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GSC Meeting Minutes

General Council Meeting Minutes -- Sept. 8, 1999

GSC president and vice president introduced GSC and its functions. In serving as the representative government for all graduate students, the Council is the largest student government on campus.Committee co-chairs then provided the following introductions of their committees.

The Funding Board funds more than 60 graduate student groups on campus. Student groups receiving GSC funding include a GSC logo in their publicity. Any student is encouraged to attend an event that has the GSC logo included in its publicity. Funds for the fall term will be allocated on September 14.

Academic, Research and Careers Committee’s work is divided into three parts. In Academics, the committee serves as a bridge between students and administration. In Research, the committee uses the Travel Grant Program to help students attend technical conferences. Additionally, the ARC co-chair briefly went over the Council’s efforts to organize graduate student opposition to the US Congress’ proposed tax on graduate student tuition waivers. In Careers, the committee provides the following programs for graduate students: Career Fair, Professional Development Seminars, and Externships. The committee is always looking to improve and new members are welcome.

Activities Committee has a goal to enrich students’ life at MIT. Students can participate in hiking trips, red sox games, and cultural events organized by the Activities Committee. There is a campus wide Swing Dance on Sept. 17. The Activities Committee is planning to organize some cross-university activities, and requests volunteers to enable this interaction. The committee coordinates a few intramural athletic teams for graduate students. A fun committee to join.

Housing and Community Affairs Committee improves the living conditions of students, e.g., an advocate for more safe and affordable graduate housing close to campus, negotiating the introduction of ResNet to graduate residences and initiating the grocery shuttle. When MIT put some undergraduates in Tang, GSC bargained with the Institute administration to subsidize graduate students living in Worthington Place at the same rate they would have paid at Tang. In addition to advocating for more graduate housing, this committee is currently working to improve living conditions. Improvements include: making on-campus roommate choice more flexible, a better housing lottery, and off-campus issues such as modem dial-up access.

Muddy Charles Board of Governors is a small business. The Muddy has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, and most recently the Wall Street Journal as a popular place where young entrepreneurs get together to organize new businesses. The Board meets monthly and is exploring the possibility of providing lunch to graduate students while also organizing a cribbage tournament for this fall.

The Orientation Committee organizes Orientation events for all incoming graduate students. Around 20 different informational and fun events are organized during the fall orientation. Students who join MIT in spring are welcome to participate in these events. The Committee receives a lot of organizational help from Executive Committee of the Council. Most of the work is concentrated during the four months before fall Orientation. A few winter events are organized for Spring term admits. September 16 is the debrief on Graduate Orientation ’99.

Publications & Publicity Board has two missions, publications and publicity. This committee uniquely provides members with exposure to all of the Council’s work. Creativity and fun are the two important elements of the work.

Ring Committee is an ad hoc committee organized for the purpose of designing a true graduate student ring. Previously, the alumni replacement ring design was used for graduate students as well. It is a low-effort, big-result committee in that only ideas are required. One idea is to serialize the new rings. Next meeting to be decided after coordinating with Jostens.

Three ways to get involved

There are three ways graduate students can get involved with GSC.

* Regular member. No application form. GSC VP will take pictures of anyone interested in joining GSC after this meeting, and will put the pictures on-line in our membership database. Regular members are invited to all meetings of the Council and its committees.

* Departmental representative. Need to get 20 signatures to become a representative. Application form is on our web page.

* Institute Committee Representatives. GSC nominates representatives for these committees. This usually occurs in May though some committees still have vacancies.

Snowberg endorsed

Erik Snowberg ’99 is running for Cambridge City Council, the legislative arm of the city government. He would be in close contact with students to explore how Cambridge City Council can improve students’ life. Snowberg’s interest is to see students take an active part in local government and hopes that his candidacy will encourage more students to register and vote in city elections. He seeks endorsement of his candidacy from the Council.

Endorsement is a statement of support for his candidacy and involves publicizing his campaign and encouraging students to vote in the election.

A discussion went on about whether GSC should endorse any MIT student or endorse Erik Snowberg in particular. Motion to support Erik Snowberg’s candidacy was seconded. The motion passed by hand vote of: 48 supporting, 1 against, 3 abstainining.

The Orientation co-chairs thanked the Executive Committee and all Orientation volunteers for their generous help during Graduate Orientation ’99. Special thanks were extended to Brian Lee, Julie Lively, Adam Lorenz as well as the GSC President and Vice President for their contribution to Graduate Orientation ’99.