2019-06-24 BoD minutes - Elections, committee introductions and expectations for the 2019-2020 GSC

Attendance: 16/27 members of the board. Quorum. See attendance spreadsheet here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1OeLXZohkXNmU2tIPwCye1da5A_BQY43af9sRlIAbFrw

Nominations for chairs

John Thompson for secretary
Take notes during BoD meetings and supports the GSC
Motion passes

Jack Weeks for Athletics Chair
Gave a statement
Motion passes

Weilai Yu for International Students Chair
No statement
Suggested by two members of the board that we do not elect him for this until he shows up to an event
All agree to this suggestion

Aida Behmard for Diversity Chair/URS
Statement through J. Pezzato
Motion masses

Anna Ho for Science Policy Chair
No statement, held this position last year
Motion passes

No candidates for

  • Research communications
  • Sustainability
  • Student-faculty workgroup
  • Arts
  • Health

Expectations for directors

  • Attend minimum of 9/12 meetings
  • If not attending, fill out form indicating lack of availability
  • Assist with town halls
  • Represent & advocate for your division
  • Participate actively in a core committee

Introduction to core committees

Social committee

Chair: Jacklyn Pezzato (jpezzato@)

The goal of the GSC Social Committee is to aid in improving graduate students’ work-life balance at Caltech through a number of on- and off-campus social events that appeal to graduate students of all backgrounds. First meeting on Wednesday 6/26/2019 from 3-4pm in Red Door Cafe

Events organized by the social committee:
Graduate Student Underground Social Hour (GUSH), which is held monthly
Community nights
Club nights each term
An on-campus Fourth of July celebration
An off-campus Spring Formal
Gradiators and other social events during new student orientation

Plans for this year:
On- and off- campus events
More family-friendly events
More support from Deans & Center for Student Services for large events
Collaborate more with Diversity Committee to have more social networking events for URMs on campus

Advocacy committee

Chair: Phillip Helms (phelms@)

The work of the advocacy committee works on behalf of all graduate students and alongside Caltech’s administration to address problems and look for opportunities for improvement. An important aim is to seek involvement of grad students outside of the BoD.

First meeting on Friday 6/28/2019 at 3 in sherman-fairchild library

Administrative responsibilities

  • Tax workshop
  • Health insurance workshop
  • Thanksgiving dinner
  • Use the grad student survey to advocate for students

Other advocacy

  • Housing
  • Stipend increases (GSC can target at least least another $1000 this year)
  • Student parents

Communications committee

Chair: Eduardo Beltrame (edaveiga@)

The communications committee ensures that the voice of the GSC is heard on campus, and manages the GSC website, GSC forum, GSC Facebook page and the Caltech Marketplace mailing list. The GSC science policy committee operates under the GSC communications committee.

Website update
GSC website was completely revamped: https://gsc.caltech.edu/

GSC Forum
Students are encouraged to post on the GSC Forum about updates/non-urgent things: gscforum.caltech.edu/. Clubs and other groups can receive dedicated categories, and mailing list can be mirroed into the forum, as was done with the Marketplace. Categories can be public or visible to only logged users.

We now have a Slack for all GSC BoD communications, open to all grad students at caltechgsc.slack.com/

GSC Calendar
The GSC calendar is available at gsc.caltech.edu/calendar/
To add your event to the GSC Meetings & Events calendar just send it as a Google Calendar invite to caltechgsccal@gmail.com. It will be automatically added to the calendar. Recurring events can be added to recurring events list by sending an email to edaveiga@.

Advertising events
You can advertise your events to all Caltech graduate students by sending an email to gradstudents@. Note that only emails about Caltech events will be accepted (suggested at least 24h time), and a maximum of two emails about the same event will be approved.

The Communications committee needs help to:

  • Manage the Facebook page and GSC Twitter
  • Documenting events/event summaries
  • Moderate marketplace listserv

Budget committee

Treasurer: David Brown (treasurer@)

  • Meeting in the next month
  • Budget should be approved at the August BoD meeting
  • Committee chairs will propose a budget for the year
  • Budget committee chairs will decide on allocations
  • Looking for a good mix of committee members, but no chairs
  • Have each committee chair nominate one person from each committee

Academics committee

Chair: Nicole Wallack (nwallack@)

Academics will have a statement next meeting

Miscellaneous Discussions and Expectations for 2019-2020

Concerns about expectations for BoD

  • Why do directors need to attend 9 out of 12 meetings yearly meetings? That’s a large time commitment
  • Rebuttal–need to be here to vote and provide a voice for your division, otherwise can be an associate director
  • Should we adjust our bylaws to allow online voting?
    • Want people to hear and engage in discussion about votes
    • May be able to address this at future meetings
    • Would need a ⅔ vote of the Board to change Bylaws and Statutes

Vision for 2019/2020

  • A BoD reception during orientation to gain interest and recruit
  • Peishi: Change format for BoD meetings to make less voting-centric?
    • Shorter speaker presentations to give more discussion
    • Seconded by a Board member who is skeptical of the idea that having one speaker per meeting will be productive
  • Nadia: is happy that the budget is going to be more transparent
    • Wants money to not go to food
    • Wants money to go to clubs
    • Camilla pointed out that we can also direct clubs that need more money to other funding sources
  • From David:
    • Large gap between reimbursements requested by clubs and the allocated club funding
      • Maybe a problem that a bunch of clubs are getting $100-200
      • Want a history of funded events for quickfunding & the remaining funds to streamline our voting process→ make these public
    • Reimbursement process changes
      • Electronic reimbursement form
      • Have people track the reimbursement process online
    • Restrict committee budgets in favor of clubs?
      • There is anger that committee budgets are going to food
        • These food expenses are for events, not committee meetings, & this is the same way that clubs use money
        • Invite clubs to the budgeting meeting to advocate in the same way that committees do (not presidents/chairs of clubs to avoid conflict of interest? This is what is done for committee chairs)
        • GSC offers a service that clubs are (for the most part) not doing–campus-wide events
    • Revamp funding request process for clubs
      • More standardized quick funding/event funding process
      • Allow & encourage people to come to the budget meetings
      • Reduce committee budgets and allow committees to submit for event funding as well?
      • Make quick/event funding a larger pool?
    • Clearer club proposal guidelines
    • Instruct clubs looking for equipment to check with the CaltechY, etc, before clubs purchase their own equipment

Have minutes approved at next meeting before being posted online?

  • Post on Slack for review
  • Give people a week to approve it before posting online