Meeting Minutes- 03 November 2008

Call to order: 6:06 pm

The meeting convened at 6:06 pm. John passed around a roll sheet to take attendance.

Old Business

    * We unanimously approved the minutes from the October meeting.
    Pres. (John Burke)
      * Athletics Fee: success! John reported that he as been given a solid commitment from the Athletic Dept. that they will change the access policy for Research Fee Paying Graduate Students. An ad hoc committee was created to work with senior staff in athletics to hash out the details, probably beginning in February. John, Matt and Dave will serve on the committee.
      * With this issue on its way to being resolved, John plans to work more on the problem of Graduate Student Space on Campus, perhaps by going through Pat Lampkin?
    1st VP (Isaah Vincent)
      * Life committee wants to work on the Graduate Student space problem. They plan to begin by gathering information about this issue on other campuses. They are also talking about working on creating a maternity leave policy for Graduate Students (in order for them not to lose funding for having a baby) and the fact that Faculty have preference over Graduate Students for getting their children into UVA Childcare. They plan to research policies at other schools on both of these issues as well.
    2nd VP (Elizabeth Head)
      * I had a meeting planned with the Student Council Server people to fix the problems with the Funding Forms on the website. (They are now fixed!!)
    Treasurer (Matt Rannals)
      * Nothing to Report
    Stud-Co (David Hondula)
      * Dave reported that StudCo approved a Student Garden on Grounds that will be used to grow vegetables. They were able to get the sign ban at Athletics events overturned, and along with our making progress on Graduate Student access to games, maybe the student body is gaining power over the Athletics Dept. StudCo did not make any progress on cancelling classes on Election Day. They also have started a safety program for Off-Grounds Housing called "Lighten Up". The program will first ask landlords to provide lights in dark areas around Off-Grounds Housing and if this fails, they have money to install eco-friendly lighting. There is an application form on the StudCo website:

    Judiciary and Social Committee (Alex Garcia)

      * Alex reported that UJC has amending their bylaws to increase professionalism among the members. They are also proposing to increase Undergraduate Arts and Sciences representation on UJC because these students make up such a large percentage of the student body.
      * Alex reported that the Halloween party went well. The venue was a little small for the amount of people who attended, but should be ok for the St. Patrick's Day party. For the next party, we may want to investigate getting a different DJ, we need to make sure that people understand that they have to pay the $5 cover, even if they do not plan to drink. We also need to have more members of Council volunteer to help out with the party.
    Honor (Heather Mastapeter)
      * It turns out that there are already two GSAS reps on Honor, so we don't have the right to appoint someone. We may try to get them to send us email reports or visit some of our meetings to keep us updated on what is going on.
    Research Committee (Ken Price)
      * Ken reported that they have begun to recruit judges for the Huskey Exhibition. It will be held Monday, March 16. We need to do more advertising for this year's event. The Curry School has indicated interest in working with us for the Huskey event, but it has been hard to pin them down. Maybe they can start participating next year, since this year's planning has already begun.

New Business

    * Take on an intern: Alex has been investigating ways to get someone to help us update and redesign the website. She contacted the Undergrad Intern Program, but they need a faculty advisor. She also contacted the Media Studies Dept., but had no response. Dave H. offered to see if StudCo could help. Dave P. also offered the idea of starting a Wiki instead of totally revamping the website.
    * Write a letter for Wendy Perry: Alex reported that Dr. Perry's (who is in charge of Graduate and Postdoctoral Professional Development Programs) Programs have been threatened by recent budget cuts. She would like to send an official letter from GSASC to Dean Mills and Rosanne Ford to show that we graduate students appreciate all that she does to help us. John offered to ask Dean Mills about if we have a UVA letterhead for GSASC.
    * Budget Allocations:
      * Nov 21st Happy Hour: We voted unanimously to fund in full at $500 (in budget)
      * Lighting of the lawn: We voted unanimously to fund in full at $500 (not in original budget, but a nice gesture to help them, when we should be getting a Pavillion this year)
      * Classics Colloquia: We voted unanimously to fund at $500 because we decided to Budget $500 per major event this year in an attempt to give out money more equally. The full amount requested was $1500. They may request more money later.
      * Wine tour for Sat Nov 15th: We voted unanimously to fund this event at $300
Department Concerns
    * Chemistry: recently, students who work in labs have been forbidden to eat in them by Environmental Health and Safety. This is another argument for Graduate Students needing more space on Campus because many students who work in labs have no other place to store or eat their lunches.
    * English: Ken reported that because of the budget cuts, there may be fewer required ENWR classes offered in the future. This could affect the number of TAs who are funded to teach and could also affect the quality of students' writing across disciplines.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:09.