AGSA Meeting Minutes – April 6, 2011

1. Nominations and elections (Sara)

  • We will have an online election for co-president at the end of April, all nominees will submit short biographies beforehand. Our co-presidential nominees are: Ale Diaz, Morgan Moffit, and Mascha Gugganig.
  • Here are the newly elected members for 2011-2012:
    • Department Reps: Diana Marsh, Diana Moreiras
    • AGSC Reps: Marina LaSalle, Morgan Moffitt
    • GSS Reps: Meredith Mantooth, Lauren Harding
    • Space Committee: Lauren Harding

2. Meet and greet committee (Sara)

  • We need a few people to organize this event for the new cohort during the summer. The committee will likely have to meet with John Barker for a  budget, make a pub reservation, decide on an activity, revise the guide for students.
  • Meredith Mantooth, Diana Marsh, Morgan Moffitt, Ale Diaz, Brianne Phaff, and Diana Moreiras volunteered to work on this.
  • There will be 16 incoming students next year: 11 MA, 5 PhD.
  • Perhaps the committee will also create an orientation document with info about the department.

3. Department meeting update (Marina and Morgan)

a) Department fast track policy

  • AGSC want to make it easier to fast-track, in order to be competitive with American schools.
  • Policy now is that you need peer-reviewed publications, etc, to be fast tracked, but this is not student initiated.
  • Students can’t apply to fast-track, supervisor needs to request this
  • There is currently no transparency with this process, this policy should be easily accessible. If you don’t know it exists, how are you supposed to know about it? (faculty initiative vs. student).
  • Criticisms of fast track: funding issues, takes 8-9 years average, higher drop out rate, criteria are vague, perhaps the department should focus on creating successful students who complete their programs instead of focusing on recruitment.
  • Marina will be asking for student recommendations, concerns, and questions about this, she will present it to the AGSC.

b) Travel award update

  • The department will administer the award, but AGSA will provide the framework for allocation.
  • Send Morgan your ideas and she will take them into consideration (morgan.e.moffitt [at] gmail.com).
  • This will need to be completed as soon as possible, this process will need to be underway over the next two weeks.
  • We will create a poll to survey AGSA members about their opinions.

c) Sustainability letter

  • This was well received at the department meeting
  • No substantive comments or suggestions about the letter, but we got one very positive and encouraging email from a student.
  • AGSA should contact the undergraduate AGSC rep as they would like to be included with this.

d) Using mailboxes for personal mail

  • This is OK with faculty, but something that will have to be discussed with the administrative staff.

e) Comprehensive exam update:

  • Changes voted in.

4. Creation of an institutional memory document for next administration (Sara)

  • Sara needs help with this document, especially from those with AGSA experience.
  • This will basically be an outline of key issues and key things that the new administration will need to be aware of. It can be revised each year.
  • Essential for the next administration, it can be very frustrating without.
  • E-mail account will also be passed over.
  • Documents like thesis formatting or other accumulated info… What to do with it? Put up on blog? How do we keep things accessible? With Eleanore?
  • Getting a space for AGSA might help, and we might be able to do this by making the AGSA an official AMS club.
  • But, the downside of that is that we would need to follow AMS rules, and submit financial information through them.
  • Process may be tedious but we might be allocated space.
  • Lauren will look into this.

5. End of year trip/party

  • This Saturday at Jericho beach we will have a BBQ, starting at 1pm. Sunday is the rain date.
  • Diana is organizing this, please contact her to sign up for things to bring (diana.e.marsh [at] gmail.com)
  • Meredith will make a reservation at one of the BBQ sites, AGSA will cover the cost of that.
  • Dada suggested a “prettiest cup” contest to encourage people to bring a reusable cup, she will supply a prize.

6. TA cheque rebate

  • The amount was raised because some people did not cash their cheques.
  • If you do not get it in the next week, please e-mail the TA Union, but it is probably just poor processing speed.

7. Ask department about photocopy situation

  • Re: Ana Vivaldi’s e-mail.
  • It seems that the Faculty of Arts is the one who has changed this. Sara will email Radicy for more info.

8. Bargaining and potential strike (CUPE union) (Meredith)

  • Negotiations ongoing – people are encouraged to go to TA Union meetings, they are really important.

—THANKS EVERYONE for a great year—

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