University of Guelph Graduate Students’ Association
Board Meeting January 22, 2014
Room 103 U.C., 5:30 p.m. (food served 5:15)
January 22, 2014 Board Meeting Minutes
Executive Committee: President: Anne Laarman; VP Internal: Adina Bujold; VP Finance: Shawna Holmes; VP External: Jose (Pepe) Rodriguez
Present – General Directors: Emily Miller, Animal and Poultry Science; Enaam Chleilat & Beryl Chung, Biomedical Science; Barbara Goodall, Chemistry and Biochemistry; Eddie Ma, Computer Science; Neha Saroja Rajkumar & Ahmed Shaltout, Engineering; Robyn Coleman & Sushma Gejjilagere Puttaswamaiah, Environmental Science; Julia Campbell & Maria Reesor, Family Relations and Applied Nutrition; Hadi Eshpari, Food Science; Josie Wittmer, Geography; Samantha Goodman, Human Health & Nut. Sc.; Jennifer Bernard & Michelle D’Souza, Integrative Biology; Ferdausi Sultana, Marketing and Consumer Studies; Brian Franczak & Paula Murray, Math & Statistics; Christian Carlucci & Amanda Ruprecht, Molecular & Cellular Biology; Neda Barjesteh, Pathobiology; Martin King, Philosophy; Fawn Turner, Plant Agriculture; Vishaharan Gnanakumaran, Psychology; Katie MacDonald & Ethel Osazuwa, Sociology & Anthropology; Steve Larmer, Activities & Communications Coordinator
Absent with Regrets: Justin Adams, Geography; Katie Clow, Pathobiology; Alex Laffoley & Andrew MacLean, Physics; Carolyn Dowling, Plant Agriculture; Lauren Wallar, Population Medicine
Staff: Erin Angus, Office Manager; James Sanford, Grad Lounge Manager; Hilary Hung, GSA Assistant
1. Call to Order: 5:30 PM (Chair: Keith Poore)
2.Approval of Agenda – / ?
Strike: Dr. Maureen Mancuso, Provost & John Miles, Assistant V.P. Financial services
Add: Kate Revington before Anthony Clarke’s report
MOTION #1: B.I.R.T. the Agenda for the December 4, 2013 GSA Board Meeting be approved as amended. Motion passed unanimously.
3.Approval of Board Meeting Minutes - / ?
MOTION #2: B.I.R.T. the Minutes of the GSA Board Meeting held December 4, 2013 be approved as presented. Motion passed.
4. Kate Revington announced that the annual elections for Senate are now open but will close on January 30th. Senate and the Board of Governors deal with the inner workings of the university. Both bodies have positions for Graduate representatives and experience on the Board can be a learning opportunity for career preparation. There is 1 graduate representative seat per college on Senate and 1 graduate representative on the Board of Governors. More information on the process and election can be found on the University of Guelph site here: Please email Kate at if you have any questions.
5.Faculty of Graduate Studies Report, Dr. Anthony Clarke, V.P. (Graduate Studies) & Program Quality Assurance discussed the new intellectual property policy. There are currently two policies; one pertains to the faculty while the other applies to everyone. The new faculty agreement has immediate ownership in terms of the patent rights but can sign it off to the university. The old agreement allowed the university to initially own it and sell it to the inventor. The agreement is primarily a change in first patent rights. If you are concerned, please speak to your graduate student representatives.
6. Roundtable Introduction – Committee and Department Reports
General Directors communicated departmental and committee updates. Committee Reports are included in the Board Meeting materials. It was noted that there’s a new Graduate Secretary in the Biomedical department. There is also an upcoming speaker panel on Human – Animal Relations in the Geography Department on Friday Feb 7, UC 441 and anyone interested is welcome to attend. Amanda Ruprecht is looking for feedback from Graduate students on the Athletic Centre; please email any comments to her. Fawn Turner talked about how student run events get a discount with hospitality services; please email her if you have questions regarding this opportunity for your event.
7.PDR – Petitions, Delegations & Representations
Graduate Student Careers in Biology Day – Scott Mazurkewich
Careers in Biology Day is an important event for students looking for a job because speakers discuss their experiences. Many attendees find the event useful for career development. The event is also free and open for other students to attend.
Fawn Turner made a motion to donate the full $500 to the event. Seconded by Martin King.
MOTION #3: B.I.R.T. the GSA donate $500 to the Careers in Biology Day event. Motion passed unanimously.
Environmental Science Symposium – Cassandra Andrew
The Symposium will take place on February 1. The theme this year is to combine science and activism to create change. Speakers include Franke James and other environmental activists. Enaam asked what percentage of attendees will be graduate students and Cassy replied that she doesn’t have an estimate. Fawn asked a question about half the budget going towards speakers. Cassy clarified that most of the budget allocated for speakers was for speaker fees. Shawna asked a question about the excess money clause and Cassy confirmed that any excess money would be returned. Adina followed up on Enaam’s question regarding graduate student attendance on last year’s numbers. Cassy said she wasn’t sure as the records aren’t kept up to date. Pepe added that he had seen quite a few graduate students in past years. Fawn asked a question about whether or not they have targeted graduate students specifically and Cassy replied that there haven’t been any targeted groups other than the departments in general.
Enaam Chleilat made a motion for the full $500. Seconded by: Michelle D’Souza.
MOTION #4: B.I.R.T. the GSA donate $500 to the Environmental Sciences Symposium. Motion passed unanimously.
8.Executive and Staff Reports – please refer to Board Meeting materials for complete Executive and Staff Reports.
MOTION #5: B.I.R.T. the Executive Committee Meeting Notes of December 9 and December 11 2013, be approved as presented. Motion passed.
Anne Laarman– President,
Anne announced that each executive will talk about what they do to give everyone an idea for the upcoming elections. The President is responsible for ensuring the GSA runs and that all executives are meeting their obligations. Another responsibility is to represent the GSA at events and this is an opportunity to meet interesting people from different fields. Representation of the GSA also entails giving the GSA’s opinion. The President also sits on the Board of Graduate Studies with Senate and the Admissions and Progress Committee. Admissions and Progress makes decisions on students who have reached their maximum completion time. The President also meets with Dr. Clarke biweekly to discuss student issues or disputes. It is a rewarding experience where you get to meet a lot of senior people and see their view of graduate studies. The challenge of time commitment is that the President must meet on other people’s schedule but the total time commitment is about 10 hours a week. Please talk to Anne if you have any other questions about being President.
Anne met with Jessica Carter about the Co-Curricular Transcript. Students will be able to get a copy of this transcript online in a few months. Anne is working on getting committee involvement on the transcript as there are system limitations. There will be levels of involvement assessed by the hours you’ve put in to correspond with each committee’s meeting schedule and frequency. This is expected to be up in April but until then, please contact Erin for official documentation of your involvement.
If you’ve had a frustrating experience with OGS, please email or talk to Anne for him to bring back to his meetings with Dr. Clarke. Anne also talked about a new way to get members more involved at Board meetings where you can email Erin your question ahead of time and it will anonymously be asked at meetings. Anne also discussed that meeting with your advisory committee for progress reports is very important because not meeting for two years makes your case harder to defend if you later need to request another semester from the Admissions and Progress Committee. If you are asked to withdraw but have progress reports, Admissions and Progress Committee will likely rule in favour of you so don’t hesitate to apply.
Shawna asked for clarification regarding advisory committee and progress reports. Anne replied that advisory committee means the whole committee where people take minutes. Adina added that after the meeting, advisors will draft a report on action points and concerns. On the report, anything checked other than satisfactory will go to the office and be flagged but only some faculty know of the change. Please email Anne or Adina with concerns regarding issues with the progress reports.
Adina Bujold – VP Internal,
MOTION #6: B.I.R.T. the GSA By-Laws be amended to permit the GSA to run elections internally. Motion passed. – Adina/ Murray
MOTION #7: B.I.R.T. the GSA allow for four instead of two PDRS for the Feb 12th meeting as there are no PDRS at the AGM. Motion passed. – Laarman/ Turner
Nomination period for by-elections is currently underway but will close on January 22nd at 9:00pm. Please email any questions to the Chief Returning Officer, Andrew Skelton at Vacant seats on the GSA standing committees will be available for choosing after February 1st, so please contact Adina then.
V.P. internal is responsible for maintaining communication with graduate students. It is a policy-oriented position. Meetings are typically with specific people instead of committee members like the President but some meetings are time sensitive. V.P. Internal is responsible for ensuring that the Board and the GSA are in compliance with the By-Laws. V.P. Internal is also responsible for ensuring that Directors meet their obligations. V.P. Internal must stay in contact with different groups on campus to maximize graduate students’ voice and representation on different committees. V.P. Internal also chairs the By-Law committee and reviews the By-Laws. V.P. Internal is also responsible for filling in for the President in his absence.
Shawna Holmes – VP Finance,
Shawna discussed that V.P. Finance is a rewarding job because you get to see where the money is going on campus. You do not need to be an accountant or book keeper as the GSA has professionals to give you support in these areas. V.P. Finance is a very fun position but the time commitment does vary depending on the time of the year such as budgeting time. Being an executive is very fun, please do not be intimidated about running. Neda asked a question about how the GSA can get more money for students from the university and Shawna replied that the GSA’s money comes from student fees.
Shawna mentioned that the Management Subdivision Committee will be having a gender neutral washroom in the second floor in the summer. There is also a motion for redoing the washrooms in the UC starting on the first floor.
Jose (Pepe) Rodriguez – VP External,
Pepe talked about how the V.P. External is a fun position where you get to represent graduate students to community entities and lobbying groups. With the City of Guelph, V.P. External meets with the Transit Committee once or twice a semester to sign the bus pas agreement. V.P. External talks to Transit about the contract for night bus service. V.P. External also attends Town and Gown meetings to discuss shared concerns with the City’s other divisions. It is a rewarding experience to see how the City works on the inside. V.P. External attends council meetings if student issues are involved. V.P. External is responsible for lobbying for graduate students with federal and provincial governments. V.P. External assists the Canadian Federation of Students and the Canadian Alliance of Students to represent Guelph’s Graduate students. V.P. External also works with the Ontario Graduate Student Alliance to discuss and create policy. V.P. External is the travelling diplomat of the group meeting senior officials in government. Please contact Pepe with questions or more information.
Pepe went to Trent before Christmas to meet with the OGSA policy writer. He will meet soon with Transit to work on the late night contract that expires in March. Fawn Turner asked a question about Transit’s adherence to its schedules. Pepe and Keith replied that the time quoted from Transit is 5 minutes before or 2 minutes after. Pepe added that there has been issues with express buses. When complaining, Guelph Transit is more effective to respond if there is a specific case with bus number, time and stop.
Steve Larmer – Activities & Communications Coordinator,
Steve discussed that the Activities & Communication Coordinator organizes, plans and advertises events for graduate students. Steve generally takes feedback from graduate students to plan events that graduate students want. Steve is primarily responsible for planning trivia (60%) and other events (40%.) In the past, other events have been debates, holiday events, and professional days. You get help from the Social Outreach Committee and Directors to get the message out to students.
Career nights are changed to merge Social Science and Arts Night together to occur on Tuesday night. Natural Sciences night will still take place as planned. There will be professional speakers and recruiters to offer students tips to find a job upon graduation. The turnout for the Art Debate wasn’t as good as he had hoped but please email him with any input on how to get more students out for the Debate series. The next debate will be on February 18th in regards to relationship norms. February will also have talent night, please email Steve if you or anyone you know have talent.
James Sanford – Grad Lounge Manager,
The Grad Lounge Snapshots are to give you an idea of how the grad lounge is operating. Please note that the Winter Semester table is supposed to be for the Fall Semester.
Erin Angus – Office Manager,
Please don’t hesitate to get involved with the GSA executive. It is an opportunity to learn and many past executives have gone on to do great things. It is a time commitment but you will get support from Erin. Please go to Erin if you have any questions regarding the office part of being an executive. The nomination period will open when the CRO announces it in February.
9.Senate, Board of Graduate Studies, Board of Governors Report
Senate – No new updates as Senate hasn’t met since the last GSA meeting, but we will meet on February 12th.
Board of Graduate Studies – There is a new PhD program coming in. Board of Graduate Studies will meet tomorrow.
Board of Governors – No new updates.
10. Question Period/ Open Forum
Shawna asked a question regarding Eddie’s committee on more storage, and Eddie replied that it is being worked on.
Pepe added a comment that there is a new President on the Board of Governors as of August 15th.
11. Arising Business – No New Business
12. In Camera/ Off-the-Record Session /Bujold
MOTION #8: B.I.R.T. the Meeting move In Camera. The Motion passed unanimously.
MOTION #9: B.I.R.T. the Meeting move Ex Camera. The Motion passed.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:00 p.m.