Proceedings of the May 30th, 2007
GSC Agenda: May 30, 2007, 6:00-8:00pm – FOOD @ 5:45!
Graduate Community Center – Nairobi Room
1) 5:45 FOOD (thanks Anwei!)
2) 6:00 Welcome with introductions (George)
3) 6:05 Announcements (George)
i) Need secretary for next week’s (June 5th) GSC meeting
4) 6:10 Funding (Adam B.)
6) 6:15 Legislative Action Committee update (Fen)
7) 6:30 Confirm the new Election Commission (Bernard)
8) 6:50 End-of-classes airport shuttle (Hershey)
9) 7:10 Housing update from GHAC committee (Kyle)
10) 7:20 New business
Voting members present:
Law: Shireen Barday – proxy Donna Winszon present
Natural Sciences: Fen Zhao
Engineering 1: Melahn Parker
Engineering 2: Marja Mullings – proxy Adam Beberg present
Humanities: George Bloom
Social Sciences: Euan Robertson
Business: Rhyan Uy
Earth Sciences: Kyle Anderson
At large 1: Maxim Afanasyev
At large 2: Hanna Muenke
At large 3: Kristina Keating
At large 4: Zeng Fan
At large 5: Lan Wei – proxy Anwei Chai present
Voting members not present:
Education: Ryan Williams
Medicine: Yana Hoy
Additional attendees – Hershey Avula, Niraj Sheth, Polina Segalove, Josh Oeschlin
1) FOOD (thanks Anwei!)
2) Welcome with introductions (George)
3) Announcements (Kristina)
i) The minutes from last week (5/23/07) pass by consensus.
ii) Hanna will be out of town for the GSC meeting next week (June 6th). Hershey volunteers to take minutes.
4) Funding (Adam B.) – There were no groups requesting funding this week.
5) Confirm the new Election Commission (Bernard).
7 people applied for Election Commission positions for the next elections, all undergraduates from the class of 2010, 3 of whom have been selected for positions (Election Commissioner, Assistant for Undergraduates, and a Media person). Though they may seem young, they did all run for ASSU positions, showing additional evidence that they are interested in becoming involved in politics on campus. The fact that all applicants were undergraduates is a problem because we previously approved an amendment to require a graduate member to be on the Election Commission. However, Bernard recommends approving the three undergraduates that are currently on the bill, and then we will try to recruit someone over the summer and vote on them separately. It is in the bylaws that there needs to be a graduate assistant, so approving the undergraduate positions now does not mean the search for a graduate student will end. The responsibilities for the positions don’t really start until the fall anyway, so we do still have time. There are salaries involved; 2200 for the Commissioner, and 1500 for each of the two assistants (which is the role we need to have a graduate student fill) and 500 for the media person. The graduate assistant has the responsibility of such things as recruiting graduate candidates, getting out the vote, etc. Members are all encouraged to spread the word about this position, because it should be filled by the end of the summer.
Vote: 12 for, 0 opposed, 0 abstaining.
6) End-of-classes airport shuttle (Hershey) – The ASSU would like to run special shuttles on the days immediately following finals this spring which would go through campus picking up students at standard Marguerite stops and then go to SFO and SJC airport. Total cost of the program as currently envisioned is $14,000. Half of this will come from the ASSU General Fee reserve, which has already been approved by the Undergraduate Senate. Hershey is asking for the other half of the cost ($7000) from the GSC reserves.
The current plans for the shuttle are as follows:
- it will cost $5 per person, with reservations made online through egroups
- it will run on Wednesday June 13th from noon to 7pm, Thursday June 14th from 5am to 7pm, and Friday June 15th from 5am to noon. Each shuttle will be able to carry 47 passengers including luggage, and a shuttle will leave every hour for both SJC and SFO.
- Adam B. brings up the point that grad students are not as likely to leave campus in those immediate three days following finals, and that the service thus more benefits undergraduate students. Hershey doesn’t disagree, but says that this is still good as an initial pilot program, and that grad students would be more likely to use it if offered at times like Thanksgiving.
- It is commented that wouldn’t be able to afford $7000 every break, but Hershey says that if the program is successful, it could be funded in other ways, such as special fees.
- Hershey also likes the shuttle as a way to get the ASSU voice out there, doing something that does directly and visibly impact students.
- Other suggestions are made, including trying to organize group super shuttles based on people signing up online for preferred travel times. However, this has apparently been tried before, without much success.
- Not funding it fully would definitely cut back the current plans for the bus, possibly reducing hours or frequency of trip.
Kristina suggests voting twice, once to approve the full amount requested, and if that does not pass, voting to approve half the amount.
There are objections to consensus.
Vote for funding $7000: 3 for, 7 opposed, 2 abstaining. This does not pass.
Vote for funding $3500: 5 for, 4 opposed, 3 abstaining. This passes.
7) Housing update from GHAC committee (Kyle)
Munger update: The exact completion isn’t known, but will likely be sometime next year, though quite possibly not for the fall, and may thus not be used until Fall 2009. Planners are finalizing details, but it will be upscale, with larger rooms, nice counters, air conditioning, private baths, dishwasher, etc. The two and four bedroom apartments will cost “significantly more” than existing two and four bedroom apartments in Rains and EV, though amounts aren’t established yet. Planners do feel there will be demand for high end housing, given the interest in Studios and Schwab currently, which are in comparable price ranges for Studio apartments as Munger will be for the multi-person units.
To make up for the loss of Crothers, which is currently the least expensive housing option for single graduate students, it is possible that the currently one-bedroom apartments for couples in EV will be converted into housing for single students by turning the living room into a bedroom, which would perhaps have comparable rent to a room in Crothers. It seems that the increased costs of Munger will be covered by Munger housing prices alone, rather than increases for all types of housing, because prices for the existing options have not increased more this year than other years. The “stay in place” program has helped with summer vacancies, which might help with overall costs of housing.
Gender neutral housing didn’t really come up at this committee meeting, but is something that might in future. It seems that undergraduates are very interested in this option, and that graduate students are interested in considering it, though implications for dividing spaces appropriately would need to be discussed further.
**Clarifications from Kyle afterwards**
1) The plan is to convert just one of the couples-housing buildings into inexpensive 2-bedroom (no living room) apartments, not to convert all of them.
2) Munger construction is scheduled for completion in summer 2009, while the associated parking structure is scheduled for completion in winter/spring 2008.
8) 7:05 New business
There is a Faculty Senate Meeting tomorrow that Adam B. and Hershey have a brief 5 minute presentation at. They will bring up plans for orientation, so that departments can avoid scheduling events at the same time as NGSO events. Will also bring up housing and insurance as the major current issues of Grad life. They will also mention issues of diversity, though feel this is less crucial, because the faculty is likely to already be more aware of those issues than the others.