GSA Minutes 2009-01-29

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GSA Meeting Minutes
01 January 2009

Officers' Reports

Adam Wilson (Graduate Student Symposium Committee)

Based on the survey sent out to students, March 21st was selected as the date for the symposium. Nineteen grad students replied. This did not coincide with the preferences of the faculty. In response to the survey, the faculty gave reasons why they didn't come last year: family commitments, it should be during the week, it should be during spring break. Another suggestion was to present some kind of faculty award. This was discussed as a possibility.

We should encourage undergraduate participation.

There was not much interest, so far, in the speed presentations.

There was a suggestion about having a "recycled" poster session at the symposium. This would be an opportunity to use all the amazing posters grad students have presented throughout the year and hang them up for all to see. We need to find a way to display them, possibly renting easels? The committee will look into it.

A budget has been submitted to the GSS for next year, asking for funds to support 70 attendants because of the trend of increasing attendance.

In an effort to get a spatial display of where EEB gradate students do work, a survey was sent out. People have been entering hometown and field site info. There were a few problems, however, and a new system will be mailed out. A Google Earth widget will be used for people to add their field site to a map. This map will be continuously updated. An email will be sent out with the new information.

Nic Tippery (EEBedia Club)

The EEBedia club has suggested a student website design contest. The best graduate student page will be voted on by a survey. The top five will give short presentations at the gad student symposium. An email will be coming soon about the contest (after the EEBedia club meets again). This is a great way to encourage student webpage design and to highlight our efforts.

It was suggested that Paul Lewis get the special faculty award at the symposium for all of the work he has done for EEBedia and for highlighting the work of grad students.

Tsitsi McPherson (Welcome Committee)

Who updates the grad student handbook on EEBedia? It was discussed that here and there people make changes to the handbook as they notice something should be changed. If a major overhaul needs to be done, the EEBedia club can look into it.

Nic Tippery (GSA Treasurer)

There is currently $488.42 in the budget.

Kat Shaw (T-shirt Committee)

Kat and Frank would like to abdicate their positions on the T-shirt/shwag committee. Suegene was selected as a new member of the committee. She was not present due to a teaching conflict. That being said, new designs and items to sell were discussed. Beer mugs and coffee mugs were suggested. In honor of Darwin's 200th birthday, a Darwin theme was generally thought a good idea. Another logo contest was suggested. Since the Green Grads group recently purchased a silk screen and ink, it was decided that we could use this to make our own design and print it on anything. If people bring their own item, it would cost $% to print. We could also provide new t-shirts. Everyone liked the organic cotton T's from last year. Nic/Kat will look into purchasing plain t-shirts from the same company. An email will be sent out about the logo contest.

Kat Shaw realized the terrible mistake she had made and nominated herself to re-join the t-shirt committee.

Sarah Treanor (Monday Evening Seminar)

Last semester there was little interest from students in presenting an MES. It was unanimously agreed upon that Sarah was not pushy enough. There are currently 3 students scheduled for this semester. Suggestions were made of others who could be forced into presenting. An email reminder will go out Monday.

Vanessa Boukili (GSS Representative)

Vanessa presented the final results of the survey about graduate students unionizing. 44% were pro union, 19% were not interested in unionizing, and 37% didn't know, but wanted more information. While this looks pro-union, it will be a while before any real action to unionize can begin. Let Vanessa know if you want to report anything to the senate. Eric Schultz was instrumental in recommending that students with research funding be allowed to keep their tuition waivers. We currently have $1017.00 for the GSA symposium. We also have approximately $300 for this year's spring gathering. The budget for next year will be submitted to the senate sometime in March or April.

Tsitsi McPherson (Spring Gathering Committee)

Tsitsi: There were some opinions last year that people didn't like to crawdads or that they were flown in.

Vanessa Boukili liked biting their head off and sucking the meat out. We can do yet another survey to see what people in the department would be more interested in. It was suggested that the theme be more New Englandy. Maybe a clam bake? Details from the committee will come later.

Minutes recorded by Sarah Treanor.