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20081006 Minutes

GPSA Council of Representatives
Monday, October 6, 2008
Memorial Room, Willard Straight Hall

I. Welcome and Introductions (2 min.)

a. GPSA Introductions

M. Guerrero called the meeting to order at 5:38 p.m. He introduced the officers. He introduced himself as Executive Vice President and D. Rose introduced herself as Vice President for Operations.

II. Open Forum (5 min.)

M. Guerrero asked members if they had any items to discuss in Open Forum. There were none.

III. Executive Updates (10 min.)

a. Vice President of Operations (Deondra Rose)

i. Committee Appointments

D. Rose thanked everyone who applied to be on a committee. She said the GPSA made a large number of appointments in the last few weeks. She said there were a few committee openings left and asked those who did not have a short sheet to pick one up at the back table. There was a link to the list of committees on the sheet.

ii. Slope Day planning committee

D. Rose said the GPSA needed someone to help with the Slope Day Programming Board.

iii. Climate Neutrality

Recently, D. Rose had an opportunity to meet with a group that works on the President’s Climate Neutrality Project. They are looking into getting more graduate students involved in their group. She said M. Walsh would be talking more about this later in the meeting.

M. Guerrero said he would like to get a motion to move B. Forster’s Advocacy Committee report up on the agenda. N. Evensen made a motion to move agenda item IV up. B. Forster seconded. The membership voted in favor with 0 opposed, 0 abstentions.

b. Executive Vice President (Mario Guerrero)

i. GPSA Info

M. Guerrero asked law, vet and professional students whether it was okay to address them as “graduate students” or whether GPSA should add “and professional.” K. Capossela said it would be great if they did and K. Hermans said she did not have an opinion. M. Guerrero said he would start including it in his correspondence.

ii. Into the Streets

M. Guerrero said this event is a community service day for students, and the volunteers will be doing all kinds of jobs. He brought this up in case anyone in GPSA, especially the Events committee, might be interested in organizing something.

iii. Ad Hoc Committee: Review of Charter

M. Guerrero proposed an Ad Hoc Committee review GPSA’s Charter. Last year, the charter had undergone a few changes. He explained the Charter does not specify how often they need to review their policies. However, he wanted to make sure the charter reflects the changing times so they can better serve graduate students. He said at the next assembly meeting, they will be forming that committee. He noted if any CoR member would like to be involved, they should attend the meeting or send e-mail and GPSA will make sure to include them in the process.

He asked the members to fill out the sign-in sheet and provide their correct contact info.

He also said he received a grad student e-mail complaining that some newspaper dispensers on campus were marked “undergraduate students only.” M. Guerrero and B. Forster are looking into that issue and will get back to the members after speaking to the SA or the Office of the Assemblies.

He said if any members had some issues, even if minor, to talk about, they were more than welcome to bring them up so they could put them in the agenda.

IV. Committee Reports (10 min.)

a. Advocacy Committee (Brian Forster)

B. Forster said the committee met with Gannett to discuss what the available options were for Geneva students regarding health care and health insurance issues. It was determined Geneva students are considered “in area” and so they have the same benefits as Ithaca students. He encouraged people to take a look at what was sent out via e-mail and contact him or any of the committee members if they had any comments or thoughts on this since the committee is planning a second meeting with Gannett.

He also said Bethsabe Romero, one of the other committee members, had met with the mental health committee today. He said he has not received a report on this yet, but he hoped to have an update at next meeting.

The Advocacy Committee was having another meeting later this week, and anyone who has comments or issues to bring up is welcome to come.

b. Events Committee (Kate Caposella)

She said they were going to have their first meeting on October 20th and Grad Night Out is set for October 14th. She distributed flyers about this to the members to be hung up in the departments. She said she has had a conversation with J. Kupferschmidt on the budget and was already working on it. She then thanked M. Guerrero for bringing up “Into the Streets.” She said she would like to coordinate something with it if there was enough interest.

V. External Committee Reports (5 min.)

a. University Assembly update (Ed Strong)

He said at the last meeting, the UA had a presentation from a rep from the Childcare Committee. He said the first deadline for grad student applications for the childcare grant has passed, but the next deadline is December 5th. He noted the annual salary cap for grad students to receive a grant is $60,000. Several questions came up regarding different application deadlines for students, employees and faculty. The reason for having different deadlines was that the childcare grant for each group was given separately. M. Guerrero asked E. Strong to send him the link so that he could include this in the next “info” e-mail. He also said this could be a resolution item.

b. President’s Climate Neutrality Committee (Mike Walsh and Dan Roth)

M. Walsh introduced himself and Dan Roth. He showed the carbon neutral documents 5 “action areas.” He said he wanted to hear people’s ideas to improve Cornell’s environment and to develop a plan to achieve climate neutrality. He announced that a sustainability event was going to be at Weill Hall (the first LEED gold certified building at Cornell) on October 22nd from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. On November 8th, there will be a student led event and they are going to talk about little things that can be done to improve the environment. The location is TBA. There were some questions about electricity usage and water treatment plans. M. Walsh said Ithaca was very interested in what Cornell was doing. There were some additional questions. M. Guerrero asked M. Walsh to send him info on his presentation and on all the events.

VI. Other Reports (25 min.)

M. Guerrero announced that Richard Kiely from Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) was there to give a presentation. R. Kiely introduced himself as the Director of the Center and said he formerly held B. Wickes’ position. He said the Center opened on July 1st and had three program areas — one for faculty support and two for grad students. The two programs for students are the International Teaching Assistant Development Program (ITADP) and the Teaching Assistant Development Program. One of their goals was to compliment and support the Graduate Community Initiative. He noted the Master Teaching Certificate Program is for any graduate student to take a series of courses and workshops with faculty mentorship to develop their portfolio. He explained if they completed this program, it would show on their transcript. This would work well for those who were interested in going into the career of teaching. He said the other area they were very concerned about was mentorship. He said he was looking for feedback to help make these programs successful. He said as for the Master Teaching Program, they would like to connect with every college. He said they were working with the Grad school on the mentorship model. Lastly, he said he was working with B. Wickes and the GCI committees. He said he was reflecting on what role the Center has in Career Services. He asked people to send him e-mails with ideas, comments, etc. He said they could educate CTE on the needs of graduate students in terms of TAs, mentorship and career services.

M. Guerrero said in the e-mail he sent out with the meeting agenda there was a list of future events attached. He asked if members had any questions for R. Kiely.

A. Richter asked what role the center played in terms of mentorship. R. Kiely said they still did workshops and noted he created a course called “Syllabus Design” that would be offered this fall. He said in order to help people think more about mentorship, they were bringing faculty to panels, doing brown bag lunch series, etc. As a part of the program, they would have a Faculty Advisory Board as well as graduate students and they would be faculty mentors. Participating students would have to go through the program with a faculty mentor who would evaluate their portfolio, teaching and so on. This would help students build strong relationships with faculty around professional development. The participating faculty would have to commit to going through the process with students. He said it was important everyone was on the same page about what constituted mentorship programs. He also mentioned in the future, there would be some sort of publication on this.

M. Guerrero asked how this program could help master students. R. Kiely said that right now any level of graduate student could participate in workshops. R. Kiely said they would have a survey soon to collect feedback since feedback was crucial to the success of the program.

M. Guerrero asked R. Kiely to send him info.

J. Kupferschmidt asked what those students who could not attend workshops or required specific workshops could do. R. Kiely said they were working with specific colleges and would be doing consultations with groups of students. Students could attend several workshops but it was much easier if they defined specific fields they wanted to work on.

VII. Adjournment

M. Guerrero asked for a motion to adjourn the meeting. D. Rose made a motion to adjourn the meeting. N. Evensen seconded. The meeting was officially adjourned at 6:22 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Elly Shin
Office of the Assemblies