26 January 2015 AGSA Meeting Minutes

In attendance: Steffan, Joe, Heather, Megan, Danielle, Martina, Maddie, Eva, Clayton, Ezra

  1. Updates from Reps
    • Lindsey – Union rep
      • TA and Markers union bargaining for new collective agreement
      • No significant updates and could take some time (last bargaining was over 2 years) If job action would get lots of warning à see website http://cupe2278.ca/bargaining/
    • Cordelia – Dept. rep
      • Presentation about computer security
      • Recommend encrypting computers (especially if on fieldwork)
      • Faculty strongly recommend apply to Trudeau and Vanier since not a lot of students do (if have SSHRC cannot apply)
      • Anyone can apply at the first step and department only puts one of those forward (talk to graduate secretary and supervisor)
    • Ezra – Centennial Initiative Fund
      • Application made for 3 day event celebrating diversity of work at UBC
      • Event would collaborate with Musqueam
      • Also try to involve other disciplines to discuss topics
      • Application looks very strong, award is up to $10k
    • Michelle – GSS update
      • GSS survey results are in and looking to get mandatory minimum stipends for grad students
      • GSS hired a general manager to run things
    • Joe – AGSC
      • We have yet to be invited to a meeting
  1. Review of AGSA letter to the Department from last year
    • Talked with Daria about the background of the letter (traditionally just asking for funding and other issues around financials)
    • Changes were made through recommendations in this letter (dissertation financial aid award, change to 4YF – if get SSHRC can still get tuition bursary)
    • Thinking of changing theme of letter to stress departmental involvement and communication and less on funds (since funds are already low)
    • Looking at changing 500 to one term
    • 506 to more of a research methods course (where grads would also organize colloquiums and blend those with AGSA talks), maybe also at times separate MA and PhD students to address specific topics relevant to those at different levels, poster templates
    • May also be good to try and collect possible class topics for 506 to present to the department
    • Other proposed changes was streamlining the comprehensive exam process, taking less coursework (or perhaps if keep coursework amount the same offer more courses)
      • Less coursework à also would be beneficial for those students who completed an MA at UBC Anthropology that they would not have to take the same required amount as a PhD student
    • Maybe create a directed readings catalogue of past directed reading courses and the syllabus
    • Can we ask about changing the comprehensive exam system? Move towards a similar system done at SFU and UVIC (you write over time 3 publishable papers and still create the same annotated bibliography and defense)
    • Streamlining of dissertation writing process
      • Better communication between students and supervisor and also know responsibilities for both parties
      • A manual may be helpful, creation of timetable for turnarounds of drafts etc…
  1. Poster Session/Anthropology Research House
    • May still be on the plate for 506
    • SFU has an arch symposium March 7th
    • Steffan will go to 506 to discuss this
  2. Departmental and student faculty engagement
    • Could have AGSA talks/colloquiums as a continued event at same times throughout the month as a cohesive unit
    • Martina has organized a collaborative work shopping group Tuesday 9am, very informal, just getting feedback, trying to connect across different cohorts
    • Pub nights Wednesdays at the Fringe (6 onwards)
    • Department activities – maybe a potluck in the department, food parties (cupcake decorating etc…), selling pancakes and bacon
    • Department Yard sale (may also be a fundraiser)
    • Martina will organize a hiking/snowshoeing day – check for future emails
  3. AGSA fundraising ideas
    • Ice cream social
  4. Funding post year 4 while writing
  5. New profile page
    • PDF file that will be sent around that you can fill in and then send back to be posted online
    • No limits on words yet but that may change
    • Current set up is that MAs and PhDs are separated into different pages on the UBC website and would like that to change so that they are collapsed together
    • If no info in one category then you will not have any blank sections on your profile page (ie. Awards, if you have no awards there will not be an awards link on your profile to an empty page)
    • Any comments, questions, suggestions contact Heather and Joe
    • Cannot be updated all the time unfortunately, can ask to update information beginning of any term
    • Any info sent to Anth News can be CC’d to Joe or Heather to be added to your profile

AGSA November Meeting Minutes, 20th November 2014

  • Take GSS health Survey
    • Link in GSS news letter
  • Sound system and DJ rentals available from Campus Radio
  • Update on Centennial Funds: working on interdepartmental application and collaboration with Musquem; different sub-disciplinary panels
  • Cordelia no updates
  • Heather and Joe meeting with Joe Barker
    • Discussing new layouts for grad profiles on the department website
    • Want to switch from list to table that keeps MA and PhD students together and not separated
    • So presenting a table format that also lists what stream you are in and then a different tab layout
    • Also going to see if we can create a new system for website profile updates so that Eleanore doesn’t have to do it
  • Archaeology Day (Bryn update)
    • On the 21st of March
    • Jasmine has expressed interest in helping Jing
    • Day long symposium centered around “Destruction”?
    • Megan will also help volunteer
  • Alternate location and day discussed for pub night to up attendance
  • Benefits for becoming a club
    • Access to the club benefit fund
      • Only be used for events not recurring
      • Can only be used for less than half the cost
      • Downside is a lot of paperwork to keep club status going
    • Email GSS about becoming an affiliated group
      • Steffan or Martina email VP finance (possibly named Guillome?)
    • Department Christmas party
      • Funding for party = get in touch for Jasmine (150$)
      • Martina getting cups/plates/table covers
      • Invitations
        • Printing for Faculty and Staff
        • Email for everyone else
        • Posters
      • Ordering liquor and Ice, also non-alcoholic beverages – Storm brewery
        • Bryn order
        • Heather pickup
        • 37 L of keg plus extras from liquor store that can be returned (wine, beer, cider)
      • Serving it right
        • Bryn and Heather
      • Semi formal
      • Decorations
        • Decorating party (make decorations)
        • Bring whatever you have to decorate
      • Set up 5/530
      • Liquor license starts a 630
      • Heather speakers

AGSA September 2014 Meeting Minutes

September 11, 2014 AGSA Meeting

Convened at 1:10

In attendance: Steffan, Bryn, Joe, Sultan, Anastasia, Michelle, Cordelia, Lindsay, Ezra, Jordan, Jasmine, Katie, Eva, Martina, Collen, Heather, Megan


  1. Welcome and intro to AGSA and events
  1. Filling open positions
  1. Brief intro on last year’s letter to the AGSC and response (these will be made available after the meeting for discussion and possible action in the next meeting).
  1. Undergraduate Research Opportunities (URO) club – Intro (Adam)
  1. Brainstorming possible fundraising ideas and objectives

2014/15 AGSA Officers

AGSA Pres/Vice Pres or Co-Presidents: Steffan Gordon, Martina Volfova

Treasurer: Jasmine Sacharuk

Secretary: Megan Wong

AGSA talks organizers: Heather Robertson; Bryn Letham

Department Rep.: Cordelia Frewan (PhD); Colleen Parsley (MA)

AGSC Rep.: Lauren Harding (PhD); Joe Hepburn (MA)

Social Chair: Bryn Letham

LoA Reps: Bryn Letham and Katie Roth

GSS Rep: Michelle Hepburn

TA Union Rep: Lindsay Moore

Undergraduate Liaison: Jordan Handley

Social Media Coordinator: Jasmine Sacharuk


-introductions of those in attendance

-described positions and called for candidates

– Sultan had to leave but volunteered for any position that wasn’t filled

-short presentation by Undergraduate research Opportunities representative (Adam)

-will be providing follow-up info to Martina for interested gradstudents

-some discussion of AGSA positions

-Lindsay suggested that Undergrad liaison duties could potentially be handled by Department reps, since Undergrads would also have a rep at the meetings; ultimately there were enough volunteers to fill the position

-Martina contacted by Undergrad president regarding organizing Undergrad arch day and Grad school; following up

-decision to have a social media coordinator

-main concerns of last year’s two letters to the department outlined; letters and response will be emailed to AGSA by Steffan

-travel/conference attendance grant raised by Steffan as an example of a possible item to fundraise for

-Lindsay raised concern that fundraising should be for things that will benefit both PhD and MA students

-possible fundraisers include soup/chili sales on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, when undergrads take most of their classes; T-shirts, requiring deposits before they are ordered

-Bryn reminded everyone of pubnight this evening; still to be determined if will regularly be on Wednesdays or Thursdays

Meeting adjourned 2:10

AGSA Meeting Minutes October 2014

AGSA Meeting: Oct 20th minutes

In attendance: Steffan Gordon, Martina Volfova, Joe Hepburn, Jordan Handley, Cordelia Fewren, Bryn Letham, Heather Robertson, Eva Marley, Lindsay Moore

  1. Cordelia – updates from Departmental meeting

Important: We must keep our Academic Records updates – especially new MA students

The Departmental website is being redone and restructured. There is a website committee: All graduate students (MA and PhD) will be in one location “graduate students”–The suggestion from the department is to have someone from the AGSA responsible for keeping it current and consistent – photos, short bios, and other info we want there. We as a student body can decide how we want to structure it.

Heather and Joe– volunteered for this task, we need to discuss what kinds of things we want to have on the website – this will be brought up at the next AGSA meeting – suggestion of researching what other departments include on their websites.

Developing an institute for critical indigenous studies; First student intake 2017/2018

  1. TA Union: election of new executive; chief bargaining agent reelected.
  1. Joint SFU and UBC party – Halloween party at Jordan’s place. Heather has started a preliminary planning – mainly inviting SFU people.
  2. We need to start organizing Christmas party – either the very end of November or the first few days of December. (AAA meeting in December) Set for Friday, November 28th.

Heather – will get the liquor licence. Bryn will check with Ali to see what was purchased last year, which worked out great.

  1. Discussed how to better engage graduate students in our department in departmental and AGSA activities.

Some ideas include: better advertising for AGSA Talks to encourage people to not only sign up for the Talks, but also attend them. Martina will try to organize something like “Anthropology Café”- where students could meet informally to discuss their current work – projects, papers, thoughts on specific topics… Martina will also prepare a little speech about grad student engagement and will try to give a little talk to the new cohort at 506.

Steffan has been looking into AGSA becoming a club. Will continue to do that and will give us more updates at the next AGSA meeting.

AGSA Meeting – December 1, 2011

1. Treasurer election for new year

  • Maggie stepping down
  • Keep rack of what is spent, reimburse people
    • Vancity, can only withdraw twenties
  • Helps with conference; fronts money for conference food
  • Nominate Christina
    • Second, third, accepted.

2. ASA (Hillary and Nelissa)

  • Work with us for a side panel at conference
    • Volunteers and presenters
    • Contact Cate to get involved with conference
  • Pub nights every first Friday of the month
  • 9 January: back to school themed cookies and milk night
    • ask Dr. Menzies for his SFU undergrad id photo
  • 11 January: anthropology field school info night
  • Collaborate on a BBQ at the beach?

 3. Holiday Party

  • Check on whether minors are permitted to attend
  • Bake sale profits: $114.55
    • Will cover booze
  • Need to set up/clean up
    • Post 500 papers set-up party
    • Megan has Christmas lights, hanging lanterns
    • End time is at 10pm.
  • Non-alcoholic beverages
  • Who is getting stuff?
    • Social committee
    • Ale has car

4. Department review

  • Meet at Morgan’s at 5pm, 2 December 2011 to discuss
  • Hand it in to both external review and department
  • 4-5 pages, single spaced
  • Department worries are mostly in agreement with AGSA thoughts

5. Diana (AMS/GSS)

  • Casas: federal lobbying power
    • AMS opted out, GSS stayed in as own entity as full members
  • GSS considering leaving AMS as an organization
    • Worry is that AMS does not consider GSS as constituents of AMS
    • Hire someone to look at what this would legally/fiscally/individually mean for GSS and graduate students
  • Gage South Project
  • Put in new bus loop
  • New SUB
    • Increasing levels of student fees to pay this off
    • GSS will have more access/space
  • Also want to put in new townhouses for faculty and graduate students: rentals (“affordable” at 5% below market price)
  • Talk to Dr. Menzies about housing on campus
  • Remaking/Rebranding AMS logo and AMS
    • Rebranding all the restaurants in the SUB – $35,000 or more
  • Worried about desire to increase number of international students
  • Having trouble to support current students…
  • GSS
  • DOF funding: funding for department events, that we can apply for
    • 50cents per graduate students at event
  • shoe drive for installation piece and then given away for further use by people who need them—if you have shoes you want to donate… (end 2 December 2011)

6. AGSA talks

  • Need Graduate Students to sign up for talks
  • Also need snack people
  • 12-1 on Mondays

AGSA Meeting Mintues – 27 Oct. 2011

AGSA MEETING NOTES — 27 October 2011

TA update:  we have two execs at the meeting

  •  Still negotiating
  • Old agreement in place until the new one is accepted
  • TA is work, not funding

GSS/AMS/External committee update


  • Lost representative, we are only allowed one now
  • Actually have two because AMS to GSS is in Anthro
  • Sacha is new representative
  • Grad Pub: have to straighten out the closing of the pub
  • Then looking for outside company to run the pub
  •  Try to streamline the pub and make money
  • March is the earliest time it could open again (more realistically will open in September.
  • UPass can be sent to you if you make an argument at the correct office (not here defined)
  • Sacha will be looking that up.
  • Streamlining non-academic-misconduc
    – (get in trouble on campus that is not academically related)
    – Go and fill out paperwork, which goes to a committee and then decides whether or not the
    case should go to a hearing.
    –  Students involved in activities off campus CANNOT be tried on campus.
  • External committee
    – Work on making a database for getting TAships across departments


  • Trying to represent graduate student interests in the creating study spaces; want to charge fees, and that is going to cause some problems
  • Want to make these useful for interdisciplinary grad areas
  •  Approved research for using postal codes to see how long it takes and how much it costs people to get to campus.
  •  How does UPass figure in?
    – Price cannot be lowered
    – Tax refund at end of year
    – Want to increase transit to campus and lower cost of living on campus.
  •  Overall campus planning
    – Controversy over where condos are being built
    – Hosting open houses to facilitate discussion
    – More construction for green spaces and walkways
    – Trying to get more secure bike parking.
    – Lots of ongoing housing projects
    – Planning community shuttle routes (Maybe run both ways?)

 Anth Undergraduate rep.

  •  Possible group activities:
    – Beer garden for anthropology week (in March)
    – BBQ fundraiser (also during anthro week)
    – Anthro journal for both Undergrad and Grad
    * Online?
    * Want to print as well
    * Undergrads very interested in this
    * Have applied for funding
    * Combine it with the graduate conference
    * Print papers in journal
    * Use page limits
    * Encourage undergrads to participate by having undergrads present papers during
    anthro week and print those papers
    – Haunted house tonight from 5-7pm
    – Pub night (sometime this semester?)


  • Were ranking funding applications, so no graduates allowed in meetings
  • Now need a representative for further meetings…
  • Department Meeting update:
    – Main controversy: revision of peer Teaching reviews across the university
    – New proposed system: scratched talking to students.  Use review teams (one person from
    within the department and one from outside)
    – Worried about biases from people from outside the department
    – How will people be involved?
    – Ten-yeared profs. Can be called up like on jury duty?
    – Feedback from Anthropology department was not positive.
  • New courses in Anthro
    – These aren’t actually new courses, just new numbers for courses.
    – Make independent studies into classes with numbers
    – Pushed through from last year.

 AGSA Talk Series

  • Things are going really well
  • Want more professors for next semester: have to approach them individually
  • Match a graduate student with a faculty member (Timing is the main concern there)
  • Anthropology PhD holders from other departments?
  • Archaeologists from SFU?
  • Want to keep it in the department so we get to know each other (At least for this year)

Department Review

  •  Our document is due Dec. 15th
  • Want a committee to start working on that document
  •  Diana wants to be a part (discuss MOA aspects)
  • Talk to new cohort.
  • Also think about what made us come here

 GSS events for grad students with parents

  •  Aimed for people who want to bring their children and can’t stay late
  • Anyone interested in helping plan such an event

 Christmas party (Dec. 8th 6:30-10:00)

  • Getting a liquor license (have to buy)
  • $237 total for GSS building
  • $15 dollars to run fireplace
  • $75 fee for us to use our own license
  • Room is free
  • If we want to hire a bartender ($100)
  • Poll who has Serving it Right certificate
  • Any volunteers
  • Bring over our own Coffee/Cocoa/Tea and Baileys
  • Potluck snacks and deserts
  • Undergrads are invited
  • Bake sale for fundraising? * Between 21st to 25th of November?

AGSA Meeting Mintues – 28 Sept. 2011

28 September 2011 (Second meeting of the year)

Letter for department review has been submitted

Departmental rep. updates (Diana and Diana)

  • Departmental review in January (there will be multiple parts for feedback—TAs, undergraduates and graduates.)  AGSA can/will submit a review in December (given to Dean’s office).
  • Some applications for visiting researchers—one from Taiwan (does not have a background in anthro), second is going to be joint between journalism and anthropology, third will be women and gender studies

AGSC update: next meeting will be in a month (no date), they are discussing Vanier applications.

  • Still need PhD rep.  We need to elect one at the next meeting.
  • Undergrad enrolment in lower level classes has dropped

GSS update: Meredith and Lauren resigning positions.

  • We need one representative to attend; elect two for a proxy and support.
  • Diana will stay as AMS rep, nominating Sacha
  • Sacha new GSS rep
  • Meredith and Lauren will need to officially resign and set up Sacha in the position.
  • Motions in GSS for working on 5th year PhD funding, and increasing TA funding because increasing cost of living.

Financial Update (Maggie):

  • Department does not actually support AGSA
  • $513.31 in budget.
  • Fundraising?
    • Pub nights in collaboration with Undergrads.
    • Anthropology goes to the Races (Hasting Race course)
      • Include Undergrads
    • Snack table (honors system?)
      • Set up where?
      • In AnSo or outside?
      • Raffle off Cannucks tickets (Megan)
    • Charge BBQ with Undergrads?
      • Set up outside AnSo; Buchanan courtyard?
      • Do sooner than later because of weather
    • Food truck fundraising?
      • Megan will look into it
      • Check with what the rules are for getting other food companies on campus.

ASA (anthropology undergrad group)

  • Need Undergrad rep.
  • Nominated and elected Diana
  • Get Undergrad people to attend our meetings

Social Events Update:

  • All you can eat Sushi night?
  • Rachel’s boyfriend’s party:
    • Spanish Mustache Party
    • Friday, September 30 at 9:00pm
    • Location: 2620 Glen Drive (Glen & 10th, near Clark and Broadway)
  • David Pokatillo playing in a Band; support him with both grads and profs.

AGSA Talk Series (Sacha)

  • About 25 people attended
  • Talks were amazing
  • No faculty as volunteered yet
  • Snacks needed for a number of weeks

Email from TA union Rep

  • Presentation about bargaining process
  • Extend eligibility for TAships (3yr for MA, 5yr for PhD)?
    • Anthropology does allow for all graduates to apply, yr does not matter.
    • TAships are competitive in the department
      • Competitive for teaching ability not for funding
      • John is sending us figures about TAships and they are competitive for job, not funding.
    • Work with TA union to list all open TA positions in a database to open it to other departments?
    • Volunteer teaching positions for experience; more teaching experience than some TAships.
    • Push in the right directions
    • Work on changing the tone of discussions with department; don’t want to antagonize people and create sides.


  • Talking to a few people in GSS