AGSA Meeting Minutes – January 26, 2011

1. Update on letter and department retreat

a. Letter to faculty (Sara)

Our letter was sent to all faculty after all, however, it was not sent until after the faculty retreat. There are things we need to follow up on, for example, the possibility of student presence at TA allocations.

b. AGSC recommendations (Marina)

The AGSC has proposed changes to the grad program, and Marina is seeking student input. The change to the departmental defence has been passed, but changes to the comps procedure will be discussed at the March department meeting.

i. Departmental defence

• Department decided to remove the departmental defence requirement as it is redundant, hard to schedule, just adds more time before graduation, etc. In addition, it was meant to act as an open forum, but only the examining committee would show up.

• Public presentations will be encouraged instead, however a venue needs to be created to do so. There is a need for clarification on this.

• Perhaps a seminar series/class separate from 506, where faculty as well as students are there. Also, MA students should be encouraged to present their work. How to get people in the department to attend presentations regularly?

ii. Anth 506 improvement

The department would like to make 506 work better for students:

• Students seem to like the flexibility of topics covered, research design info might be better allocated to research methods classes, conference and SSHRC preparation are popular.

iii. Comprehensive exams

• Department would like to make it a cleaner process, keeping oral (proposal defense) and written (comprehensive exam) aspects separate.

• Need distinction between “clarification” and “re-writing” (although concern for the fact that clarification is easier to do orally, rather than composing a written response, but scheduling could be an issue)

• Basically, students would like more clarification about what is being proposed in terms of changes to the comps process.

2. Hiring (Iain)

• Decision made by department to extend an offer of tenure-track employment to the candidate.

• Questions about hiring protocol, but this does not have anything to do with the candidate’s evaluation.

• Possibility of having the new candidate co-teach/give presentations next term to get to know students in the dept.

3. GSS Update (Lauren and Meredith)

a. January general meeting

• GSS exec structure to change: streamlined (no longer assistant VP position, adding paid secretary positions). Motion passed in order to increase efficiency

• 1 representative/department motion did not pass

b. Tuition increases

• Meeting with the Assistant VP to be scheduled. GSS to combine with TA Union to lobby for increased TA/RA salaries to parallel tuition raises of 2%

c. “Beer, Politics, and Pizza”

• Lauren is Chief Electoral Officer, hosting candidate debate: Thea’s Lounge, 5pm, Jan 27th (FREE BEER AND PIZZA)

• Voting begins the following Monday

d. GSS childcare task force

• Looking for input

• Parental leave policy treatment, trying to work with FOGS to improve it

• If you are interested in participating, contact Lauren

4. Museum Advisory Board (Diana Marsh)

• Anthony Sheldon at MOA contacted Diana re: student representative on the Museum Advisory Board

• Intent is to get student input for events, shows, etc

• Contact Diana Marsh if you would like to help, she is forming an advisory committee

5. Social Plans

• Snowshoeing a success

• Pub nights continuing Fridays?

• Talent show in conjunction with undergraduate Anthropology Week?