Nov 12 Meeting Minutes

Anthropology Graduate Student Association

Meeting 12th November 2008



1. AGSA Department Representative Updates

i. Treasurer

ii. Social Coordinator

iii. Graduate Conference Representative

iv. AGSC Representative

2. Letter to the Department

3. Financial Issues

i. Coffee Kiosk

ii. Society Funds/Spending

4. Other Business

i. Blog

ii. Holiday Celebration

1. AGSA Department Representative Updates

i. Update from Treasurer

Our treasurer, Joanne, presented figures on finances regarding the operation of last year’s coffee kiosk. The start-up cost for the coffee kiosk was heavy, but this was offset by the low costs of maintaining the kiosk throughout the year. A total of $623.72 was spent on supplies for the coffee kiosk, while the total gross revenue was $1576.52. The coffee kiosk was certainly a success with a net profit was $952.80.

ii. Update from Social Coordinator

Nathalie presented a brief update on current and upcoming social activities affiliated with the anthropology graduate student association. The recurring Friday night meeting at Koerner’s pub has had a steady attendance throughout the first semester. This upcoming Friday, November 14th, Alison is hosting a student gathering at her place and all are welcome. The social coordinators have begun to think about planning an event for next semester, perhaps a field trip to see ‘Lucy’ in Seattle. Nathalie suggested that inquiry into funding for the trip would be a good idea by either talking to John or perhaps using money from the coffee kiosk funds.

iii. Update from Graduate Conference Representative

Ashley reported on the progress in the planning of the Graduate Student Conference. The theme for the conference will be “Dialogues: Connecting Disciplines and Communities” and it is tentatively scheduled for March 7, 2009. An invitation for the role of keynote speaker was sent out to Dr. Larry Zimmerman, a professor of Anthropology and Museum Studies at Perdue University, Indianapolis. Dr. Zimmerman replied with a tentative yes, however, he will inform us with a final decision within the next 2-3 weeks. A call for papers in the process of being developed and will be completed within the upcoming weeks.

iv. Update from AGSC Representative

Marie-Eve provided an update from the last AGSC meeting, where the concerns of the department letter were overviewed and discussed. The motion to extend the window for taking the comprehensive examinations to include May will be presented at the next AGSC meeting. The deficiency in communication within the department was recognized and discussed and there was a proposal to hold a meeting with all graduate students in the near future to enhance communication and clarify issues regarding the graduate academic process.

2. Letter to the Department

Regarding the contents of the letter, a meeting with John and Pat provided constructive feedback on every issue raised in by AGSA. The constructive comments received are valuable and will be taken under serious consideration, however, there was a general consensus that the letter be distributed to the faculty in its original form. This consensus stemmed from the desire to show the initial intentions of the letter, perhaps with a note stating the ongoing process of consultation and modification. It was agreed that the letter be distributed to faculty by the end of the week (by November 14). Discussions on avenues for future action regarding the concerns in the letter included: (1) organizing a committee that will deal with the letter and with the task of redirecting issues to the appropriate parties; (2) bringing some of the issues to the next AGSC meeting and to the Head (separately); and (3) bringing appropriate issues to the GSS. Natasha has offered to organize this committee in the coming weeks.

3. Financial Issues

i. Coffee Kiosk

The report from the treasurer revealed the success of the Coffee Kiosk, and it was generally agreed upon that the kiosk should be organized for the upcoming semester. The success of the Coffee Kiosk can also be strengthened by working with interested undergraduate students as well as graduate students. Before starting up again, it was suggested that we speak to Radicy about any issues presented last year that we can attempt to resolve this time around. It was suggested that we have an emergency coffee cleaning kit to avoid carpet stains from spilled coffee. Another proposal was to buy a better (not-leaky) coffee pot. It was also suggested that we set a goal for the semester’s profit income.

ii. Society Funds/Spending

The $952.80 profit from last year’s coffee kiosk has not yet been spent. Also, John has provided a matching amount of money to AGSA, making a total of approximately $1900.00 in the association’s funds. It was suggested that an important principle to consider in spending the money is the notion of encouraging and fostering a community feel among anthropology graduate students. Natasha proposed that forming a committee in charge of researching various ways to spend the money would be beneficial. The following are the various ways of spending the money that were discussed:

(a) Printer – The possibility of buying a printer for free graduate student use has been discussed for some time now. Issues raised regarding this avenue primarily included the monitoring of printing. Where would the printer be located? The unmonitored computer lab in the basement of the AnSo building would create a situation in which individuals from outside the anthropology graduate student population could have free access to it. Another issue is the general abuse of free printing. How could this be avoided? A final issue discussed was the maintenance of the printer. How would a constant supply of paper and ink be sustained? Using funds from the coffee kiosk? Answers to these questions were inconclusive, however, Rafael offered to look into the costs associated with investing in a printer in order to facilitate the decision-making process.

(b) Sponsor of printing cards – As an alternative to buying a printer, it was suggested that AGSA use the money to sponsor printer cards for graduate students to offset the high printing costs incurred by students throughout the year.

(c) Student Retreat – A final option discussed was the funding of a student retreat which would take place at the end of the academic year. Marina and Natasha said that they would look into this option in greater detail and present the information at an upcoming AGSA meeting.

4. Other Business

i. Blog

Kate suggested that a meeting be organized in the near future (after AAA’s) to discuss privacy issues regarding the graduate student blog. She also suggested that the graduate student conference planning committee use the blog either for private organizational purposes or as a public space to promote and discuss the conference.

ii. Holiday Celebration

The anthropology Graduation celebration scheduled for November 19th has been cancelled due to scheduling conflicts for many of the graduates. Nathalie suggested that we talk to John about having a joint holiday-graduation celebration. The budget that was allotted for the graduation can perhaps go towards the holiday celebration which could be held in early December. Organization for this holiday party would need to start soon, and this includes sending an email to find a host. If there is no host available for the gathering, it was suggested that it be held at Thea’s Lounge, or the Old Barn Community Center on campus. Marina and Natasha are in discussion with John about the organization of this event and will update the AGSA when they have more information.

***** Next AGSA Meeting: Wednesday, December 3, 11:30-1:00 *****


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