2019-07-15 BoD minutes

Approval of new Director(s)

Rajashik Tarafder, is running for the international chair and to be a new director; first year in physics; interested in politics

Approved as a new director

Quick Announcements

Anytime you want to give feedback it is always welcome

You can email the chair or reach out to any of the committee chairs

International Student Committee Chair Election

Two candidates

Weilai Yu: G3 chemistry student, international students are a significant part of Caltech, current member of the committee although he has not been involved previously, and working to make new events for international students. Wants to continue having these events for international students. Wants to enhance the tax workshops to include international student issues, help to address financial issues with international students, provide job information and recruiting events, provide a platform for aggregating resources, work with the international student office. His major motivation is that he feels that international students coming here are facing unique challenges and want to try and advocate for change on this front and help international students. He sees President Rosenbaum’s statement is strongly supportive and believes that the point is to try and maintain academic diversity.

Specifically wants to improve the GSC survey for international students (addressing international student specific cost for example)

There are some concerns that he has not been present at the previous international committee meetings

Rajashik Tarafder: has similar goals to Weilai. There is a spending account available to US residents that they can use to save for dependents (international students don’t have this). There are unique burdens to international students that he would like to address. One idea is to refund the service fee. Continue with international movie night as a way to expose the wider Caltech audience to international movies. Helping with IDs and navigating the visa and travel process. Also, provide greater resources for international students for finances and general. Enjoys working as an advocate for international students; wants to remain involved with the GSC and helping international students (he has been involved since coming here). He also thinks Caltech is in a unique position to advocate for international students; he doesn’t have anything against the recent statement from President Rosenbaum. He thinks we are currently being proactive, but there are many things that we need to do over the coming years (especially if things continue to get worse).

He has been very involved in the PMA committee meetings

Voting result: Rajashik Tarafder is elected International Student Committee Chair

Update from committees

Social committee

Wanted to do a 4th of July celebration, but was not able to get it organized, will have a late July event instead around Milaken pond with snacks etc…

Academics committee

Working on math bootcamp and review as well as field trips for career development

Open to hear new ideas, please contact Nicole

Members are required to attend the meetings and help plan two events per year


Increased involvement in advocacy from the wider community

Topical advocacy meetings with invitations to the broader grad student community

Anonymous suggestion box

Yearly student rights email

We need better follow up on the town halls

Will try to work with the people who are organizing the local town halls

Send out a general report about what happened there

Automatic annual stipend increases

Other: housing, prof development, grad student parents, student-adviser relations

One other thing to note is that there are separate issues with international student parents (again, one of the main differences is a dependent spending accounts that US students have access to that international students do not)

Expand the definition of dependents (although not including spouses), one way to characterize is non-spouse dependents


Marketplace in the GSC forum

This is only visible to logged in users

One request for a club to be included in the forum; there is now space for clubs in the forum (this will be focused on graduate students)

The calendar is on the website (you can add events by emailing Eduardo)

GSC newsletter: Making a new newsletter in HTML, maybe bi-weekly although other options: weekly would be nice to keep, monthly could also be nice to make a more professional email

Events will be archived on the forum by emailing the gscevents email

It will still be possible to email all grad students by emailing gradstudent mailing list

The current events are now on the forum

Any events that you want to advertise to the GSC can be advertised by inviting the GSC calendar

There is a facebook and twitter account; if anyone wants to be in charge of this please talk to Eduardo

Slack enterprise grid: allows an enterprise to have one workspace where everyone is a member. Everyone at Caltech would be a member so it would be possible to message anyone. However, it would still be possible to create individual shared or private workspaces like we do now. We are going to suggest adopting Slack enterprise grid to the administration

Diversity committee

Hosting McNair scholars on July 31 and need people to help out, please send Aida an email

There will be an email to sign up for committees after this meeting

Update on reimbursement request

Presentation pushed to next meeting. New guidelines available at https://gsc.caltech.edu/funding/

Discussion of Policy for responding to committee/club overspending

We need to make an official policy for what to do if clubs overspend
We already discussed increasing quick fund
We need to decide if we are going to always deny these or if we are going to have a justification form or something like that
Some previous examples mostly focus on cases where the spending was underestimated or not well planned
One option might be to have quarterly review (however this would only work for committees)
Another option now that we have slack is to discuss things there
Decision: Make a form that will get sent out for electronic voting from the BoD, we can limit the funding based on the number of graduate students that attended the event