AGSA – 14th January 2009 – MINUTES


  1. AGSA Department Representative Updates

  2. Graduate Student Conference Update

  3. Financial Issues

    1. Conference Travel Funds

    2. Coffee Kiosk

    3. Society Funds

  4. CASCA

  5. Letter to the Faculty

  1. AGSA Department Representative Updates

Department Representative: Solen presented updates from the last department meeting:

  • Regarding the search for a bio-archaeologist, the official announcement was made that Dr. Michael Richards will be filling that position as of April 2009. Dr. Richards will be coming to UBC in February for a short time and there is tentative talk of holding a ‘welcoming party’ during this time to welcome him to the faculty.

  • The Anthropology News is growing and students and/or faculty are encouraged to continue to send in information/announcements.

  • The Museum of Anthropology is officially re-opening on March 8th.

  • There was a review of graduate course offerings and a common sentiment that the quantity of graduate courses being offered is not adequate. There is a general agreement that there needs to be more official graduate courses (with official titles and numbering) offered and student input will be a crucial part their development.

  • Although there is discussion as to whether students who do not have a BA in Anthropology should be admitted to the Anthropology Graduate Program, the target goal for next year will be to have approximately 16-18 incoming students.

  • It was announced that the Graduate Record Forms will be making the transition into a digital database in which information will be digitally input by students – eliminating the need to print paper copies! This digital database generally aims to be easier to manage and more efficient. The system is set to be up and running by next year.

  • If any students have comments/input pertinent to AGSC issues, please see Solen before the next AGSC meeting (taking place at the end of January).

  1. Graduate Student Conference Update

Planning of the Graduate Student Conference entitled Collaborative Dialogues: Connecting Disciplines and Communities, is well underway. The call for papers will be sent out within the coming week with the deadline for abstract submission is February 11, 2009. Dr. Larry Zimmerman from the University of Indiana will be giving a keynote lecture on “The Archaeology of Homelessness”, and given the potential broad interest in the subject, it was discussed that the banquet/lecture be opened up to the public.

Many volunteers will be needed throughout the organization process, as well as on the day of the event. If anyone would like to volunteer, please get in contact with anyone on the Grad Conference Organizing Committee. There will also be a raffle held on the day of the conference, and any prize donations would be greatly appreciated! Contact the conference organizers here:

  1. Financial Issues

    1. Conference Travel Funds

Discussion regarding the funds allotted for student conference travel in the 2009-2010 academic year continued. Arianne is spearheading the organization of student input regarding the money, and will be formally presenting these ideas to the AGSC. A primary and clear stipulation for the allotment of the money is student participation in the said conference. The general consensus was the allotment of 10 travel bursaries per year at a value of approximately $300.00 each. As discussed last meeting, priority would be given to those students who do not have existing funding. It was agreed that the bursaries should not be given out on a first come first serve basis (as conferences are held at many different times throughout the year). There was some discussion as to the logistics of the application process including how many application deadlines there would be each year (i.e. a yearly deadline or a term deadline). There was also discussion as to whether the money would be given prior to travel, or after travel – as this would, for some students, mean the difference in going or not going. These are all issues that will have to be brought up in to the AGSC. Anyone with comments or concerns should see Arianne.

    1. Coffee Kiosk

The presence of a new coffee maker in the graduate student/faculty lounge is a pleasant surprise, however, it also means that the implementation of a coffee kiosk is no longer practical. The idea of a type of baked goods “kiosk”, or series of bake sales has been discussed, although the undergraduate anthropology society may be initiating a “food box” in the building at some point in the near future. Due to these circumstances, all plans for coffee or food related fund raising initiatives have been put on hold. All students are encouraged to brainstorm as to alternative and sustained methods of fundraising.

    1. Society Funds

Discussion continued regarding the purchase of a printer with society funds. To bring the matter to a close, it was decided that there will be a motion put to vote next meeting as to whether or not the funds should be spent on a laser printer for graduate student use.

  1. CASCA

CASCA extends travel grants for graduate students presenting at the conference and CASCA organizers are looking for 2 to 3 graduate students to form a committee (along with a faculty member who is being recruited by Gaston) that would adjudicate applications for grants submitted by incoming presenters. If there are any volunteers, please contact Natasha.

  1. Letter to the Faculty

After presenting the letter to the faculty at the AGSC in November, both John and Pat suggested that it would be most effective for the AGSA break down the letter and direct the various issues to the appropriate people/bodies. Natasha spearheaded the organization of a sub-committee (including Ana, Marie-Eve, and Natalie) to deal specifically with the particular issues that should be redirected to the AGSC. The sub-committee will forward the revised document (with only a select number of items) to AGSA members for comments and feedback. These recommendations will be presented verbally at the AGSC meeting on November 20th, 2009.

Next AGSA Meeting: February 11, 2009 (tentative, time TBD)


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