AGSA Minutes 10 Sept. 2008

Anthropology Graduate Student Association

Meeting 10th September 2008



1. Welcome and Introductions
2. Information on the Role of the AGSA
3. Student-held Positions
4. Updates from Representatives
5. Projects and Events:
a) Coffee Kiosk
b) Other Events
6. Any other business

1. Welcome and Introductions

We were very happy to see such a great turn-out at the term’s inaugural AGSA meeting by both the new cohort and students from previous years!

2. Information on the Role of the AGSA

As the graduate student body for the Department of Anthropology at UBC, the AGSA is the place to get involved in Department activities, represent the Department on projects and committees outside of Anthropology, and keep informed of university business.

3. Student-held Positions

These positions enable both graduate student representation in Department affairs, as well as with the various other university organizations. We also have several people working in a voluntary capacity on projects and events that the AGSA is organizing. Several positions were filled, and others still need representatives. Students interested to hold one of these positions are asked to contact Natasha ( and/or Marina (

a) Co-Presidents: Natasha Damiano Paterson and Marina La Salle were nominated by Natalie Baloy, and voted into Co-presidency unanimously. (*** Although the original election took place last spring, we re-did this in order to make sure this was documented in the minutes***)
b) Events Coordinator: Tamar Scoggin stepped down; Arianne Loranger-Saindon will take over.
c) Social Coordinator: Natalie Baloy, Alison Torrie
d) Treasurer: Joanne (this position will need to be filled for January)
e) Department Representative: Molly Malone (this position will need to be filled for January; Solen Roth expressed interest)
f) Secretary: Ashley De Young
g) Representative to Sociology: Solen Roth
h) Undergraduate Liaison: Molly Malone

i) CASCA-AES Conference
Representatives: Natasha, David Geary and Arianne Loranger-Saindon

j) AGSC: Arianne (PhD rep) September and Tamar Scoggin (PhD reps) in January *** Post-meeting Jayme Taylor (MA rep) has had to step down due to course conflict so this position remains open ***
k) Space Committee: open (Molly to inquire with Department on who is currently on this Committee)
l) Website Representatives: Sandra Youssef, Lina Gomez-Isaza; Kate Hennessy has also volunteered to assist with the creation of a grad student ‘blog’
m) GSS Representative: open (1 MA and 1 PhD rep required)
n) TA Union Steve Daniel

4. Updates from Representatives

Molly Malone provided an update on the Department of Anthropology affairs, including the creation of a position for a Bio-Archaeologist; a proposal to have a Department Ethical Review for Undergraduate Research so as to avoid the need for each student to apply individually; two visiting Professors (Leslie Robertson and Nuno Porto); and student paper prizes.

Concerning the Bio-Archaeology position, a graduate student will need to be elected by the AGSA to represent us on the hiring committee. A separate email will be sent out to deal with this prior to the next AGSA meeting.

Concerning the proposed Department Ethical Review for Undergraduate Research [technically an Undergraduate Student Research Review Committee (USRRC)] Natasha currently has the draft proposal if anyone wishes to see it. According to the proposal, “the membership shall be comprised of a minimum of five members”, three of which must be UBC (appointed/ranked) faculty. The remaining members may be either graduate or undergraduate students, and the terms for these positions would be one year (two or three for faculty).

Molly also announced that the two new student paper prizes have been awarded to Tamar Scoggin (PhD student) for her paper “Tracing the Silence-Scape” and Oralia Gomez (new PhD student) for her MA thesis “Swinging ‘Round the Pole” (*** sorry if these titles are incomplete!***), so congratulations to them both!

Also, the department is giving Levi-Strauss and honorary degree for his 100th birthday this year!

5. Projects and Events

a) Coffee Kiosk

There was some discussion as to whether the coffee kiosk was a project that we wanted to continue with. Many felt it was worthwhile in terms of the funding it generated, the delicious coffee, and bringing people together who we don’t normally meet. However, in part because of technical difficulties last year, and the time investment required by students, there was hesitation to commit to doing it again this term.

Additionally, the question of what exactly we are raising these funds for was brought up by several people. Suggestions included using it to fund AGSA events (such as a halloween party), and several suggestions included asking the Department to match our funding. One ideas was to ask the Department to purchase a printer/photocopier, the upkeep of which would be funded by the AGSA through coffee kiosk proceeds. There was also some question of what happened to the subscriptions that were cancelled 3 years ago, and where this funding has been redirected if not to the graduate students.

While the benefits of having coffee and generating some funding is attractive, it really is a lot of work. However, interest to co-manage this operation with the Undergraduate student association has been expressed by them, and Molly said she would contact Sarah Turnbull to discuss this further.

No decisions were reached at the meeting so this will be taken up either by email or at the next meeting. In the meantime, please send additional thoughts/comments to Marina and Natasha.

b) Other Events

Due to time constraints, this item on the agenda was tabled to be followed up on via email and in the next AGSA meeting.

6. Any Other Business

a) Marie-Eve Carrier Moisan noted that last year a letter detailing the AGSA concerns and priorities in the Department was provided to the Faculty in advance of their retreat; however, to our knowledge, there has been no discussion of these items. As such, Marie-Eve suggested that we draft an updated document to submit to the Department, and she will liaise with Natalie to look at last year’s letter.

b) A reminder that the Anthropology Learning Community meetings are held on Fridays at 3:30pm; please contact Tal or Arianne if you have any questions or would like to sign up for next term. (*** Please note that this terms presentation list is now full, but there is still space for next term. As Arianne is the new Social Coordinator, she will be taking over for Tal next term. This was decided post-meeting by Tal and Arianne***).

c) A reminder that a video workshop is being held on Saturday, September 27 from 10am to 5pm; please contact Ana if you are interested to participate.

Next AGSA Meeting: TBA


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