
Did it exist in years past?
Maxim: Yes, but it stopped and is restarting this year.
Jenny: Thanks so much to Adam. and the funding committee?
Adam: Just Adam
Jenny: Thank you Adam. Everyone, please come out to support him.
Kevin: I’m the chair of GHAC. It’s been a nice year because of few problems,
we can focus on a new issue. Main issue is rent increases.
Graduate housing advisory committee includes the head of housing, housing
assignments and facilities and all assistants – 7-8 admins in charge of
housing. We meet and discuss what policies should happen. Grad students are
there, elected by the NomCom. We’ve had trouble staffing it so we have
decided on some policies without much grad input and wanted to have some
real student feedback. Please let us know if you have anyone who wants to
4 proposals/policies for next year:
1. Renewal for couples w/o children. Families don’t have to go through
the lottery, can stay in Stanford housing if you don’t leave for the summer,
can stay for as long as you want to. Exemptions from the lottery for
couples w/o children – can stay for summer and be exempt from lottery and
stay in same apartment. Hoping they can do this even for all students when
Munger opens at end of 2008. The worry is space, why it can’t be expanded to
all students. Rather than reduce the rent, keep the rent raising the same,
but offer them guaranteed housing instead. Hoping to keep the rent constant,
but that has to be approved by university.
Jessica: I’m in charge of housing assignments, interviews are on Friday.
Roger is on the way. We covered renewals for couples w/o children.
2. Academic year contract in Rains.
Jessica: some of the problems in grad housing is summer housing that we
don’t want to rent to summer conference people b/c they are different
populations than students and come in and out a lot. Since we have over 800
vacancies over the summer, want to make sure we know about them to know to
rent them out later for summer conferences. There isn’t enough demand from
students in the summer, but the empty rooms are useless to us unless we have
them prepared in advance. We are going to identify about 90 spaces in Rains,
not affecting this summer, but for next summer. We will offer no summer
contracts to students in those building. When they go into the lottery, they
will be offered as 9-month residents. This will affect people who live there
and who want to stay over the summer. Students who currently live there will
have the option to stay the following year, giving them returning resident
priority. For students who want a full-year residence and aren’t going to
stay, they will move between the spring or summer quarter. Summer will give
them the best choice of the other apartments. We would give them a lottery
exemption for the coming year. They will be guaranteed a Rains space and can
pick which place they want over the summer. Not offered if they are moving
to other housing.
Alex: What if they want to move to another place?
Jessica: Well, then they weren’t planning to return to Rains so they don’t
get a priority.
Alex: But someone could move to a new place since they have to move anyway.
Jessica: Some of them will terminate anyway, so it will probably be less
than 90 spaces that are really affected.
Kevin: One good thing is that this guarantees more spots that can be for
Jessica: Another complication we won’t mix summer and 9-month residents, so
if you are in a group and aren’t sure which one you want, choose the
Roger Whitney: I am the assistant director of housing. Is this situation all
understood (summer housing surplus)? We are trying to measure these issues,
it will help us keep rates reasonable.
Maxim: There is an issue of that I lose money for the month in between the
housing terms when we don’t stay in housing. It would be fair to get a lower
rate because of the month in between the housing terms. Instead of paying
for an extra month, many students, especially international students lose
the whole summer as they leave for all 3 months to save $1000.
Roger: we’re trying to get this to be a home for grad students, so they can
stay there all year. If you move out for a month, it will just mean rent
loss for students. And you can’t find someone out on the market who would
just rent for a month.
Alex and Maxim: But they are losing the money, so they move out.
Roger: We have to find some incentive in the summer students to convince
them it’s better to stay over the summer rather than not.
3. We have had draconian move-outs because in order to offer the old
housing, residents need to move out right away. We have come up with
additional move-out dates after June 16th or 19th. We are looking for 2-4-6
weeks from the normal move-out. We need to know this in advance. We need to
know this by May 6, then you can do it with no fee. If you miss that
deadline, aren’t sure of plans, until June 16 you can do it for $100, during
the interim period for $200. Once you start the summer, you have to continue
because by then we can’t do anything else with the space.
Roger: The solution for students in the summer is they could move out and
try to move back in, but housing wouldn’t be assured, it would be a risky
Jessica: You could sublet
Maxim: There are such strict regulations, you can’t really do it.
Jessica: Stanford has to abide by county regulations because Stanford has
tax-exempt status, don’t want to take away business from landlords.
Maxim: I can sublease only if person stays on Sept. 19th. I had someone who
was interested who wanted to stay longer, until September 22nd, but since it
conflicted with this regulation, the sublease fell through.
Kevin: That leads us to our fourth option:
4. Online matching site for subleasing. Participants need to have some
connection to Stanford to view the listing, but the matching is all done
online. This website for subleasing will faciliate subleasing between
students and affiliates.
Jessica: If it’s a matter of a few days that causes a problem with the
subleasing, we should have been more flexible. There is a problem with
subleasing over the academic year, which is why the site is only for summer:
there is a lot of housing that is always full, so if we allow people who
aren’t students or enrolled to sublet those from people who are taking off
for the quarter, it’s not fair. We don’t want an underground housing market
when there are Stanford students who want the housing, but can’t get it.
Roger: I can’t believe that a sublease would fall through because of 3 days
difference. I’m surprised you’d lose a sublease over a few days, that you
wouldn’t negotiate something.
Jessica: We will advertise things over the housing site and the housing
Andrea: Can you advertise over craigslist?
Kevin: But they won’t get in because of the authentication if they want to.
Andrea: That’s fine, so long as people hear about it, because international
students don’t know.
Jessica: Actually, we get a lot of calls to our office.
Jenny: we can advertise it on Grad Announce.
Jessica: That’s great, can you also advertise deadlines for housing
Jenny: Yeah, we can do that. There are also problems of law students b/c of
dates, we can’t take advantage of lock&go.
Jessica: There is an exception for law students on there, despite the listed
Jenny: At retreat, people suggested clustering families and singles in
Jessica & Roger: Without relocating families already there or reserving
apartments away from single people, if the numbers go down, we end up mixing
neighborhoods. We do have a policy to foster the families
Roger: We would move someone if they want to be their own neighborhood
(singles, family) and wanted to and we had the availability
Adam: I feel like there has been a decline in housing rentals because of
housing rate increases.
Jessica: Not really.
Roger: No. Couples, 1-bedroom apartments have gone downwards, but our rates
aren’t market-driven. Our goal is to stay below market. We have been 35%
below market to 12-15% below market. We still are below market. Couples
housing is approaching, but isn’t at market. We are trying to reduce rates,
by reducing the summer rent loss problem.
Roger: I can’t tell you the rate exactly, but it will be less of an increase
than last year, probably. We’ve built a lot of new buildings – debt;
utilities increases; building a “sinking fund” for housing. Trying to build
enough reserves so we can keep units up after they’ve been renovated,
leveled out so that one year doesn’t bear the brunt of the renovation. This
will keep our rates more than 4-4 1/2% inflation factors. Slightly above
Alex: Still keep priority groups for grad students. Ph.D students get 4
Jessica: They get 6 years.
Roger: So much equity was built into housing structure because it was
relatively scarce resource. After 1st years have their own good start, all
those policies were to be ultra-equitable, ultra-fair. As we’ve built more
housing, we’ve loosened up some of those rules.
We would like to have optional renewals across the board, when we’re close
enough to meeting housing demand. This allows them to renew if they want to
stay home, not go through lottery and uncertainty. This is our goal, I have
a strong belief in that, that we’re moving towards it.
Jessica: The idea is to get ppl to not have a 7th year in housing before a
2nd year gets housing.
Roger: Ultra-fair solution. As you get more housing, you can deal with more
of these issues.
Roger: There is a factor of admitting more grad students. As soon as we
build more units, the University admits more students per year. That is an
academic decision and how they expand programs. We have to try our best to
keep up. If we were a relatively stable population like undergrads, we would
be out of this problem.
Steven: Somewhere on website it would be good if you described the
historical background. There is a general misconception that you’re a
for-profit organization, that you can just keep increasing the housing
rates. It may be good to have an organizational document of how you fit into
Roger: We are part of Stanford University, but an auxiliary. The university
has to agree to what we do, we have to break even and not make profit. But
we serves Stanford University with policies it has. University will set
policies that will not make good business sense and cause difficulties for
us, and we still have to break even. Same misperception about Row Houses
rates in undergrad. I didn’t know about that, we should make a paragraph in
Steven: Even a paragraph or article that goes into the paper every year.
Andrea: There has been a lot of theft in studio 5 & 6 – nothing has been
replaced, people who chose these studios b/c of computers and Tvs and now
that we don’t have them, want a lower rent.
Roger: I will raise this b/c I saw the rash of computer and TV theft.
Andrea: When someone chooses a studio, they wanted computer clusters and TV
and they now don’t have it.
Roger: I will look into that.
Hannah? Cullen?: Ph.D are promised a set rate on funding on stipends. Salary
hasn’t increased over the years b/c of the set fee for housing, but. School
Dean said they can’t accommodate for that b/c they don’t communicate with
Jessica: Usually we get contacted annually to get the yearly amount.
Roger: There used to be a graduate division, they set the awards, checked
with housing to make sure that isn’t happening, but it’s not here anymore.
Still, I’m surprised that is happening. They do check with us.
Jessica: Some check with us, but not all.
Maria: My stipend didn’t go up as much as housing did.
Roger: I’ll be candid – our stuff is more stable, rates maintained below
market. But expanding housing, debt service, and utilities, and making sure
of maintenance for housing over long-term – these make it difficult for us
to keep rates low. We made good progress about the summer rent loss issue
that is the main thing.
Cullen: Couples without children – rates look very high. Wondering – a
single student living in a 2-bedroom with one bedroom. It’s basically half
the apartment for the same price as half of a 2-bedroom.
Roger: Rate for single student in a single apt. is the same if they live in
Cullen: Compared to single student living anywhere – 2,3 or 4. Couples are
paying for the equivalent of 2-bedrooms, but only get one bedroom.
Alex: There should be a further difference between Rains apartments and
Roger: Difference, why couples are so much closer to market rate: before it
used to be the same. The difference was that one of the people takes the
living room up (they have to share the living room).
Jessica: But you get to choose who you’re living with in couples housing.
Alex: 2 Stanford people – it shouldn’t cost that much for them. Would make
sense to distinguish the between all Stanford couples and a couple where
only one of them is a Stanford student.
Cullen: And couples can’t go in Rains – [b/c don't allow different-sex
Roger: People who split apartments – alternative for Crothers. We are
figuring that out., how to take the living room out of things.
Melanie: 3 quick announcements. VSO collaboration fund dinner last quarter -
funding source online on capgroup website, apply directly as for senate
appropriations. Vice provost matches those funds. Send an email to officers
announcing this, possible press release w daily in the future. 6:00 rm 290
meeting. 7:00 state of association address at law school. Open meeting,
encouraging everyone to attend, including admins.
Board of Trustees survey – after undergrad campaign, it is very
grad-focused. Have gotten feedback on undergrad side about talking points.
This isn’t the forum, but call or email me before Monday 7am, which is the
presentation. Saturday would be great, as we are finalizing the address on
Steven: Here is a bill to request for funding for a hip hop party downstairs
in Havana room. Been trying to get this DJ Kevvy Kev, I would suggest one of
the best in the business, longest running hip hop show in the world, every
week on local radio and Stanford KZSU. We’ve already started putting up
promos for the event. We wanted GSC to pick up the programming expense. He
usually makes a lot more money and has reduced his fee to $1500. The Pub
downstairs will pick up around $1000 for staffing and security. They are
already doing some promotions, but will send out fliers and have an ad in
Jenny: Is the $1500 for all of the cover fee?
Steven: The price is $10 off-campus, $5 on-campus. Subsidized.
Cullen: Where is the money coming from?
Steven: Programming, reserves. Not all of our co-sponsorship things got
done, so there I don’t want to release the money unless they actually do
their events. If they do all their events, we could pull it from reserves or
GSC discretionary budget.
Donna: how much money in that account?
Steven: This is what is in GSC programming budget: $7,250. Either didn’t get
fully funded through Adam or didn’t get included in our budget, for whatever
reason, then groups approach us for money from this budget. GSC may have had
their own money, for pub opening and stuff.
Stephen: 3 big separations: money Adam manages, Donna manages, GSC global
body manages. Requested money before for programming through the pub. One
hip hop party that went well, was be-bop. I don’t know what to say – word? A
little dork, huh?
Adam: This is a party, can we just vote on it?
Jenny: Any objections? No objections, passes by consensus
Adam: 2 groups that were late: Italian club and Stanford Economics.
Andrea: The Italian club is a new club, this year 35 members. 1 big bbq for
each quarter, 50-60 people. Many cultural and social events were planned,
but was cut down to 2: reading classical Italian books, singing Italian
songs, located in building 200, likely. Budgeted food for the events. One
Gogliardia event for playing jokes on people as a tradition from my region
Adam: No questions? Okay, we brought them down to caps because of size, but
gave extra b/c they’re a new group and probably more people will come to
Jenny: Any questions?
Aravinda: What is the holiday?
Jenny: No questions? Objections? Passes with consensus.
Stanford Political Economics Group:
Andrea: This group was founded last year. We have 2 yearly conferences: one
in Boston and one here. Our events are same ones as last year, a conference,
wine & cheese tasting and postering session. During the wine & cheese, we
post research of all members. The event is 4-hours long. Last year, it was
open to all of Stanford and many people came. Our weekly meetings are
Adam: Funding request was brought down drastically to accommodate the group
size. More than last year because the attendance will be better this year.
Proposed judicial affairs charter changes:
Jenny: They changes have to be approved by GSC. We won’t vote on it tonight,
but will vote on it next time. Typos and minor changes aren’t a big concern.
Wording changes. We weren’t sure why these changes were made. Some ppl were
concerned this wouldn’t make the Judicial Affairs sound as impressive or
forceful as it needs to be. They’ve softened the language, some concern
about why they would do that. There is a spot where wording has changed:
can’t be charged in separate proceedings for the same infraction, but could
be charged twice at the same proceeding?
Alex: Last year they changed things and GSC knocked out things that the
Senate voted on blindly. Please look over this and raise any concerns.
Jenny: Would it be helpful to have judicial affairs here?
Chris: The Senate will try to knock out section seven.
Maria: Don’t know why you would soften the language, what is the point?
Alex: I was on the subcommittee when they changed things before. They didn’t
want students to think it was being on trial or punishment, but a board they
could talk to. They don’t want to be assimilated with a court.
Adam: Bylaw change is just taking what we do now and putting it into the
bylaws. Passed by senate last night. Can’t take too much or too little, pick
the middle, throw the fundamental standard in to be invoked if a group is
pulling any funny business.
We are voting on the form of this passed by the Senate.
Michael: VSO formed just for getting funding – is that vague?
Aravinda: Not really, if you are forming a VSO just to get money, it’s
wrong. If you’re doing it for any purpose other than just to get funding,
Michael: I’m okay with that.
9 in favor, 0 opposed, 0 abstained.
Donna: Please reserve your discounted ticket for $20 for the Grad Formal
this evening. Jenny: Flicks is this Sunday – if people want to volunteer to
pass out donuts, it would be great to show up at 7:30 or 7:45 at Memorial
Auditorium and you can see Rent.
Donna: How do we distinguish between grad and undergrad?
Maria: If people look suspicious. We are getting good at this by now.
Alex: Why don’t have people who are more interested in the Judicial Affiars
amendment contact undergrads?
Jenny: Anyone interested in doing that? If you are interested, please
Adam: One concern I have is the smoking policy. There’s no standard like 50
feet from a building that UMichigan uses. Our policy is that smokers should
be nice. I am going to try to push to Senate and Fac Council. Already going
up the school of engineering path to change the current policy that does
Jenny: Okay, our meeting is adjourned. Thanks for staying late.