AGSA Meeting Notes: October 10, 2013

Thursday October 10th, 2013 @ 1:30pm

In attendance: Daria Boltokova, Alejandra Diaz, Daniela Oliverio-Lauderdale, Sarah Fessenden


  1. Announcement from the REX representative Erick Carreras   
  2. Discuss a letter to the AGSC that Rafael and thirteen PhD students initiated, about monetary and non-monetary changes at the Department
  3. Nominate a grad student representative on the LOA (Laboratory of Archeology) Committee for this academic year
  4. Updates from representatives/committees


Announcement from Eric (REX):

Background info: Undergraduate Research Opportunities (URO). Graduate students and undergraduates are matched up (program has been expanded to arts and engineering) proposal research project writing practice; grad students write a bio and then select undergrads and vice versa (two way dialogue)

Project: question, literature review, how to design experiment/research, hypothetical results; then in March how to design a poster at a undergrad conference; intended to help undergrads look for research positions/work; URO offers the basics through workshops about how to get into research etc. and then grad students take over with specific project and questions.

Questions? Q: Research assistant or propose research project? A: Proposal of a research project primarily but can be a sort of RA relationship. Q: Human subjects research ethical issues? A: Doesn’t require that they collect data, so it is the pre-data collection process. Q: Time commitment? A: 4-6 hours per month; Nov-Jan/Feb

Deadline: Oct. 16th next Wednesday; 3 sentence bio is sufficient

(Emails direct to:

Letter to the AGSC:

-Rafael started the conversation; no one can finish in 4 years- Tends to be 5-6 years. Funding never covers full time you are doing your studies. Lack of support in general. Originally asking for $6,000 for one term to finish during last 3 months. For the next generation especially. Department needs to find ways to get the money.

Questions or discussion? Q: How realistic is it to ask department to find money so where is the money being re-directed from? A: Not coming from TAships or taken away from other students in later years. FOGS gives money and new students are expected to bring in money from outside department. GSI ($160,000) Depends on success of cohort each year. Maybe not sustainable to bring in so many students each year. Possible solution: enrollment and management of funding. Example: sociology accepts only 6 each year; TA undergrads in sociology. Q: In what ways could the program be streamlined? A: It is difficult but maybe less required coursework for PhD if they have done the courses previously. Also, more guidelines for committees and turning around revisions-2 week suggestion turn around on website for comps and need something similar for other steps of process. Expectations coming from Department Head. Policy within Department that has set scholarship money but it is not that way now. Note: Travel fund issues that occurred last year. Grad students want to be kept updated on budget issues. Letter as a precedent and documentation of history of instances and for future changes. Suggestion: “Continuing education” program at other university- paying less tuition when in writing up phase at university level.  Research assistantships outside UBC. Leave (parental or otherwise/personal).

Nominate representative for lab of archeology (LOA):

Alejandra was rep last year; Bryn volunteered and now nominated

Updates from committees/ representatives:

Bryn- pub nights are going well. Working on joint SFU and UBC Halloween party. Christmas party suggestions can be sent to Bryn. Liquor and license!

AGSC (Cordelia and Eva): will be contacted when appropriate to go

Department meeting liaison (Lindsay and Rachel): What kind of information is needed to be reported? Budget information? Example: 3% reduction across the board.

AGSA talks (Ale and Maddy): Four people have volunteered- Nov 7th and 21st (Rm 134).  Baked goods, sweets are welcome.

Union meeting (Sarah): Other departments allocated TAships differently. Example: Natural Sciences- students get admitted with money – same amount given whether or not get TAship.  Q: Does fieldwork count against a year of preference? A: Seems that no it doesn’t count.

If you have issues contact Sarah to get in contact with a rep. Next meeting tentatively next Wednesday at 5pm, which can be attended by any TA (location TBA).

Next meeting: Thursday Nov. 14th 1:30-2:30pm in Rm 141 (Not grad lounge)


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