SFU_crest Icon

November 28, 2003

S.F.U. Biology Graduate Caucus

Skip to Content

Other Business

BISC Grad Caucus Meeting Minutes

28 November 2003

In Attendance: Jeff Ball, Andrea Pomeroy, BriAnne Addison, Joline Widmeyer, Raul Ursic, Brian Ma, Suzanne Gray, Martin Brummell

1. Advisor Evaluation Form (Jeff Ball):

- Joline, Jeff, Allison Henderson, Katrina Salvante, and Jonathan Stecyk met following the October meeting to draft a student/advisor evaluation form and outline a protocol for its implementation and management. The idea and contents of the form have been shared with legal services, the ombudsman, and the BISC Department Chair for feedback and comments.

- Jeff will speak with the Information and Privacy Officer before Joline brings the idea to the DGSC in January.

2. Grad student representatives on the faculty search committee (Andrea Pomeroy):

- Students responding to the survey ranked Joline and Katrina Salvante first to fill this role and the department chair, Tony Williams, supported the nomination.

3. Departmental Graduate Studies Committee (DGSC) report (Joline Widmeyer):

a. The DGSC plans to review the current state of the MET program over the next year.

b. The committee did not support allowing adjunct professors to fill the role of second member on a student’s advisory committee. Instead, at least two committee members must be SFU faculty. The restriction that both SFU faculty be from BISC has been relaxed and concessions will be made to students that demonstrate that their needs cannot be met within the department.

c. CHANCE TO PARTICIPATE – There is a potential opening on the DGSC this coming April for a graduate student. This is a minimum one-year commitment and the student must be available to attend all monthly meetings. For more information contact Joline (jolinek@sfu.ca).

d. Christmas Party – Leslie Dodd and Sharon Hope will be running this year’s BISC celebration. Joline has agreed to do the bartending. The caucus has been asked to provide $200 for door prizes – the motion was made by Joline, seconded by Andrea and passed unanimously. Caucus was also asked to take responsibility for the event’s music - CHANCE TO PARTICIPATE. This involves picking up the sound system, setting it up, and supplying and spinning a small selection of seasonal tunes. Contact Andrea (apomeroy@sfu.ca) if you would be willing to help out with this.

4. Mole Report (Joline Widmeyer):

a. - Dawn Cooper has volunteered to fill the vacant co-Mole position. Joline made the request on Dawn’s behalf and moved to elect Dawn to the position – seconded by Brian and supported by all (one abstaining).

- While the Moles are responsible for attending departmental faculty meetings and reporting the business conducted to the grad caucus, these meetings are open to anyone that wishes to attend as a spectator.

b. The department is getting a new colour printer. Details regarding location, use, and cost recovery measures have yet to be fully worked out.

c. The department will advertise for a limited-term lecturer position to replace Mark Winston whose teaching assignment has been move to the Wosk Centre for Dialogue. This position will be responsible for 2 undergrad courses per term.

5. Grad Student Symposium (Brian Ma and BriAnne Addison):

- 17 February has been selected as the date for this year’s symposium. Everyone is strongly encouraged to participate. The undergraduate advisor was hoping that the symposium be organized to coincide with, and be open to, interested upper-year undergrads. It was decided that this was a graduate event and would remain geared toward grad students. Brian will propose that graduate students would be willing to conduct an informal information period at the undergrad event to answer questions regarding graduate school.

- The format of this year’s symposium will include a lab poster reception and subsidies will be made available to labs for poster materials and/or printing. Committee members will circulate a survey to students for feedback on the Career Symposium that was part of last year’s events. This was an informative event that took a lot of work and was poorly attended. If a survey suggests lack of interest the event will likely be dropped. Progress to date was presented.

6. NSERC Travel Awards (Joline Widmeyer):

- The committee discussed the current state of these awards and provided suggestions to the DGSC as to how their distribution may be improved. These awards are administered by the Dean of Graduate Studies and are available to graduate students to cover conference fees and travel expenses.

- Currently, these are awarded on a first-come basis across all departments at the beginning of each term. The caucus is asking for an opening date to be put on the competition and will suggest awards be allocated to departments. Within the department, limits have been proposed on how many of these awards a student can hold during their degree.

7. Social Committee (Brian Ma):

- A proposal outlining the creation of a new BISC scholarship was discussed. The value of the award will depend on the success of fund-raising events and the number of donations and match-grants that can be secured. Recipients will have demonstrated participation in student governance and committees, and financial need. Details regarding the application and distribution criteria need to be refined.

- Brian will refine the details of the application and awarding criteria before attaching this proposal to the DGSC agenda in the upcoming months.