Proceedings of the May 30th, 2008 GSC meeting
1) 5:45 FOOD (thanks Anwei!)
2) 6:00 Welcome with introductions (George)
3) 6:05 Announcements (George)
i. Please be aware that all meetings are recorded and will be made available on the GSC website.
ii. Approve minutes from the last meeting (4/23/08)
4) 6:10 Funding (Polina)
i. Colombian Student Association
5) 6:15 NomCom Intro (Eric)
6) 6:25 Swearing in Melahn (Euan)
7) 6:30 Officer selection (Kristina)
8) 7:00 Programming (Justin and Adam S.)
9) 7:05 Music Equipment Purchase Proposal (Sean)
10) 7:25 Review and Approve Funding Policies (Polina)
11) 7:40 New Business (Kristina)
Voting members present:
At large 2: Addy Satija
At large 3: Aleksandra Korolova
At large 4: Adam Beberg
At large 5: Nanna Notthoff
Business: Rick Thielke
Earth Sciences: Justin Brown
Education: Michelle Brown
Engineering 1: Polina Segalova
Engineering 2: Melahn Parker (not voting yet)
Humanities: George Bloom
Law: Andrew Park
Medicine: Sean Young
Natural Sciences: Fen Zhao
Social Sciences: Hanna Muenke
Voting members not present:
At large 1: Karan Chaudlory
Others in attendance: Adam Sciambi, Lan Wei, Alex Ene, Euan Robertson, Maria Spletter, Etosha Cave, Robert Toews, Anwei Chai, Annemarie Baltay, Kristina Keating, Daniel Espinosa (Colombian Student Association/GFL), Chris Sully (Mexicanos/GFL), Donna Winston.
1) 5:45 FOOD (thanks Anwei!)
2) 6:02 Welcome with introductions (Kristina)
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3) 6:05 Announcements (Kristina)
i. Please be aware that all meetings are recorded and will be made available on the GSC website.
ii. Approved minutes from the last meeting (4/23/08) by consensus.
iii. Jonny and Fagan, new ASSU execs, say hi. Remember that they serve grad students as well, so we should feel free to prod them to get working on our issues as well, since they don’t know those issues as well as we do. They’ve created a new Director of Graduate Initiatives position in their cabinet, and would like more applicants for that, so extending the deadline. Will send another email out just about that that we can forward. If we have something to tell them, we can call then at 650-576-8251 (Jonny) and 410-718-7822 (Fagan), or email at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com respectively.
4) 6:08 Funding (Polina)
i. Colombian Student Association – Planning Gran Fiesta Latina, which has occurred for the last couple of years. Mexican Student Association and some other groups also involved. It’s a Latin dance party, open to anyone, and tends to attract Grad students. Plan to have two live bands and a DJ this year. Will serve some appetizers and drinks. Scheduled for Saturday, May 24th, nicely not overlapping with our formal this year. In the budget, had a large request ($3700) for honorarium to pay the musicians, but the GSC limit is $750. This is problematic for them, since the cost for the musicians is fixed, so they need the money from somewhere. Also, they need to pay the musicians fairly soon. They could potentially use money from other line items if we approve that change. Euan is concerned that switching over money (beyond the standard cap) for honorarium would set a bad precedent for future groups, given that there has been consistency in this policy thus far. Aleksandra wonders how the group paid for the honorarium last year, and the representatives report that VSOs gave some unrestricted money last year, but don’t think they could do so again, given that the event is later this year, and the other groups have less money. Currently have $200 from I-Center and Mexicanos, have applied to SSFT (more of a departmental fund, so may not work out), and ASSU has also given money. In the past, GSC gave closer to $5000 for this event, but other VSOs were able to make up the difference, and the representatives report that the overall budget for the event is within $1000-$2000 of last year.
Three options that we can consider for approval:
1. Give them $7925 from Programming and additional $1950 from reserves.
2. $7925 as is presented in the current budget.
3. $7925 with line-item change for more honorarium. Adam and Euan think this sets a bad precedent, so we take this off the table.
Hanna asks about the necessity of the multiple bands, particularly if there is one that is the primarily expensive one. The need is because the party is starting at 8pm, and goes till 1, so for the five hours need the two bands plus DJ to have music coverage throughout. The band is apparently pretty well known, and we’re getting a pretty good deal on them through friends. Reminder that for the formal, we’ve spent $6000 and $8000 respectively for the music for the last two years, so the $3700 total for this request is well less than that.
First considering the budget as is, the $7925 with line items as presented by the funding committee. Passes by consensus.
Now considering $1950 from reserves to be added to the expense of the bands. There is an objection, so we go to roll call vote. 9 for, 0 opposed, 4 abstaining. Passes.
5) 6:32 NomCom Intro (Eric)
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Eric Osborne is a first year Law Student, and is running the Nominations Commission for next year. They put students on every University Committee. Are having a hard time getting grad students through their current advertisements, so ask for our suggestions. Kristina suggests Grad Announce (going out next week), GSC list to be forwarded out to our schools, Grad Events. Applications are due by this Sunday, and will try to place students on committees by May 20th. Typically get 3 times as many undergrad applicants than grad ones, but try to keep committees balanced even with those numbers. Have about 8 committees with a specific Grad student focus, but about 50 committees overall, and do want graduate students to sit on them as well. There are 5 trustee committees (10 students total), which need students to be appointed by May 9th, so those applications really need to be in by this Sunday. However, NomCom may end up extending deadline for other things by a week. Eric will send out an email particular to the trustee committees, and then the other ones separately, so that we can do a push for the former immediately.
6) 6:39 Swearing in Melahn (Euan)
Melahn is sworn in, will be able to vote next week.
7) 6:41 Officer selection (Kristina)
i. 6:41 Chair –
Two slates: Melahn/Fen and Polina/George.
Melahn starts the introductions. Compliments Fen’s involvement around campus and her connections around the University, and thinks she’d be a great chair. Melahn also has been involved, such as being chair of GSPB, founding Comedy Club, etc. During elections this year, Melahn campaigned with a list of things that he thought should be done in the upcoming year, such as programming, health care, etc, so we can reference that as well for his priorities.
Fen introduces herself as well. On GSC, Fen has been chair of Programming Committee, Legislative Action, and outside of GSC has been on GSPB and is an EV CA. Would focus on stipends, budgeting, dependent healthcare, also has new ideas for Programming. Has experience working with Provost, ASSU Execs, etc.
Polina organized NGSO, got good ties with GLO through that, is current funding committee chair, which has given her experience with the variety of students on campus. Thinks that the chairs, regardless of the team, will have similar priorities as discussed above by Melahn and Fen, and thinks she has the skills and consistency to make that happen.
George emphasizes helping all the GSC members reaching their goals for the year, reminds us that much of the chair’s work comes outside of the meeting. Would like to ramp up publicity to better educate community on what we do, improve OSA system for Grad events, continue relationship with GLO, and continue NGSO, etc.
Justin – wants to know if there are any plans for leaving. Polina reports that she plans to be around, and if something came up, would try to get someone to officially fill that role, rather than disseminating it across GSC. George plans to be around, probably even more actually on-campus than in previous quarters. Melahn may be gone next April, but that would be elections time anyway. Fen reports that she’s here working on her dissertation for awhile.
Annemarie – asks about specific academic projects that might impact each person’s ability to fulfill the chair role. Fen is working along on dissertation, has gotten that approved, so just needs to work on it. Melahn is working on his dissertation but doesn’t think it would impact his work with GSC. Polina has applications for funding likely due but should be fine with workload. George is working on dissertation, which will probably keep him on-campus plenty.
Kristina – wonders about how Melahn would continue to work with administrators, as there have been some conflicts in the past. Melhan reports that he has smoothed out, does not think he has strained relationships with administrators currently, and thinks he could appropriately push them for the streamlining we desire.
Andrew – has concerns about the fact that we don’t manage to spend down our money each year, particularly problematic since we’re collecting money from grad students and not getting it back to them. Wonders about each person’s philosophy on how to deal with budget. Polina reports that there should be efforts to spend things down, but that cutting back the fee for grad students is perhaps not worthwhile, since it would be only a couple of dollars less per graduate students. It would make a difference if the fee weren’t there at all, or cut in half, but Polina is not in favor of those options, since then it would be difficult to raise it back up afterwards. Fen agrees with the difficulty in increasing stipends from having tried to do that two years ago, and likes projects such as the Grad Challenge as a way to spend down the reserves responsibly. Matt adds that we still want to keep some reserves, gives the example of the Undergrads who went bankrupt. Melahn would like to see things like more social events, higher caps for groups, to spend down the reserves to about $200,000 over a couple of years. Andrew adds that it’s our responsibility to be fiscally responsible, so is against the idea of spending down the budge just for the sake of spending it down.
Maxim – wonders how each person contributed to solving problems on campus. Polina reports that she didn’t feel like she had a connection with the University, and this was motivation for working on NGSO for others so that they can get that connection. George addresses advocacy, with its history of incremental improvement, helped by the high preparation that individuals bring to meetings with administrators. Fen addresses the problem of the high reserves, and has become involved in programming as a result, and also worked on the Grad Challenge. Melahn wants to help student body make use of the money that is available, in a responsible fashion, such as good events, because that benefits many students.
Comments about reserves from Matt and Euan, but decide that we’ve already talked about that previously and so we don’t dwell on that now.
Annemarie – wants to know what George thinks can be changed for next year. For one, they plan to survey outgoing members to figure out their thoughts on how to run meetings smoothly, how members would like to be supported in advocacy. Also, would like make greater effort with publicity chair and becoming well known to the graduate community. We are a stable organization now and should get our name out there.
Moving to a vote. Only voting members can vote on this, and each will have only one vote. Fen, Melahn, George, and Polina leave for the vote. This part of the discussion has been removed from the audio files.
George and Polina get the vote for being co-chairs for 08-09.
ii. 7:13 Financial Officer.
Fen and Nanna are running for this. Both introduce themselves.
Nanna would like to make reimbursement easy, spend reserves down responsibly, give updates at meetings. She has experience as treasurer and financial manager for other organizations.
Michelle would like more information about previous experience both of them have in this type of position. In Undergrad, Nanna applied for funding and external sponsors for groups, allocating funding and handling dues and budget planning. Fen was treasurer for groups in Undergrad including Concert Band, and has current experience as CA managing money for her neighborhood events.
Aleksandra asks about challenges they expect to face. Fen draws on her experience as programming coordinator, knows the financial officer must deal with such things as lost receipts, last minute payments, etc, and would be dedicated to helping with those and other problems. Nanna is also willing to deal with time sensitive issues, and recognizes that much of the job is administrative, which she’d be good at.
Alex reminds them that in the past there were problems with things not getting reimbursed. Nanna and Fen both plan to be around year-round, and keep on top of receipt reimbursements.
Adam asks about plans to leave, but neither plan to go anywhere this year.
Etosha asks how they might go about streamlining such things as credit cards, which has been improved recently, but more changes are unlikely.
Melahn wonders about learning curve for the system the Financial Officer must use. It is particular, so neither Fen or Nanna have used it in the past, but should be able to learn it. Euan has showed them the system, and thinks they’d both be capable. Both have talked to him about the specifics of the job.
Fen and Nanna leave for the vote. This part is removed from the audio recording.
Nanna is elected as financial officer.
iii. 7:26 Various Contests 1
Programming coordinators – Adam and Justin want to run as co-chairs for this. Had some good events last year, some scaled up from previous years. Did a lot by themselves last year, would love to have more volunteers this year. They are approved as co-chairs.
Funding Committee Chair – Lan has been appointed already. Has been very involved already, would like to continue giving out money fairly to student groups and help them run their events.
Funding Committee Deputy Chair – Addy is interested in this, has been going to the Funding Committee meetings since joining the GSC. Has been selected by funding committee already.
Secretary. Hanna is running unopposed, will do this again next year. Passes by vote.
Food Czar – Sean volunteers unopposed for this. Passes by vote.
Webmaster – Matt Turk is running unopposed to continue this next year. Passes by vote.
Parliamentarian – Adam B is running unopposed for this. Passes by vote.
Grad Events Coordinator – Kyle is running unopposed for this. Passes by consensus.
Publicity Officer – Are working to recruit someone for this, with the goal of advertising GSC and GSC events. Talk to George.
Tax Coordinator –
Zeng and Aleksandra are running for this. Aleksandra is an international student but has been in the US previously and thus knows how to pay taxes here. Zeng is not here, nor did she send something in. Aleksandra gets the position. Vote has been taken off the voice recording.
iv. 7:36 – Various contests 2
Flicks Coordinator – Zeng is running unopposed for Flicks Coordinator. Passes by consensus.
Bulletin coordinator – Nanna is running unopposed. Feels she will be able to handle that as well as Financial Officer. Passes by consensus.
Diversity Advocacy Committee – Courtney Bonham is not here but sends information. She has background of research on the topic of diversity, knows appropriate administrators. Committee has plans to continue working with VPGE and GLO as well as us. Addy objects to consensus, due to what he saw as limited scope, so it moves to vote. Passes. Kristina reminds that others can be involved in committee. Take vote off of audio recording.
v. 7:41 – Various contests 3
Academic issues – Aleksandra is running unopposed for this. Advocating for having courses in different departments open to everyone, and enabling all students to be able to see syllabus. Also, thinks the summer workshops of VPGE are well done and would like to see more of them. Passes by consensus.
Healthcare Advocacy – Hanna is running unopposed. Learned about some of the challenges from running the surveys, will learn more about it in future. Passes by consensus.
Stipend Advocacy – Adam is running unopposed. Has done a lot of work on that this year as well. Passes by consensus.
Other spots open –
Thanksgiving Dinner coordinator, Childcare, Parking and Transportation. These and other positions will be considered at a later meeting.
7:45 Legislative Action Committee – Fen is running unopposed. The spring NAGAPS trip to DC hasn’t happened yet, so she’d like to be involved with that. Tom Lee, a former chair, has interest in funding for sciences, so that could be an area of focus. Passes by consensus.
7:46 Housing Advocacy – Yana has done this for the past two years and is running unopposed again. Approved by consensus.
8) 7:48 Programming (Justin and Adam S.)
i. Annemarie updates us that May 17th, then June 7th, then hopefully thereafter as well, organizing bus trips to North Beach in the city. Matt is working on the website so that people can buy tickets.
ii. Programming is easier and cheaper if people chip in. When you learn about events, put them in the calendar and plan to volunteer. First event is July 4th cookout, everyone should go help and be excited about it!
9) 7:50 Music Equipment Purchase Proposal (Sean)
One issue is that people come from far away, don’t have their equipment to practice their music, so this is something GSC could consider providing as a way that students could spend time together. Missed some of the list, but basically big equipment like bass guitar, drum set, DJ equipment, and amplifiers. Think there are some people who would be interested, could form a bit of a band, play at GSC sponsored events. Sean has looked at some prices, and thinks $1534 would be a low end, and $3225 would get mid range equipment. Official prices may be higher, but since people selling this equipment work on commission, if you know how they work (which Sean seems to), should be able to score some discounts.
There are some instruments at music center, but are old, and aren’t the right type for this type of rock type performances that we’re thinking about. While we would be helping students out, they could also provide a service by performing at events. Adam B. would want the idea to focus on the equipment that people would be least likely to have with them here. Euan wonders about equipment reliability, and also about whether there are sufficient people who would be good enough to play at events and such. Sean reports that there are people around, including himself, who were previously in bands and are good players, just haven’t found equipment and bands here yet. In terms of upkeep, want it to be available, but not just totally open (a drum set in an open space was damaged). Also, a question of storage space for the equipment and also where students would practice. In Rains, there is a closet that we could put our own lock on, which could be a storage space. In the EV center, Addy reports there is music room that’s perhaps unexplored. Question about priority for reservations. Etosha suggests a club of sorts, Sean reports that he has started a mailing list, which could help get it started. Polina reminds us that groups cannot get capital equipment. Justin reports that there are more practice rooms that could be available, including the GSC office, which is currently locked. Lan would want clear rules about how long people could reserve the equipment, Sean thinks 5 hours or so time block would be good. Michelle wonders about using a model similar to the co-op, whereby people pay a membership fee. Sean will take the above conversation and prepare an official proposal, considering space for storage and practice, reservation system, cost, upkeep, etc.
10) 8:03 Review and Approve Funding Policies (Polina)
Waiting until next week as we are over time.
11) 8:04 New Business (Kristina)
i. Thank you presents for Kristina and George for their work as chairs this year. They think we did a good job too and thank us. They were impressed at how involved everyone was this year.
8:06 Meeting adjourned.