SFU_crest Icon


S.F.U. Biology Graduate Caucus

Skip to Content

Other Business

Bisc Grad Caucus Meeting Minutes

February 25, 2005

Holly Middleton, Brian Ma, Raul Ursic, Suzanne Gray, Jordy Thomson, Martin Brummell, Will Stein, Oliver Love, Dawn Cooper, Jason Catterson, Charlotte Voss, Aaron Wirsing, Pete Katinic, Sandra Webster, Kat Salvante, Allison Henderson, Andrea Pomeroy, Keith Tierney.

1. Andrea welcomed all; the agenda was introduced


2. Housekeeping - caucus reimbursement

    • a) The SFSS requires that a motion be passed at the beginning of every semester for reimbursement of meeting supplies. Expenses cannot be pre-approved for the following semester.
      i. A motion was tabled for the reimbursement of meeting supplies, Seconded by Martin Brummell, Carried


    • b) Graduate Symposium Committee members will be having lunch meetings to organize the upcoming Graduate Symposium.
      i. A motion was tabled that caucus pay for lunches for symposium committee members, Seconded by Raul Ursic, Carried


3. Grad Symposium, March 18

  • a) Funding: Biology has agreed to fund $1200 – $1300, Dean of Science $1000, SFSS may pay for posters, which should be approximately $1080. Since the total requested of SFSS is more than $1000, the funding will need to be put to a special SFSS committee. Overall, labs and individuals will not have to pay for event. Poster printing will be carried out by Lawrence Lee in REM. Posters are due to Courtney Albert (caa@sfu.ca) by 9:00 a.m. Tuesday, March 15. Documents must be PowerPoint. Please include lab name, email address, version of PowerPoint, and whether you are using PC or Mac. Maximum size is 36” x 48”. A digital camera can be borrowed from the Biology Department (see Fiona Burrows).


  • b) Prizes:
    i. The grand prize for best poster is a $100 gift certificate to the pub.
    ii. Each lab must submit a question about their poster with submission. During the symposium, labs will get a questionnaire to fill in. A $50 gift certificate will be awarded to the entry drawn from correctly completed questionnaires.
    iii. There will also be door prizes, which were donated.


  • c) Food and beverages will be supplied.
    i. Brian Ma is facilitating the liquor license.
    ii. Beverages will be distributed based on tickets.


  • d) Volunteers for symposium:
    i. Setup: Charlotte Voss, Sandra Webster, Kat Salvante, Pete Katinic
    ii. Take down: Martin Brummell, Raul Ursic, Allison Henderson.


4. Free legal advice

    • SFSS has a lawyer that provides free advice to students. Call SFSS for scheduling.

5. SFSS travel awards

    • Within the next two months, Bisc Caucus will hold the travel award lottery. Entrants will compete for $100, which can be used for hotel, registration, travel insurance, or flight. Students can only win this award once. If a student has won this award previously, did not claim it, and did not advise Bisc Caucus, then that student is ineligible.

6. News from committees

    • a) GIC representative Raul Ursic:
      i. There will be a tuition increase this fall that will likely account for inflation. The UPass will increase as well ($2 – $3), as will the Student Service Fee ($1-5). The Student Service Fee has been frozen for over ten years.
      ii. The university health plan for graduate students is progressing; the legal details are being worked out, and there needs to be a referendum before implementation. The plan will likely cost $300 per year per grad student, and will not depend on TAship. The service may be in place by this fall if the referendum results are positive.
      iii. Graduate Fellowships: there will be changes in how the GFs are distributed for the 2006 competition: professional programs (e.g. MBA, MET) will still be allocated based on headcount per department; the change will be in research intensive programs, where 50% will be based on head counts and the remainder based on departmental success in graduating students. The total money will remain constant.
      iv. There are two GIC positions opening with the summer semester: GI Officer (GIO), for 30 hrs per week and a stipend of $750 biweekly; and an ‘at large rep’ – which requires less time and has a stipend of $750 per month. Applications are available at SFSS.


    • b) April 1st will be the graduate social at the Highland Pub.


    • c) DGSC representative Suzanne Gray:
      i. Supervisors and funding: ensure that you discuss top up amount with your supervisor. If you have any questions, please discuss with Suzanne; this can be done anonymously if necessary. A general discussion ensued on whether it is okay to request less base units as opposed to more – if you only require 3, and are assigned 5, it is the departments job to solve. It was suggested that it would be useful to have a specific area on the TA application form to indicate the number of units requested.


7. News from search committees

    • a) From Oliver Love:
      i. Organismal physiology search is almost done; the Cell physiology search hopes to wrap by mid-March. Organismal candidates will be ranked Tuesday (March 1st) and voted on Wednesday (March 2nd). The prospects look good, and with luck, somebody can be hired. The lunches have received good attendance; the free sandwiches and treats courtesy of the Biology Department have really been useful in attracting attendees.

8. Other business

    • None


9. Meeting was adjourned