December 8th, 2005
President’s Room, Coffman Memorial Union
Minutes submitted by
Isaac Kamola (Vice President for Communications).
Food served at 5pm, meeting began at 5:15.
Welcomes (Sara Kempner)
Election for Vice President of Finance (Sarah Kempner)
Sarah explained the position.
This position starts in December but not officially
until June 1st. This is
especially important since the GAPSA funding request is coming up soon and
the newly elected VP of Finance will learn from Andy Warta how to do
Nichols was elected.
Election for Social Science P&R Council Chair
Sarah explained the position. This will just be for
the Spring session because the current chair had to step down. There
is also a
Susan Kang was elected.
1) Housing Survey
survey has been sent to 400 grads, 400 professional students, and 400
have been 116 graduate responses and 156 professional student responses.
This information will be used by the Housing Committee to improve housing
so its important that as many people as possible respond. If you’ve been
sent an email, or know someone who has, make sure the survey gets filled
survey is two years in the process and it is key to making the argument
that more needs to be done to improve housing for graduate and professional
as well as post-docs. There is an i-pod as a prize.
2) Dance Marathon on
3) Career/Life Alliance Services, Inc.
This is a service the
U is subcontracted out to help faculty, staff, and students facilitate
care, parental information and
care, financial resources, and daily living resources.
4) Strategic Positioning
I went to a Graduate Student Forum and there were four
graduate students. If we say we want to be part of the process and don’t
show up then it looks bad. As such, I strongly encourage everyone to
are accepting feedback through January 27th. You can submit feedback
through the “Transforming the U” website.
5) Travel and Leadership Awards.
Last year there were 75 applications for Travel Awards. This year we
to be more in-line with the GAPSA standards. Now, instead of cutting
a check we provide reimbursement thereby guaranteeing that the money
used for travel.
Reimbursements can be made for any trove done between September 1, 2005
and August, 30th 2006. This year we are also asking DGSs to nominate
Awards. The applications are due March 24th at 1pm. Click here for
a travel award application or here for a Leadership Award application.
6) Spring Orientation.
Need volunteers for skits, panel discussions,
and attending the reception. (Sign-up sheet was passed around)
Budget Advisory Committee: University is planning on
changing how CLA is funded. Right now CLA gets money based on student
then pay a “tax” back to the university to cover expenses. Starting in
2007 CLA will have to pay all of this directly. This means that if there
is a budget
the burden does not rest on the University but on CLA.
University Dining Services: There is
currently a new coffee shop in Walther Library. There will be a Jamba
Juice in the
TV lounge in Coffman. The CECS Building is getting a commuter kiosk.
of discussion about lack of seating and some talk about trying to get
the Blegen dining facilities open longer. Also, there has been lots of
the cost of food on campus cost is higher and the quality lower than
off campus. However, because of meal plans, many are forced to eat overpriced
Community on Education Policy: Changed the policy which allows professors
to know if a student is taking a class S-N. Right now professors can
student is taking the class S-N and some feel this can influences whether
the professor gives the student credit or not. Now, the professor will
grade as normal but it will appear on the students transcript as an S
or N. Also,
the committee is trying to change some A/F classes to S-N. Also, there
is talk about changes to graduate student support including access to
the writing center,
child care (like it is available to undergraduates), and better support
at the visa office.
2) Policy and Review Councils:
Graduate school has
dollars for fellowships ($3.5 million this year and $1.5 next). In addition
there will be $1.9 million in block grants to individual departments
and $1.28 million
to first year students. The choice was made to increase the amount of
money for the fellowships to well above the base (around $17,500 to $21,000)
but keep the
number of fellowships around 180. This would help recruit students for
their first year.
There was a heated discussion about why the
did not decide to increase the number of fellowships instead of the amount.
Many argues that more fellowships were better because it would encourage
qualified students. Some argues that the presence of a fellowship was
the key in choosing the UofM over other offers. As such, there should
push toward increasing the number of scholarships. Some also concerned
the amount of money creates inequalities in the departments that can
have negative consequences on the social dynamics in the departments.
having a $21,000 fellowship first year then being cut down to TA/RA wages
the next years
amounts to fooling incoming students into thinking that there are more
resources then there really are. Some were concerned that this was unethical.
a stawpoll taken and an overwhelming amount of people expressed the view
that there should be more fellowships as opposed to fewer, larger fellowships.
is was talk of expanding graduate education at Duluth and Rochester.
it is important to extend COGS representation to Duluth.
Q: Is there
any reason why Duluth does not have COGS representation.
A: It is very
as to whether
they’re part of this body or should form their own representative body.
Passed a policy saying
instructors have the right to refuse students
of technological devices (except for disabilities).
4) Stadium (John Troyer)
Funding for the stadium may
be in jeopardy. We are fast
approaching the December 31st deadline with TCF to have secured state
funding. UofM says they’ll try to get an extension. However, there are
reasons to believe that TCF in interested in maintaining its long term
to the stadium.
Stadium would go where the last big surface parking lot is over on university
by the gain silos. Right now the University is planning on paying 60%
($148 million) and the state pays 40% ($100 million). However, as the
gets pushed back—now
a 2009 opening—the costs go up. The fee will not start until the doors
open therefore the administration’s pitch as that many of the students
here now will not be affects by this fee. While the Administration has
the fees options
they are trying to put together a benefits package which would include
student reduced prices, entrance passes for free games, passes for benefits
sponsors, student representation on the stadium committee, and formal
recognition of student contributions at the stadium (ie a sign thanking
I am skeptical of these benefits seeing as they are not mentioned or
website. It is important to remember that this is still a castle in the
clouds until the state money comes through. But if the state money comes
it, it will
all happen very quickly.
Q: What will happen to the parking?
will build upscale rams and no new commuter parking. This will upset
a lot of people
and make it harder to drive to the university. The neighborhood business
leaders do not like the stadium because they fear the loss of parking,
noise, and student
Q: Before we talked about getting letters from DGS in opposition
to a student fee for the stadium. Who should those letters be sent
A: Send one
president Bruininks and another to COGS so we can keep track of it.
5) Past Resolutions (Kris Houlton)
Eggs: Passed at GAPSA, lots of positive coverage
has been no response by UDS.
Partners: CFO Pfutzenreuter did not come to the last Senate
meeting to provide counter arguments so the vote
was pushed back to Feburary. There are plans to set up a Senate
committee to handle this issue.
go GAPSA which gutted it. However,
union did settle for 2% pay increases and the workers did not lose
their step-increases. Looks
like the rank-and-file will vote to accept the contract.