AGSA Meeting Minutes – November 4, 2010

1. Conference Funding (Sara):

  • Save your receipts AND boarding passes! Funding may be given in April according to John Barker, through the department. Possibly $300-$500 per student, depending on how many people submit receipts. AGSA will need to decide on a process to allocate these funds.

2. Letter to Department Re: Student Issues (Sara):

  • A letter was written and addressed during department retreat and the revisioning of the grad program.
  • Thank you to everyone who took part in the student poll. About 80 votes were submitted by 27 people (remember, each person was asked to choose 3 – although some didn’t) Student poll results:
  1. 5th year funding (22 votes, 25%)
  2. TA allocation transparency (14 votes, 16%)
  3. Gendered needs of students (11 votes, 13%)
    • These 3 concerns became our “top 3 recommendations” in the letter, the remaining issues were: streamlining program (10 votes, 11%), improving communication between supervisors, students, AGSC (8 votes, 9%), creating a research design seminar (7 votes, 8%), alternative evaluation formats (5 votes, 6%), social cohesion of the department (4 votes, 5%), study space (2 votes, 2.5%).

    4) Meeting with John Barker Re: Letter (with Sara and Diana):

    • Study space – administrative problem, no real solution; basement space a potential if Faculty of Arts allots it to Anthropology upon assessment of space needs.
    • Lockers available for storing belongings as an alternative.
    • TA allocation process – offered explanatory meeting, open to TA liaison idea; funding needs and financial situation not known to those on selection committee
    • Issues brought up during AGSA meeting Re: letter review:
    • Security issues with TA office
    • Students with SSHRC funding and TAships
    • possibility of creating an AGSA bursary or support for emergency funds for food, etc?

    5. GSS Meeting update (Meredith):

    • Working on policy for dealing with leave (sick, maternity), would like to invite students to create solidarity to ensure their voices are expressed at the meeting. Reps will let us know when it comes time for this

    6. Department Meeting (Morgan):

    • Campus security – break-ins in ANSO, 2-3 am, thus no real student danger
    • No night patrol in area
    • Security audit in works for the area, placing deadbolts on some doors
    • There will be a meeting with Dean, at the next department meeting. John would like to invite students to help voice concerns at that meeting.
    • SSHRC funding – forwarded 10, 7 affiliated (total 23 applications)

    7. Treasurer’s Update (Marlee):

    • Balance: $833.99
    • Fundraising – student emergency food fund? Medical costs? Need to decide
    • Treasurer appointment: Current appointment ends in January, new position to be voted on at next meeting (Dec).
    • Treasurer’s duties: Collect bank statements, hold debit card, reimbursing students

    8. T-Shirts and Logos (Diana Marsh):

    • Diana presented some logo ideas, she will email them to AGSA to distribute and possibly vote on.

    9. Committee Members for Holiday Party (Sara):

    • We would like to have a holiday party in early December, we need a committee to plan this! Anyone who is interested in volunteering to help plan the party, please email Sara.

    10. TA Update (Ana):

    • Unfortunately we ran out of time at the meeting for this (sorry everyone!) but Ana has learned from the TA Union that  the union counts the 4 years of appointment preference independently to the year we are in within our academic program.
    • When any of us leaves for a term or a year for research then that year is not considered as part of our 4 years of priority. In other words the TA-ship reappointment preference clock is stopped and that year is available when we come back form field work. Thus if a person had previous TA-ship, he/she went to the field for a year (and so the “TA-ship clock” had stopped during that year), and we have no funding from the university because we are in our 5th year of academic program, then would be in the high priority to get a two term TA-ship because we are on our 4th year of TA-ship preference.  This high priority is lost if we have other funding (scholarship or work) for that year or if we took a TA-ship while doing field work. This priority ends when the 4 years counted by the union end.
    • What this means is that many students may have a hiring priority to get two TA-ships in the 5th year of their program. This is a big difference than not having that priority at all.
    • Here is the wording from the collective agreemen (article 13.03):

    (v)           An employee who declines an offer of reappointment as a Teaching Assistant in order to interrupt his/her program of graduate study for a period not to exceed one (1) year, or who is formally recognized by the University as being on research leave or engaged in field work, for a period not to exceed one (1) year, will not jeopardize his/her consideration for reappointment under Article 13.03(b) and will not lose a year of preference for appointment.

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