2020-02-24 BoD Meeting Minutes

Attendance

  • See attendance spreadsheet

Agenda

  • Announcements
    • Minutes are on the forum
    • Explore Caltech is Mar 14, volunteers are needed
    • GSC elections will be the first week of May
  • Committee updates
    • Social
      • Formal will probably be at california science center
      • It will be the weekend after graduation probably
      • Haven’t been very active this term, Jackie is leaving in a week, so we need to elect a new social chair
        • This could be a temporary position for only 3 months
        • The time commitment is ~1 hour per month, other people will sign up to host specific event
        • The main thing is formal, but most of this is already set up
    • Advocacy
      • Tax workshop is coming up
      • We discussed campus wide smoke free policy with the administration, this is something on the administration’s mind, but this may take a while as this is a big change on the institute level
        • We will also add this to the survey
        • Some background: we have been asked by several people to advocate for this
    • Academics
      • Still trying to plan a science twitter workshop (will have to postpone)
      • Take an alumni to lunch
      • Graduate research spotlight talks are happening, please submit an abstract
      • Nicole needs help reviewing the abstracts
        • She will send an email to the BoD
      • The job talk webinar personality has offered to come to campus for a talk, we just need to provide transportation (someone would just need to take this on in terms of planning etc…)
    • Science Policy
      • People have been selected for the congressional visit day
      • Also planning to start having like a monthly or quarterly newsletter
      • Recently co-hosted a speaker with Caltech Y
    • Diversity
      • One of the committee members met with undergrad admissions members to find out how to increase diversity; will be including these in the diversity report to the administration
      • Would like to work with the new grad office to enforce equity and diversity training with the faculty
  • Currently looking for a new graduate dean
    • Please send Camilla an email if you have any good suggestions for this (camilla@caltech.edu)
    • They would like an internal candidate
  • OASIS quick funding event
    • See the event funding request on Slack (this is for a film festival)
    • This event is a lot bigger and more expensive than what we usually fund, this would maybe be a good proposal for the MHF
    • Before we decide about this, we would like answers to the following questions
      • When, if they will charge for tickets, do you have quotes for the venues
    • We will postpone the voting for this until we have all the details
      • Raj is here to answer questions and explain
        • This company funds indie filmmakers to make short films about their communities
        • They came up with this idea after the club funding event
        • Also they want to use this as a trial for maybe a bigger international film festival in the coming years
        • Questions
          • They are not going to charge prices, they want to see what the attendance is like and how it will go. Also, the association does not want to work with people who charge fees (to have a wider access)
          • Other funding: they will be asking Ask-It, they are planning have it at the end of April which means that they missed the MHF funding
          • Should they make it a one day event? No answer to this
          • They are planning to do this at Caltech and they will not be charged for the event space, they will just need to pay some small facilities
          • There are no fees for the movies, so this is all for food
          • They need to have food for each event and were budgeting $250 for each feature because they will assume that people will eat at each of the features
          • They may be to cut down if we offer less
          • Make sure to include the date etc… in the next proposal
        • We could also make it contingent on how many actual graduate students RSVP
          • Overall, we think this is probably the way that we will do this
  • There is also another Yoga event on Slack
  • Any other issues
    • Is there a way or interest in supporting other institutions whose grad students are fighting for wage increases, striking, etc… ?
      • For example, there are issues with other UC schools with the minimum UC stipend (makes working in more expensive markets difficult)
      • We had been contacted by other GSC’s
        • We weren’t able to sign on because of their very short timeline
        • There is also an issue with the type of non-profit we are, we are not allowed to engage in political activities (e.g. petitions)
        • We are not sure how much we can do in terms of support legally
          • We will talk with Caltech’s general council about this
    • Who are the current grad students on the MHF committee
      • It is Nicole and Peishi, if anyone is interested, please apply to be on
    • Issues about how to advocate for things: often we are being told to try and advocate for things bottom up (i.e. at the division level)
      • We don’t have a good way to do this, because it is much harder for individuals to advocate across departments (especially that they are not in)
      • Is there a way that we could split the work between departments with those people on the GSC
      • We could have directors of the GSC from each division represent us to their own divisions
        • Is this something that people are interested in? How would this work?
          • Basically, we would just make this known upfront
          • Probably most people who want to join the GSC would want to do something like this
        • One thing to keep in mind is that we don’t want to discourage people from joining the GSC
      • This would also be a good way for steering to communicate to the greater BoD about what is happening with our meetings with the deans
      • Also, note that the division chairs have a committee that they all belong to where many of the things that we want to advocate for would need to be approved
      • We all agree that this is probably in our best interest. Phillip will send out an email to the different members in each division to see if this is something we can get started
      • We would also like to have more communication between any local committees and the GSC, potentially having someone from a local committee as a BoD director (this would facilitate setting up meetings with the division chairs in cases where they already have meetings with local committees