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GSC General Council Meeting Minutes

Graduate Student Council

General Council Meeting Minutes

July 7, 1999

1. Funding Board

* Handouts about summer allocation were distributed.

* Sumit gave an introduction of the Funding Board. Funding Board funds different events subject to several categories such as social events and capital events, and cross-departmental socials. FY’00 budget is $78,000.

* Additions to funding guidelines this year. GSC logo is required; emphasizes a wider event focus to serve more students. The Funding Board also tries to increase the number of groups that are funded through GSC. There is an effort to atomize the funding system to increase efficiency, which would, however, entail monitoring of the system.

* The percentage increase of summer funding from 1997 to 1998 is six percent vs. 96 percent from 1998 to 1999. The trend is encouraging.

* Number of groups and events have increased a lot.

* The number of events have increased a lot, but the number of groups only increased by three. A question was raised about how can more groups know GSC? Answer: There has been more events organized. We do not know what kind of events groups are having, how much money the groups are receiving from other sources, nor do we have this information in the past. For example, Ashdown receives money from three sources, but this is not reflected in their accounts.

* Appeals deadline is Friday, July 15. No applications have yet been received in the area of cross-departmental socials. This could be an opportunity for the representatives, especially for any orientation type of activities that fit in the definition of cross-departmental socials.

2. Orientation

* If everyone in the GSC can step forward for one event, that won’t require too much time. Only two hours on one of the days.

* Still needs 35 percent volunteer right now.

* Descriptions of the events have been put on the web.

* Cross-departmental orientations.

* Orientation week Thursday schedule. Original idea was to have a picnic in the afternoon, then the Camera safari. One of the ways to get people back is to have a guest speaker. Orientation Committee has talked to Professor Bose. The problem is that Undergraduate Association has already taken the Kresge Auditorium, so GSC needs to find another place.

* An alternative is to use Killian court.

* Luis wanted to compare two possible ways to do the Camera Safari, whether it is better to have a guest speaker before people take off so we have a larger group to start with, or to have the speaker after the safari so people can come back to. Received comments on both sides. Any further comments can be made to co-chairs and officers.

3. Budget

* Quorum established

* Sumit introduced highlight features of the FY’00 budget. We have put an emphasis on publicity to increase GSC visibility. Budgets for all the committees are about the same. Funding board has been split up in two different categories to make it more efficient and make processing more easily. Two retreats planned. Budget also provided for other important service such as web-site and office upgrading.

* Activities Committee motioned to increase the budget for expenses of activities under Activities Committee from $44,000 to $47,300, pointing out the financial needs for organizing hyper-large cross-campus events, not just subsidized trips. Activities Committee did not have the events planned yet. The motion failed: six for, zero against, eleven abstaining.

* Recruiting tool for the officers of GSC to the National assembly in Columbus. GSC only attended one lobby day instead of two.

* Budget approved without amendment. 16 for, one against.

4. Ring Committee

* Kevin Davis motioned to form an ad hoc ring committee to design a graduate ring for the year 2000. A separate committee is needed because this task goes beyond the normal Housing Community and Affairs Committee responsibilities.

* Undergraduates redesign their ring every year. Graduate ring is only a copy of the Alumni ring with the appropriate degree designation on the side.

* Kevin was not indicating that GSC would be redesigning the ring every year from now on. He personally would want the ring not just for 2000, but to go until there is a new design. However, the ad hoc committee would decide this.

* Unanimous approval to form the ad hoc Ring Committee.

* No one volunteered to be the chair of the Ring Committee.

* This committee would be under the wing of Housing Community and Affairs Committee.

5. Stipend rate and cost of living

* Rent control has been eliminated in the Boston area and rents have been increasing dramatically as professionals start living in what used to be a student area. Stipend has not been adjusted to the increasing rent. Wondering whether people have heard complaints and whether it is worth doing some research to pursue this matter.

* Stipend level is basically set by the Federal Government. But we also have to recognize the fact that situation is different from graduate students in Cambridge.

* Dean Colbert is probably still the person in charge of this.

* Relevant questions for us to ask are as follows. What is the percentage increase in rents vs. the percentage increase in stipend? What is the percentage of rent in stipend? Also, can we ask off-campus housing to estimate the number of students wanting to move in MIT property vs. the available space?

* Further discussion and comments are referred to HCA.

* HCA may consider using the results from previous web surveys.