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December 11, 2008 Minutes

Meeting Minutes 11/13/08

Meeting called to order at 5:40pm.

In attendance: Joern Kupferschmidt (Chair), Nighthawk Evensen, Erica Gutierrez, Lina Yi, Mohammad Hamidian

I. Open Forum

No comments in Open Forum.


GPSA Budget moved to end of meeting.

GPSAFC bylaws.

J. Kupferschmidt asked for general feedback before detailed reading of bylaws.

It was asked whether there is a lot of replication of many groups with similar purposes.

N. Evensen and J. Kupferschmidt estimated that a number of such groups exist, especially regarding club sports. Also, they said this appeared to be more of an issue for actual Special Project requests such as funding special seasonal events. Lina Yi pointed out that there may be nonobvious cultural issues preventing organizations from joining efforts.

J. Kupferschmidt mentioned that repetition and many small groups need not necessarily be a bad thing as it makes it easier for people to find a group sharing their interest. In general, groups for general social purposes or sports purposes need not necessarily be discouraged. The purpose of the Activity is to improve student life in general, it’s not just a fee for an organizing body.

It was suggested to create a website that would include a tree that lists groups according to their purposes and the activities that they do. (A statement of purpose is already recorded with the SAO, but it’s not very accessible and not well advertised to students.)

J. Kupferschmidt reported that at the last FC meeting, it was discussed as to whether the three different funding categories — Program, Club Sports, Publication - should be kept incompatible as they are now. It seemed unnecessary to restrict any groups activities in that way.

It was agreed to suggest an increase in the Appendix B maxima, to $42 per day for food for long distance speakers, and $130 for hotel accomodation.

N. Evensen needed to leave and excused himself.

M. Hamidian suggested the creation of an additional funding category “Departmental groups”. The suggestion was vividly discussed. The following aims to present the views expressed.

There are many groups which are not just founded from general shared interest, but from shared professional interest. Currently there is no category for these groups.

Currently this leads to confusion as to whether umbrella organizations, as e.g., student councils in the professional schools, should employ social or program funding for their various activities that don’t perfectly fit these categories. In this respect it was noted that the wording of the “program category” seems to indicate that it was indeed intended for actual, larger scale program events.

It was suggested that it could be made obligatory for these groups to send one of their members to the council of representatives. Practically, this could be implemented by requiring group’s constitutions to contain a paragraph to that extent, or to include such statements in the FC bylaws.

Similarly, it could be demanded that for such organizations to fulfil the purpose of group building and information exchange within departments, there be mandatory meetings once a semester or year, and that the president, vice president and treasurer are elected at such a meeting.

It was suggested that these groups could be given a certain budget a priori reflecting the size of their student population.

Pro: - This will allow groups to put on member driven events in a more spontaneous way than to have to submit a Special Project Request.

Uncertain: - A fixed lump sum may entice profligacy. This may or may not be a concern: Many groups don’t spend large parts of their budget. It thus doesn’t necessarily seem that the availability of money also entices everyone to spend it no matter what.

Neutral: - The unspend budget should revert to the FC by the end of the year.

Numbers: - It appeared feasible to give $3 per student in a field of study (the distinction between fields and departments was noted) and between $150 - $200 per group fixed — the latter would depend on the actual number of such groups, for which no good estimate existed.

Possible activities for such groups were suggested to consist of (a possible overlap with the social category was noted, and it was decided to resolve this later)

  • Annual general meetings
  • Discussion forums
  • field trips
  • social activities

Wording for such an additional category remains to be worked out.

J. Kupferschmidt suggested to look at smaller changes over the break, and it was agreed to discuss these either via email or at the next meeting.

GPSA Budget

J. Kupferschmidt mentioned that he intended to introduce new DUO codes. It was agreed to discuss a proposal via email.

To gather feedback from student group it was agreed to have a very short survey, despite the possibly justified existence of the term “survey fatigue”. The budget for the GPSA passed by the assembly two weeks earlier was discussed.

J. Kupferschmidt noted that he forgot to propose an amendment so that there would be enough money for food for all FPC meetings.

Distinctions between food and general committee expense were approved by a motion of the assembly.

It was determined that to exceed any particular budget item the assembly would have to vote on it. J. Kupferschmidt suggested a next meeting in February, depending on when the byline funding process will start.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:10pm.

A suggestion was made to incorporate random attendance checks. It was then discussed that the FC essentially relies on an honor system when allocating money.

GPSA Funding Policy Shortcuts

Contact GPSA Funding Policy

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Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853

ph. (607) 255–3715
fx. (607) 255–2182

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