The proceedings from the GSC meeting on 2006-03-01
GSC/Joint Agenda: March 1, 2006: 6:00-8:00 – FOOD AT 5:45!
Graduate Community Center – 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 2/22 (thanks Aravinda!)
ii. Elections – look for GSC candidates or run yourself!
iii. Remember that the Grad Formal is Friday, March 3rd!
4. 6:10 EV Family Carnival (Andy Hernandez and Family CAs)
- Review of annual EV Familyi Carnival budget
5. 6:20 GSC Guest – University Ombuds David Rasch
6. 6:35 GSC Funding Meeting
- Stanford Cooking Club
- Latino Medical Student Association
- Pakistanis at Stanford
7. 6:50 Special Fees (Adam/Jenny/Cullen/Stephen)
- Student Organizing Committee for the Arts (SOCA)
- SSE – Sunday Flicks
- Innovative Student Information Services (ISIS)
- The Stanford Daily
- Stanford News Readership Program
- ASSU Speakers Bureau
- Stanford Club Sports
- Legal Counsel Office
8. 7:50 New Business
9. 8:00 Adjourn GSC Meeting
John R Downey Jr.
Jenny – There were no corrections to the minutes from last week. They are passed by consensus.
Maria needs volunteers to help set-up for Flicks on March 12th (Walk the Line). [Cullen, Jenny, Tracy, Paul]
Hannah – I’m putting the Transportation General Fee information together so that we can vote on it next week. If you would like to submit any concerns or ideas, please contact me.
EV Family CAs – We do a Carnival every year in EV that is geared towards the younger kids that live in EV. We have over 500 children and the majority of them are 1 – 5 yrs old. We have historically received $3000 from the GSC since we have opened up the Carnival to the greater grad family community, not just EV residents.
CA1 – The carnival is the favorite events for all the kids. It is a great way to end the year.
Stephen – From my records the budget has been $2000 for the last several years. There is a line item for $2000, so we don’t have to vote on that, but we do have to vote on the extra $1000.
Jenny – Are there any other questions? [none] Are there any objections? [none] Funding for the EV Carnival passes by consensus.
Stanford Cooking Club – This request is only for the event called An Art Affair. We cook on the 6th and serve the food on the 7th. We need an extra $1000 for food and disposable utensils.
Tracy – Who is going to eat the food? [event is open to the public]
Adam – The recommendation is for $1000.
Jenny – Are there any objections? [none] Funding for the Stanford Cooking Club passes by consensus.
Latino Medical Student Association – We are hosting the regional Latino medical student conference this year. The first day of the event focuses on encouraging local Latino children to attend medical school. The second day focuses on professional networking.
Adam – We took into account the community outreach, etc. and came up with a maximum of $2000 for funding.
Jenny – Are there any objections? [none] Funding for the Latino Medical Student Association passes by consensus.
Powderbound – We are having a social event on Monday and a large party later in the spring. Both events are open to all graduate students. The party will have a DJ.
Adam – We recommend $1200.
Jenny – Are there any objections? [none] Funding for Powderbound passes by consensus.
LGBT-Meds – We promote issues related to LGBT patients and healthcare providers. We are holding a panel discussion at the med school. It is open to the public.
Adam – We recommend $450.
Jenny – Are there any objections? [none] Funding for the LGBT-Meds passes by consensus.
Adam – The FC meets on Mondays at 6 pm. Please attend if you can.
David Rasch, the University Ombuds
David Rasch – I serve the faculy, staff, and students. The office is a confidential, neutral source to help people resolve disputes or misunderstandings. About 1/3 of the people who come into the office are students and half of the students are from the graduate school. Half of these students have concerns involving their advisor. These meetings are completely confidential. My office does not have the power to tell anyone what to do, but we can offer facilitation/mediation resources and advise on policies and issues relevant to the situation. I am particular sensitive to advisor/advisee relationship difficulties and their implications for the student’s future.
Tom – Do the issues you handle have to involve policy or can they be personality conflicts?
DR – Interpersonal issues often arise and I spend a lot of time advising and coaching on how to communicate these issues.
Hanah – Our dept has a faculty member who is the student contact person. What is your relationship with departmental ombuds officers?
DR – They may refer you to our office. The ombuds office is NOT an office of notice. No matter what you discuss with me, I am not required to report these issues. The professors who also serve as departmental ombuds officers are required to report many things such as sexual harassment.
Stephen – Is there any record of people who approach you?
DR – No. This is an informal, confidential, unofficial source for information.
Aravinda – Do people just walk in or make an appointment?
DR – Both happen, but it is better to make an appointment.
Aravinda – Can both people in the conflict come in?
DR – Generally I meet with the individuals separately first. If they are both willing to come in then I encourage that. I don’t have the authority to demand people to make changes. Sometimes just inquiring into situations will have an effect on people. I can work in concert with empowered offices…the legal office, dean’s office, etc.
Jenny – Thank you for visiting the GSC David.
When you go to check your ballot in the spring, you are going to see both a list of representatives to vote for and a list of special fees to vote on. The undergrads have a list of about 40 groups and the grads have a list of about 7 groups. These groups create a budget that goes through the undergrad or grad financial committees for approval. The grad students on the committee include Adam, Stephen, Jenny, John Davis, and Cullen. The groups are here tonight.
Adam – I will start with the group and our recommendations, then give the group time to comment.
SOCA does the big spring art affair and the Stanford Soundtrack cds. The recommendation is to remove the art calendar because it is only given out to freshman and we take out SOCA-to-go because it also only includes freshman.
Alex – We just funded another student group at Art Affair.
Jenny – We funded the student group that cooks at Art Affair. It is separate from SOCA.
Adam – The overall recommendation is $35,419. That is ~$3 per student.
Jenny – The student groups are only allowed to increase their budget by 10% max every year without a petition process.
Adam – If we vote to pass this item, the special fee goes on the ballot for students to vote on. If we vote no, then these groups have to go on through the petition process to be put on the ballot.
Jenny – We need to do a roll call vote. All in favor? Opposed? abstaining? [9,0,2] SOCA is approved for the ballot.
Jenny – The next item is Sunday Flicks. It is the movies we have on MemAud. It has been losing money over the last several years.
John Davis – I’m surprised that we are shifting a not-for-profit organization to something that is government funded. Also, I’m rather upset that it is messy. They forgot a crucial part of their budget.
Flicks – We forgot to include overhead, which is $3000/quarter to total $9000/year.
Stephen – We need to know whether the students want this as a utility. We can go straight democratic and let the students vote on the ballot. Currently we have it being operated by the SSE and all the losses are being hidden from view. So the few students who use it are happy, but the rest of us are paying for it. The SSE concern is to make money, so dropping this money-losing operation makes sense.
Flicks – If the changes are passed, the movies would be free and the times would be changed back to 7 and 10 pm instead of only 8 pm.
Matt – What happens if it doesn’t pass?
Flicks – Flicks will disappear.
Cullen – If is passes, will students who refund be able to attend movies?
Flicks – We will have the option to say no.
John Davis – What is the history of the loss?
Justin FW – Flicks has historically come close to breaking even. This year costs have increased and it is losing more money.
Michael – How do you keep attendance? [click at the door] How do you approximate future attendance? [surveys] Would attendance change the line item costs? [none]
John Davis – Are you going to swipe ID cards to determine grad/undergrad percentages?
Flicks – There is currently no process set up to determine accurate population representation.
Stephen – It was my understanding that they had surveyed before.
Flicks – A previous survey showed a 60/40 split.
Michael – If this doesn’t pass, Flicks dies? [yes]
Adam – If we say no, they need to petition 15%. If we say yes, they have to petition 10% because they are a new group. Then it will be put on the ballot.
Jenny – All in favor of allowing ASSU Sunday Flicks to go on the ballot? Opposed? Abstaining? [9,2,0] Flicks is approved to petition at 10%.
Adam – The next group is ISIS. They run those screens that advertise events on campus. The recommendation was no on the grad side, but the undergrads passed it [11,0,0].
ISIS – We are going to expand the program. Roughly half the money will go to expanding to the graduate community. We have a sincere desire to involve the grad community more in terms of the locations of the screens on campus and increasing grad groups advertising through us. These will be to Crothers, Blackwelder, GSB café, law school café, Bytes, and med school. The residential areas have high densities of grad students.
Tracy – Is advertising free on the screens? [yes, free]
Tom – do you have any indication of how successful advertisements are on the screen?
ISIS – We have had huge growth in advertisement. Our only indication of effectiveness is that groups continue to return to us on a regular basis and more and more groups join because of word of mouth.
Tom – I don’t think they are very effective and it is a lot of money for an ineffective item.
John Davis – I thought the law school and Bytes were already funded screens. Those are going to happen regardless of whether this funding passes. [true]
Alex – Do you have a way to insure that the screens are on? The screen at the GCC is usually turned off.
ISIS – yes.
Alex – For the past 3 years you keep returning to ask for money, but I haven’t seen any big change.
Adam Kahn – We use the screens frequently for Speaker’s Bureau events. We ran a survey on advertisements and several people mentioned the screens as a source of information.
ISIS – If you don’t pass this, then we may not allow grad student groups to advertise on our screens.
Stephen – There have been research papers supporting tv screens as a productive/addictive method for advertisement. Also, something we’ve all noticed is that just increasing the publicity for events in any way has great positive benefits.
Adam – One of the other big points at the meeting is that Events.Stanford is run by the same group and that service is dysfunctional and we have been trying to get them to improve it for years.
John Davis – Events.Stanford was started by ISIS and has since transferred to University oversight. I’m glad to see that you guys actually have grad student focused proposals for joint fee funding. But, this seems like University infrastructure so it should be funded by the university, not individual students.
ISIS – But students benefit from the service, so it should be funded by students. Since student groups continue to return to us for publicity, I don’t see why there is any problem with students funding this service.
John Davis – How many student groups use the publicity?
ISIS – About 50% of the ads are from student groups.
Stephen – But it isn’t about now, it is about investing in the future. The GSC-FC could require student groups to use the service.
Tom – I’m not opposed to your group or giving you funding, I just don’t think that the screens are an effective way to get publicity. If you do grow the number of groups, since the ads are serial, you will have to wait longer for your group’s ad to appear. Since ISIS is supposed to be innovative, they should innovate a method for people to see the ads that appeal to them.
Jenny – All in favor for approving ISIS on the ballot? Opposed? Abstaining? [5,6,0] ISIS will have to petition to appear on the ballot.
Adam – Stanford News Readership puts out Mercury News and NYTimes out for both grads and undergrads. They recently did an audit and we were very satisfied with the results after a little mishandling of funds a year ago. We recommend to approve their request as is…$55,000.
Jenny – All those in favor of putting the SNR on the ballot? Opposed? Abstaining? [9,2,0] SNR is approved.
Adam – The ASSU Speaker’s Bureau is requesting to increase their honoraria and their co-sponsorship expenses. We moved meeting food to event food and made their regular meeting food line item 0.
John Davis – My objection for this budget is that the honoraria fee is increased by 20% this year. In the past the SB has gone through various University offices and external sources for money. This item was cut in the past because this was money they weren’t using. Now they are using it because they aren’t pursuing external funds anymore. They also have a large reserve.
Adam Kahn – External funding is requested by our co-sponsoring groups, so it is redundant for us to also ask for funding.
John Davis – It was my understanding that the additional speakers who came were suggested to you by the cosponsoring groups. When you go out and get a speaker yourself, do you request external funding?
Adam Kahn – [several of the speakers came to us]
Michael – So the SB is not requesting money from external organization, it is outsourcing these requests through its cosponsoring groups? [yes] But next year it doesn’t expect to do this? [true]
Cullen – I think the issue is that it is hard to project the amounts, but to project zero indicates that you aren’t even going to try. You may want to insure a more proactive search for these external monies.
Stephen – On the administrative level, the offices have a bias towards making people speak free. They make graduation speakers, for example, speak free. These offices are not predisposed to offer money for speakers.
John Davis – There are plenty of offices who have supported speakers’ fees in the past.
Jenny – All those in favor of approving the ASSU Speakers Bureau for the ballot? Opposed? Abstaining? [10,0,1] The SB is approved to appear on the ballot.
Adam – KZSU, the radio station, sports, and emergency service. They are about 75% DJ music and they also have the city council. They have operating expensives. They are also required to keep all their music (storage costs) and they are in the process of digitizing their music, they need to replace equipment. We recommend a reserve transfer of $5k. They didn’t request travel expenses this year. We removed $400 from their budget for give-a-ways that we don’t fund. We recommend $65,580.
Michael – To what extent to grad students listen to the station?
Adam – It is VERY expensive to find out this information, but grad students do participate as DJs.
Tom – In the event of an emergency, KZSU is the Stanford specific source for emergency radio information.
Jenny – All those in favor of approving to put KZSU on the ballot with the transfer? Opposed? Abstaining? [10,1,0] KZSU is approved for the ballot.
Adam – Legal Counseling. We attached a reserve transfer of $5000 into legal fees and otherwise took their budget as-is.
Jenny – All those in favor of approving the ASSU Legal counseling for the ballot with the transfer? Opposed? Abstaining? [10,0,1]
Adam – Stanford Club Sports was sorted into percent graduate participation. We separate the fees so that graduate students will pay 1/3 of the total. We have split the Club Sports into a joint fee (so that it will pass and the grads will pay their share) and a separate undergrad fee.
Jenny – All those in favor of approving Stanford Club Sports for the ballot for $123,274? Opposed? Abstaining? [10,1,0]
Adam – Stanford Daily is requesting $49,000. The committee was unanimous on its contention. The first is that it is a conflict of interest for us to be funding our press. We also have problems with their accounting. They move money around with Friends of the Daily and have $1.6 million in total liquid assets. Last year, they show a loss of $78,000, but that is only after transferring $100,000 to Friends of the Daily. So they really had an increase in funds of $22,000. This year, with the money students pay them they are projecting to make $31,000. There is also the historical issue of how they serve the grad students, but that is improving.
US – The US amended the request so that the Daily would break even.
John Davis – Did the US take into account that if the Daily doesn’t have the money, then they just don’t have to spend it?
US – No. I’m satisfied with the level of service the Daily is providing and I wouldn’t want them to decrease service.
Adam – Were this a normal group, we would look at their reserves and make them spend down a large portion of their reserves.
Daily1 – The special fee is something we will seek every year because it is seen as a subscription fee and a small return from the student body on the service we provide. In the last 2 yrs, the Daily would have had a net loss without the special fee. We could pare down costs and save money, but our total revenue is still lower than what we were receiving in 96-97. There were net withdrawals from the Friends of the Daily. I think the Daily deserves a return from the community it serves. If you only want to fund the Daily when it needs the money then you need to find a way to spread out the costs because we can see annual fluctuations of over $100,000. It seems more reasonable to ask for $50k every year than to ask for nothing one year and $100k the next. We have also been able to reinvest these funds to upgrade equipment which allows us to save money later.
Michael – Did the Daily make a profit last year?
Daily1 – [I have no idea if he said yes or no, but he sure talked a long time] We want our reserve so large so that when we have large fluctuations in profits, like during the dotcom downturn, we don’t have to drastically increase our requests for funds. Also, at some point in time we are going to have to move into Old Union and that is going to cost money…possibly even requiring a lease.
Justin FW – Don’t you have alumni who have promised 2 – 3 million? [yes]
John Davis – Do you have a building plan that is submitted to the university? [yes] As I’ve been dealing with the Daily, the Friends of the Daily account has increased…from 800k to 1.1 million, yet you say they are losing money. Could you address that? [mumble, mumble, not really]
Daily1 – The Daily needs 300k – 400k just to insure we can cover operating costs for 3 – 4 months. Especially over the summer.
[break in notes due to computer battery issues]
Justin FW – What exactly are you voting on?
Jenny – The US approved $31k, but the recommendation from the FC was 0. Are there any motions to increase the GSC level to $31k? [We can amend to 31k, reject it, and make them petition.]
Stephen – I motion $31.
Alex – I motion $20.
Stephen – I second that motion.
Jenny – Now we need to vote on the motion.
Stephen – I agree that we shouldn’t subsidize a business that is making money, but putting something on the ballot allows the democratic process to occur.
US – Actually, putting something on the ballot, unless you include a negative recommendation, implies that you approve of the special fee.
Jenny – All those in favor of approving the amendment up to $20? Opposed? Abstaining? [1,8,2] The amendment fails.
John Davis – What is the base, required cost, to print the paper?
Daily1 – About a million.
Jenny – All those in favor of approving to put the Daily on the ballot for $0? Opposed? Abstaining? [2,7,2] Approval of the Daily Special Fee is rejected by the GSC and the Daily will have to petition.
Jenny – There was some new business from the US meeting last night.
Chris – Last week the GSC and Senate passed a bill to prevent endorsements being put on the ballot. There was much debate on the constitutionality of the bill and there was a motion to reconsider this bill. If a member who was absent last week would like to make a motion to reconsider, then the GSC could revote on this bill. It requires a motion to reconsider by both parties for either to revote.
Hershey – We think the process by which the bill was passed was unconstitutional because so many of the US were absent from the meeting. We would like to have a reconsideration of the entire bill.
US2 – The bill was sent only 4 hrs prior to the meeting and the meeting time was changed and the senators who disagreed were not able to attend.
Hershey – Sseveral of us brought up a tabling motion to the bill, but it was not fully discussed.
John Davis – What was the vote?
Hershey – 5,3. It would not pass if reconsidered.
Cullen – I agree that the bill was quickly passed.
Matt – I motion to reconsider this bill.
Hannah – I second.
Adam – If this bill fails, the senate will continue to be populated by people who are basically empowered lobbyists for special interest groups.
Chris – No endorsed senator has ever lost. That makes these endorsements unfair. These senators become ruled by their special interest groups that endorse them.
Jenny – Let’s table this issue until next week.