Meeting Minutes - 27 February 2012

Meeting convened in the Monroe Hall, Room 124 at 6 pm

Guest Speakers:

  John Evans - Housing:

     The plan to eliminate the graduate student housing in Copley is a "forced decision". Housing's top priority is to provide accommodations for first year students. Second priority is to provide for second year students to live on grounds.

     In his 14yr tenure, graduate student use of on-grounds housing has steadily declined. It is currently at roughly 50% occupancy.

     In the past 14 years, Charlottesville has added approximately 7000 bedrooms to the rental market. There are currently lots of vacancies 1+ mi. from Grounds.

     Current plan is for Copley Hall to be torn down and rebuilt in 2016. The new building will include some amenities aimed at graduate students (e.g., single rooms, apartments).


      Q: Is there any risk for Copley family housing?

      A: Yes, but not immediately. There is interest in using that area for more development. But nothing will happen unless money appears (which won't happen from Housing). There are rumors of a new college to be built in that area.

      Follow-up: Family housing is full and many people can't afford to move elsewhere. Also, this housing is older than Copley, so is it more likely to be taken out if a better offer (for the land) is made?

      A: If it would disappear, it would be due to the University taking the land away from housing

      Follow-up: Who at the University would make the call on eliminating family housing?

      A: The University Architect's office.

      Q: Do you manage the off-grounds housing programs?

      A: I will in 3 weeks. The will begin reporting to me then.

Honor - Emily Charnock:

   There were no GSAS candidates for Honor in the recent elections. Both spots will be open. Please contact Emily if you are interested.

   Ideally, these positions need to be filled by 23 March.

Student Council:

   Nomination for Adam Lees to take over the vacant Student Council spot.

   Unanimous vote to confirm.

Committee Reports:

    Initiatives Committee

  Dissertation Year Fellowships - Kate Sanger

        - Students from various departments have been in touch. Some departments are providing information to students that is consistent with what has been heard from Zelikow. Other departments are not consistent. Continuing to investigate to see if these are isolated incidents or systematic differences.

       Grad Days - Kate Sanger

        - Multiple Grad Days events are planned. We need more people to help (publicity, event planning, etc). Please talk to Kate if you'd like to help.

            - (Vic): There will be a "So you want to go to Grad School?" Panel for undergrads. Participants are needed.

            - (Crystal): We are compiling a list of student groups, send her an email if you know of them.

       Parental Leave Policy - Crystal Richardson

            - Tentative plan to take the existing proposal to student groups, then faculty, then administration.


          Q: Can we grant a waiter for the "3 month notice" rule for exceptional cases?

              A: Such incidences are already covered under existing University policy.

              Q: Have we thought about how to enforce this if an advisor doesn't follow this policy after it's implemented?

              A: If it becomes University Policy, the University will enforce it.

            - Motion to take the proposal to other bodies with the option to modify as needed. Seconded. Passes unanimously.

    Social Committee - Oat

       February happy hour on 29 Feb, 5:30-8pm at the Backyard.

       Planning events for social events at graduate days. Funding request is in. These events will be co-sponsored by other organizations. Social events will include a Happy Hour and a BBQ Cookout.

       "Open Grounds" will be opening on the 19th of March, there will be a catered 2 hour Open House.

    Huskey (Research) Committee - Shawn

       Abstract submissions are now closed, we have lots of applicants.

       Still short on judges for Arts and Humanities. Email Shawn if you have ideas (or if you know people from external schools which might be interested in judging).

       Discipline specific judging forms will be created, an Arts and Humanities person is needed to help with this.

    VP Updates - Mike and George

       FICA Taxes: The University has ended a FICA exemption for adjuncts. We are looking into this with HR and VPR.

       GSASC Work Days: Come to "work days", work on GSASC items and get fed. Is also a fun time. You can bring your own Grad Council work, or come to help out with other items.

       GSASC Organizational Structure: Proposal to add a new committee ("Grad Days"), rename some positions, and add an additional VP position will be forthcoming. The intent is to put this in place prior to the next elections.


        Q: Can we move elections to be calendar-year based instead of academic-year based? It might improve continuity for officers.

        A: Good suggestion, we'll look into that.

Funding Proposals

  Graduate Days

     $2000 requested for Grad Days social events.

     Motion to fund, seconded, passes unanimously.

  Chemistry Jefferson Lecture

     $400 request, 60 participants typically attend. BIMS and Bio are also involved.

     Motion to fund $400, seconded, passes unanimously.

Questions and Concerns

   Next week, Student Council will likely be asked to vote on the Living Wage Campaign. If you have an opinion, please contact Dave H. or Adam L.


Meeting adjourned.