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S.F.U. Biology Graduate Caucus

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Other Business

Bisc Grad Caucus Meeting Minutes

Friday, September 30, 2005, 3:30pm

In attendance: Jason Catterson, Niki Cook, Lucy Harrison, Karl Laroche, Sam Quinlan, Eric Siljander, Jenn Sunday, Martin Brummell, Oliver Lover, Katrina Salvante, Theingi Aung, Dawn Cooper, Raul Ursic, Keith Tierney, Jeff Joy, Heather Major, Suzanne Gray, Sandra Webster, Nicole Tunbridge, Dave Redding.

1. Welcome to grad students new and old

a. Dawn Cooper welcomed all and the agenda was introduced.
b. All caucus members in attendance introduced themselves and indicated any committee or caucus positions held.
c. A general introduction was provided about the graduate caucus, its functions, supported events and how students can get involved.

2. Approval of meeting expenses

a. Moved by Dawn Cooper, seconded by Jeff Joy, caucus expenses for the meeting were approved.

3. Motion to collect money

a. Moved by Dawn Cooper, seconded by Raul Ursic, core funding was approved.

4. Biology graduate directory

a. Theingi Aung: the directory is done – get your copy from the Biology office.

5. Financial Report

a. Theingi Aung: we have $2000 in our trust account. This can be used for BBQs, symposiums and other special events.

6. Motion for signatures for caucus reimbursement

a. In order to allow our Treasurer to keep track of finances, please use Theingi as a second signature on any receipts. If this is not possible, please send an email to Theingi indicating the expense(s).
b. Moved by Dawn Cooper, seconded by Martin Brummell, Carried.

7. Motion to cover overdraft

a. Moved by Dawn Cooper, seconded by Raul Ursic, a transfer of funds from trust to core was approved to cover the overdraft.

8. News from committees

a. Scholarships:
i. Representative Sandra Webster will be leaving at the end of semester. Please contact her if you have interest in the position (sjwebste@sfu.ca).
ii. We have 11 SFSS travel scholarships ($100 ea) per year. If you win the lottery (held during the March Caucus meeting), apply in the semester of intended travel. Expenses of registration, travel and hotel may be covered. If you plan on not using money, please advise the Caucus Treasurer. A copy of the SFSS travel rules will be posted shortly on the Caucus website (www.sfu.ca/biology/grad_caucus).
b. DGSC: Suzanne Gray
i. This year there were 31 graduate fellowships given out, which is down slightly from 41. 52 will be given out next year.
ii. There remains anxiousness due to the inability to deduct tuition monthly from RAships. Chair Tony Williams is still trying to get this computer problem resolved. As an interim fix, your supervisor may be able to provide you with a cheque at the start of the semester to cover tuition. Barb Sherman can help facilitate this.
iii. NSERC travel awards – award allocation remains 1st come, 1st serve. Last year the caucus was denied a more formal application system. Traditionally Biology grads have received many awards. This year, only six of these awards will be allocated per department. This number is quite down from before. New applications will go through Larry Dill and Ron Ydenberg. Awards will then be distributed based on merit. Eligible expenses include air travel and registration. NOTE: NSERC travel awards will only continue for this year only. However, if caucus provides a letter to the chair, the department may consider replacing the six awards. Jeff Joy and Dawn Cooper volunteered to formulate the letter.
c. GIC: Raul Ursic – The last meeting was mostly housekeeping. Remember, the new health plan includes global travel insurance. New graduate socials will be announced soon…
d. TSSU: More reps are needed! In the past there was a $130 stipend per semester for reps, and there are 4-5 allowed from Biology Caucus. If interested, please contact Katrina Salvante or Dawn Cooper (kgsalvan@sfu.ca; dmcooper@sfu.ca). To be eligible for a position, you must be a TSSU member (i.e. have TA’d within the last year).
e. Faculty mole: Oliver Love – no news.

9. Other business

a. A motion was tabled to permit monthly Steering Committee meetings.
i. Moved by Katrina Salvante, seconded by Suzanne Gray, Carried.
b. The Gries Lab was presented with a $50 gift certificate to the SFU Highland Pub for winning the ‘best lab turnout’ at last summer’s barbeque.
c. Inquiries were made into the location of a beverage tray borrowed from biochemistry.
d. Mentorship program – Suzanne Gray has passed off duties to the Caucus. If interested in the position, email Dawn Cooper (dmcooper@sfu.ca)
e. Christmas Party – start collecting ideas and video footage for a funny biology movie. Send emails and ideas to Oliver Love (olovea@sfu.ca) and Keith Tierney (ktierney@sfu.ca).
f. 7000 level grad lounge – details of the upgrade are being discussed. A timeline for upgrades has not been completed.

10. Meeting was adjourned