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S.F.U. Biology Graduate Caucus

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Other Business

Bisc Grad Caucus Meeting Minutes

Friday, August 26, 2005, 3:30pm

In attendance: Sandra Webster, Conan Phelan, Andrea Pomeroy, Suzanne Gray, Karl Laroche, Charlotte Voss, Raul Ursic, Keith Tierney, Dawn Cooper, Theingi Aung, Oliver Love.

1. Welcome and introductions

a. Dawn Cooper welcomed all and the agenda was introduced.

2. Approval of meeting expenses

a. Moved by Andrea Pomeroy, seconded by Raul Ursic, caucus expenses for the meeting were approved.

3. Approval of signing authority for new caucus executive:

a. Dawn Cooper, Chair, dmcooper@sfu.ca
b. Theingi Aung, Treasurer, tsa@sfu.ca
c. Keith Tierney, Secretary, ktierney@sfu.ca
d. Andrea Pomeroy, Member at Large, apomeroy@sfu.ca
e. Moved by Sandra Webster, seconded by Suzanne Gray, signing authority was approved for the incoming Biology Caucus Steering Committee.

4. Mentorship program

a. The mentorship event is scheduled for 4:30 Thursday, Sept 15th, in the 7000 level green area.
b. Volunteers are needed:
i. There are 25 new students and 16 volunteer mentors – 9 more mentors are needed! Please email Suzanne Gray if interested (smgray@sfu.ca).
ii. Volunteers are also needed for event setup. Emails will be sent off.
c. Caucus (SFSS) is providing $200 for the BBQ, and department Chair Tony Williams is donating another $200. Moneys will be spent as follows: $150 pizza, $50 chips, and $200 beverages. Caucus members requested lots of good pizza. The plan is for 2 beverages and 2 pieces of pizza per person (for a planned 60 people).

5. Bisc grad directory

a. Theingi Aung has received several emails regarding the update. Note: MBB people can be on the list as well. Theingi will be sending a reminder to everyone to edit the list. Email Theingi at tsa@sfu.ca if you have any updates.
b. Congratulations to Dawn Cooper for winning the logo contest (new logo on this letterhead). Dawn receives the award of $50.

6. News from committees

a. Scholarships – Sandra Webster:
i. Larry Dill and Marlene Nguyen will be administering NSERC travel awards for the department. The process is still on a first come, first served basis.
ii. Someone is needed for January for scholarship committee. If interested, please email Sandra (sjwebste@sfu.ca).
b. DGSC – no meeting so no news. Email Suzanne Gray if you have any issues (smgray@sfu.ca).
c. GIC – Raul Ursic – graduate extended healthcare plan – please see the information circulated Wed. Aug. 24th. Also, see previous minutes for details. There will be a social Sept. 14th to distribute info. Note: the dues were not taken off or added to tuition. Suzanne Gray spoke with Kathy (SFSS Graduate Student Health and Dental Plan Officer); you must be enrolled in ‘Fair Pharmacare’, which basically means you must have BC medical. If you are an out-of-province student you must apply for BC medical in order to be eligible for Fair Pharmacare. This process can take 3 months to get an MSP number. Furthermore, BC Medical can back-charge premiums from the time you moved to BC, so make sure you send a letter with your application explaining the circumstances of you being a poor student.
d. TSSU – No news.
e. Faculty mole – Oliver Love – There was an uneventful 1st meeting:
i. The department will receive an external review.
ii. The Mac room will be turned into gradstudent office space.
iii. All offers to new faculty candidates were accepted.
iv. We have lost the Cell Biology Research Chair. More chairs may arrive, e.g. for salmon conservation.
v. The department is quickly running out of space. However, Biology will need to demonstrate this before we can get new space elsewhere.
vi. The old Cooke lab may be rebuilt.

7. Other business

a. Seminar Speaker – Robert Ricklefs will be here giving his talk Nov. 3rd (same day as Andrea Pomeroy’s Birthday!). The speaker is excited to attend. To maximize student interaction with the speaker, Biology Caucus would like to have a special event around the seminar. Melanie Hart will be involved in the event, and will liaise with Dawn and Kathleen Fitzpatrick. Any persons interested in helping with the event can email Dawn Cooper (dmcooper@sfu.ca).
b. Some Caucus members expressed interest in having another speaker in the spring semester. Andrea Pomeroy will determine if this is an option.
c. The Biology Christmas party – Caucus would like to have a greater interest in the event scheduling and duty allocation.

8. Meeting was adjourned