Rutgers University Graduate Student Association - New Brunswick

GSA Council Meeting #3, AY 2010–2011

November 21, 2010

[meeting was preceded by talk by Thomas Mulvaney of Rutgers University World Affairs Review, asking for graduate students to review this undergraduate journal]

[meeting was also preceded by talk by Catherine Stanford of Rutgers AAUP/AFT about new round of talks the union is having with the University]

7:24pm: Call to Order

7:24pm: Determination of Quorum (required: 10 departmental representatives + 2 elected officers)

7:24pm: Consent Agenda - Vote

Question: Were the minutes posted in advance?

President (Reshma): No, they were not, but there is good reason for that. We have been working overtime to meet several deadlines for this meeting, and when you read the minutes you will see that we have included updates to important issues. The previous General Council meeting was very unusual because we had only one elected officer and two vacant positions of Treasurer and of Vice President. I hope you understand that we have done the absolute best we can considering the severe constraints we faced, and although we have four officers now, we hope more grads will step forward and help us serve the graduate student community better.

Minutes from October 2010: approved unanimously

7:27pm: Officers’ Reports

President (Reshma)

Reshma: I want to thank Erik and Emily; it as made a world of difference to have the on the executive board

There is a Committee to update the Constitution; it has not been updated in … several years (Emily: since 1999), this comprises of the four officers by default plus one former officer

If you could ask students to come forward, perhaps students from Public Policy, Political Science, or anybody who is interested

Even if you do not want to make the commitment, or if it sound too scary, just come for one meeting

Next meeting is on December 5th in the Graduate Student Lounge

VPLC: next meeting is on December 1st; Michael Imperiali (Executive Director of Housing and Conference Services) and Joan Carbone (Executive Director of Residence Life)

If there are any issues, this is a great opportunity, please email me (

Vice President (no important business to report)

Treasurer (no important business to report)

Secretary (Cody)

This past fall, you logged into the gsa website for your funding applications; future e-gsa logins will require a Rutgers Eden netID for your GSO; this will increase security and uniformity; please see me or email me ( to obtain such

7:30pm: Representatives’ Reports

Senators (Katie present; Andrew absent)

Last Senate meeting was a discussion on retirement plans: “at what point can you encourage a professor to retire?”

I have joined the Graduate Research Committee, even though I am not a PhD student, I have another perspective and would welcome input from you

There is a lot of talk about Rutgers going open source

We will probably get a charge on that committee to explore this

Representative to NJPIRG Oversight Committee (no important business to report)

7:31pm: Committee Reports

Elections (no important business to report)

External Allocations (no important business to report)

Graduate Student Issues (no important business to report)

International Student Affairs (ISAC) (Vukosi)

There is a big chill team of ISAC, we are looking for people who will try to participate in the run/walk

The more people we have, the more chances of having a pizza party

Publications (no important business to report)

Social & Cultural (Yogesh)

Halloween happened to be a success on October 29

Today is Diwali party, for which I am dressed [in traditional Indian attire]

Going on in Livingston Campus Center, there is Indian food and Bollywood music)

Tuesday, November 23rd is Thanksgiving dinner, there will be traditional Thanksgiving food: turkey

Reshma: Would an RSVP on facebook be helpful?

Yogesh: Please do that, it helps with the order; we only have a certain buffer

Sustainability (no important business to report)

TA/GA Steering Committee (Erin)

Working toward bargaining for a new contract or to renew the contract that exists and are working on bringing ??? sessions

Cody: What sessions?

Erik / Emily: Yoga sessions

Reshma: Can you speak a little louder?

Erin: Yoga sessions! We have been working on bringing yoga sessions; and we are co-sponsoring the Diwali event and Thanksgving; please sign up to be a member of AAUP at these events!

7:40pm: Special Orders


Emily: There is one change on the budget: move money from Catharine R. Stimpson Publications Office to Graduate Student Issues Committee and Sustainability Committee

Unanimously approved

Movie Night Committee

Cody: For many years, the GSA has been running a movie night on Thursdays at 8pm; we show a different movie each Thursday; different people help out; while this has existed as part of the Social & Cultural Committee, people who have organized Move Night have not done anything else with the Social & Cultural Committee

Reshma: Yes, different people have helped out throughout each semester; Michael did it last year

Michael: Last semester

Reshma: and Naomi did it for a while

Cody: I would like to have a separate committee for Movie Night for two reasons: one, the visibility of a name will help direct people who want to help or who have suggestions for movies, and two, having a separate committee will help clear up any questions about funding

Unanimously passed to create Movie Night Committee

[This is a Nonstanding Committee; a Standing Committee requires a constitutional amendment]

Election of University Senator for Graduate School of Education (Vincent Grillo)

Currently a Master’s Student, Certificate in Elementary Education

Vice President of GSE Student Affairs Committee

Treasurer of Teacher’s Initiative MultiAmerica

Undergrad at Rutgers: political science and economics

Attended Senate meeting on Friday

Unanimously voted in

SAGE Coalition

Reshma: For those of you were not present at the last meeting, this is a student organization that advocates for graduate education

Members include University of Texas at Austin, UCLA, Berkeley

At recent Fall Summit, to which they invited Rutgers but which we could not participate because we are not a part of that coalition, they discussed taxation, visas, what happens when they are revoked, how graduate or professional student work could count toward naturalization requirements, access to merit-based scholarships for international students; they addressed affordability and a graduate Pell grant

Unanimously passed to join the SAGE Coalition

7:43pm Old Business

Funding for Nondepartmental GSOs

Council of Black Graduates

not in attendance

International Development Interest Group

not in attendance

7:44pm: New Business

7:44pm: Question Time (15 minutes maximum)

Katie: Is there the ability to email the graduate students at large?

Executive board laughs

Reshma: The reason we are laughing is that

Emily: we have tried

Reshma: We cannot do that

Katie: According to whom?

Emily: According to privacy laws

Katie: I believed that I was a part of this organization, I signed up as part of a mailing list, but I never got an email from it

Vukosi: Getting to privacy, is there one person who controls this?

Emily: Yes, but we cannot access it

Vukosi: Yes, but there are mailing lists

Emily begins to say something

Reshma interrupts Emily: Cody?

Cody: Graduate students are part of nine schools: Graduate School of New Brunswick, Mason Gross, Bloustein, School of Education, and so on; each of these schools has their own mailing list; for example, if you are in the Graduate School of New Brunswick, there is the list NB_GRAD, and usually Jason Rimmer sends emails to this list

Council member (under his breath, thinking the secretary does not hear him): grrrrrr, Jason Rimmer!!!

Cody: Now, we can ask each school to send out an email to this list on our behalf; for example, this was done with the announcement a month ago about the GSA Involvement Dinner, so we can email to the graduate student body, but we need permission from each school to do so; our own list, GSA_EVENTS has about 2,400 people signed up; there are about 4,500 full-time graduate students, so our emails reach at least a sizable fraction of the graduate student population

Vukosi: Then at the very beginning of the semester, you should send out an email that has information about the GSA and that has a link about the signing up for your list

Emily: There was a reboot of officers at the beginning of the semester

Cody: We did include a link in the email about the Involvement Dinner that was sent out; however, just because we send an email, does not mean people read it; many people delete emails that are sent to a listserv or from Jason Rimmer

Council member (under his breath, thinking the secretary does not hear him): Yes, Jason Rimmer!

Cody: There are other ways to communicate with graduate students; for example, with movie night, if we just send an announcement on GSAEVENTS, then only about 5 people show up, but if we send an announcement on GSA_EVENTS and a facebook invitation--the GSA facebook group has about 500 members--, then about 20 people show up; so there is a correlation--at least slightly--of attendance at movie night and whether we send a facebook invitation; we are also thinking of other ways to communicate; for example, we are thinking of distributing a newsletter flyer to graduate students each month; this would have happened last month, but we became busy setting up with two new officers; what else have we been thinking?

Emily: I am setting up an RSS feed on the website

Katie: Actually, I subscribed to GSA_EVENTS and I never received any emails

Cody: Oh, that is a technical issue; see me and we will look into it

7:50pm: Announcements by GSOs

Aaron Trammell (SCIDSA): interested in having a video game study group; if anybody is interested, let me know

John Morren (Graduate Composers Forum): On Wednesday, December 15th, there will be a concert at the Marriott Music Building at 2pm; our events are always free; musicians from the city will be performing all-new music by graduate, and some undergraduate, composers

Erik: On December 2nd at 8pm in Livingston Campus Center, Peter Singer will be giving a talk entitled “Global Poverty: What Are Our Obligations?”; this will be the kickoff event of Giving What We Can Rutgers Student Chapter; I encourage you all to come

Question: what date was that?

Erik: December 2nd; there is a flyer posted on the board

7:52pm: Adjournment