Meeting Minutes- 07 November 2011

 Meeting convened in the Monroe Hall, Room 110 at 6 pm


Guest Speakers

  Hallie Clark and Emily Filler (Living Wage Campaign)

     Living Wage Campaign is attempting to get the University to raise emplyee wages to a minimum of $12.01/hour to match Economic Policy Institute's estimate of the local living wage.

     Meetings are Monday nights at 8pm in Burke Hall, and they would like to get more graduate students involved.

  Dean Laushway

     Encouraged graduate students to meet with candidates for the Graduate Student Placement position.

     We are currently on the "front burner" with administration, it is a good time to bring graduate student issues to their attention.

     Graduate Week was successful last year. Would the council endorse the concept and support the establishment of a second annual Graduate Week? (The council was in support). Dean Laushway will send an email asking for interest from people to help out. The event will be used to draw attention to the lives and contributions of graduate students.



Dissertation Year Fellowships - Rob Stilling

   A list of fellowships was given to the English Dept. grads suggesting several fellowships which have previously been available are now on hold.

   It was noted that at the Restructuring Town Hall the statement by the administration was that the fellowships would be scaled back each year to match changes in funding policy for incoming students, but that the fellowships wouldn't disappear immediately. However it seems they have at the moment. The Politics department has also said Dissertation Year Fellowships should be considered unavailable unless told otherwise.

   Action item: Talk to Dean Zelikow to clarify the actual availability of these and other fellowships, and also talk to the Jefferson Foundation about the possibility of supplementing GSAS Fellowships.

Graduate Student Insurance - Jonas Hart

   There are no checks if a graduate student doesn't remember to apply for Health Insurance. However, the money is already set aside so it a student notices later they can still add it. Perhaps a check system could be instituted to be sure graduate students register?

   SHIC has thought about instituting checks, but the system is not in place to do it. Also, the committee is reluctant to chase after students as there may be a variety of reasons they aren't signing up for insurance (financial, pre-existing insurance, etc).

   Is there a liability issue when graduate students aren't insured?

   E. Ladner will discuss the issue with SHIC and see if there's a solution to ensuring students are registered. Email her if you have suggestions.

Initiatives Committee

       Family Leave

        - UVa is the only peer institute without a official policy on graduate student family leave. Currently policy varies between departments.

            - Investigation of this began as a student/professor committee, partnered with Women in Math and Science. They looked at 8 peer institutes, 7 of which have policies and 1 on which has proposed a policy (unclear if it's been implemented). They documented an additional 100 institutions which have policies.

            - Have a proposal to the University for the minimum standard (based on peer universities:

              Acadmic: up to 1 semester increase in the permitted time to finish degree.

              Financial: provision of financial support during absense for up to 6 weeks of paid leave

            - Discussion: Do we want to aim higher? Peer have institutes have started with these minimal standards, then increased them later. We can attempt the same here.

            - Who is the go-to person? Unclear, but the new Provost (John Simon) came from Duke (one of the peer institutes), so it would be good to contact him.

       Graduate Placement Director

            - Two finalists for the graduate placement director will come next week. One is from Georgia, one from Texas. Both have experience with placement for graduate students.

            - Survey showed interest in support for non-acadmic tracks as well as an online resource for information. People also liked the workshops (e.g., those run by Wendy Perry).

            - There was some confusion as to whether there was one position open which would cover both graduate students and postdocs or two positions (one for grad students, one for postdocs). Dean Laushway is going to get additional information/clarification

    Social Committee (Katie)

       11 November - Graduate Student mixer. With Engineering and Medical Councils. Food and drinks provided.

       19 November - Local Brewery tour. Including Star Hill, Devil's Backbone, and Blue Mountain.

       02 December - Wine and Cheese. Location TBD.

    Huskey (Research) Committee (Shawn)

        Event wil be Wednesday 21 March 2012. Flyers will be forthcoming. Tell faculty about the date to prep them for judging.

Funding Proposals

  Graduate Student Mixer

     $100 requested, motion to fund, seconded, passes unanimously

  Brewery Tour

     $490 requested for a bus rental. This would cover up to 30 people. Attendees will be charged $15, $12 of which goes to the breweries and the rest goes towards the cost of the bus. Total cost to GSASC will be less than the $490 request.

     Motion to fund, seconded, passes unanimously.

  Lighting of the Lawn

     Event is on 01 December. We haven't yet received a funding request, but we should allocate money because the next meeting is after the event.

     Motion to fund $300 (the same as the previous year), seconded, passes unanimously.



   Next meeting: 05 December, 6pm. Monroe 110.


Meeting adjourned.