Meeting Minutes for November 27th, 2012

Meeting Minutes


Meeting Type:           Fall Senate Meeting

Date:                           November 27, 2012

Location:                    Room 2223, Student Center

Time:                         7:00 PM


Call to Order

            Speaker: Dana Lashley, GSC Vice-President

Welcomed and called to order the GSC Senate. It is noted that the SGA Representative, Kristi Jones was not present for this meeting. 

Approval of Meeting Minutes from October 2012 Meeting

            Speaker: Dana Lashley, GSC Vice-President

            No corrections for the October Meeting Minutes were put forth and the minutes were approved as they were.


Old Business

Speaker: Winston Crowder, GSC Treasurer 


Topic- Graduate Student Fee Progress Update

The final version of the fee is going to be drafted into a format and be added to the agenda for the next Board of Trustees Meeting in February.



Speaker: Jennifer Duggan, GSC Executive Vice-President


Topic- Events Committee Update

The details for the events which the Events Committee organized are listed below.


Graduate Student Appreciation Week (this week)

-Wed Nov 28th, Coffee Break (coffee/cookies), 1-3:30, Student Center Room 2222 (T-shirts for the first 100)

-Thurs Nov 29th, Balcony Bar Holiday BASH, 8pm

-Friday Nov 30th, Coffee Break with Aubie and Dean Flowers, 1-3 Student Center Room 2225/2223 (T-shirts for the first 150)

GSC Graduate Scholars Forum

-Feb 26 - 28, 2013

-Students must participate in the Forum in order to qualify for Research Week

-Please distribute the Save-the-Dates.  

-Try to think on one place in your department where you can post the Save-the-Date card

-Start talking to your GPOs about volunteering to be a judge

-Website Abstract submissions will go live on Jan 9th (first day of classes)

-Deadline for abstract submissions is Friday, Feb 1, 2013 at 11:59 PM, CST

-Trying to include all abstracts, however:

-Abstracts MUST follow the guidelines that are posted on the websites

-No exceptions for late submissions or submissions that do not follow the guidelines


Speaker: Pranav Vengsarkar, GSC Secretary


Topic- Communications Committee Update


The T-Shirt design and the ‘Save the Date Card’ design which the Communications committee designed in collaboration with the Events Committee, for upcoming events were shown to the Senate. Suggestions and news for the upcoming Graduate Student Newsletter were also asked from the Senate.


New Business

Speaker: Dana Lashley, GSC Vice-President


Topic- Amendment Recommendations from the Rules Committee.


Amendment 1: Changing Executive VP selection process

Goal: Executive VP to be recommended annually by the GSC Welfare Committee with Senate approval (instead of the Executive Committee or the Graduate School). The suggested amendments below to Constitution and Bylaws are to be voted on as a package.

(View Appendix A for full list of amendments)

Senator Question (Senator Jonathan Frost): Why is the Welfare Committee handling the Exec. VP selection process and what is its original role?

Response Summary (Vice-President, Dana Lashley):  The role of the Welfare Committee is to handle matters related to student welfare like insurance, parking, etc. The only reason why the Welfare Committee was chosen for this process was because the Welfare Committee has people from various backgrounds and departments while the other committees mostly have people who have a specific interest’s w.r.t. the committee. This was just a suggestion and can be changed if required.


Senator Question (Senator David Bourrie): Why is only one option for Exec.VP being presented to the Senate for voting? Also, as the amendments are currently worded the President can appoint himself for the Exec. VP position.

Response Summary (Vice-President, Dana Lashley):  This position requires a lot work from the person doing the job and hence careful selection of a candidate is required. The bulk of this careful selection work goes to the committee doing the hiring and they will do a careful interview process. The entire senate may not be able to decide a proper candidate since they will not be part of the interview process and may not be aware of all the requirements for the job. Regarding the President electing himself for the position, while that is unlikely to happen we can add a clause to the amendments to prevent that from happening.

Response Summary (Senator Bretford Griffin):  Maybe a better option can be to rank the candidates and present the ranking to the Senate before voting.


Senator Question (Senator Daniel Compton): Since the amendments suggest giving the last call to the President on selection isn’t that too much power in the hands of the President?

Response Summary (Vice-President, Dana Lashley): This will happen only if the Senate rejects the recommendations from the committee twice. After that someone has to take a decision since this position is critical to the working of the GSC.


Senator Question (Senator Emily Stutzman Jones): Shouldn’t all the details of the committee and how it will carry out the process be included in the constitution. Also, how will this position be advertised to the graduate student body?

Response Summary (Vice-President, Dana Lashley): The Rules Committee wanted to form the committee first, work on the details with the committee after that and then maybe add it as an amendment later. This position will be advertised to the graduate student body the same way GSC dissipates other information and the Graduate School will also do their own advertising since they are splitting the stipend.


Senator Question (Senator Dave Perera): Since you are looking for someone for such an important job, which requires a lot of experience with the GSC, can the eligibility be limited to just senators?

Response Summary (Vice-President, Dana Lashley): That’s a perfectly valid argument and if the Senate thinks that it’s appropriate we can add that to the amendments and bring it forward in the January meeting.


Senator Question (Senator Brandon Cummings): If the president has to choose a candidate does he select a candidate from the rejected pool of candidates or a completely new one?

Response Summary (Vice-President, Dana Lashley): We currently have left that to the discretion of the President but we can add guidelines if required.


Ø  Motion: To add the above amendment to the GSC Constitution and the Bylaws


Moved by: Senator Bretford Griffin; Seconded    Approved: 43 Opposed: 26 (not 2/3 majority)





Amendment 2: Prohibition of endorsing candidates 

Goal: GSC should not publicly endorse candidates so as to not to cause bad relations if endorsed candidates do not win. This amendment is to be added at the end of the GSC Bylaws.

Endorsing Candidates:

It shall be prohibited for the GSC to endorse a candidate for any office. The GSC’s resources may not be used for campaigning. Individuals associated with the GSC can publicly endorse candidates for office, but may not use their GSC title or office.

Senator Question (Senator Tolulope Morawo): What kinds of offices are covered under this amendment?

Response Summary (Vice-President, Dana Lashley): Current all offices like executive board positions on the SGA, Miss Homecoming, etc. are covered. The candidates can come and speak at our meetings for a short duration if required, but the GSC will not endorse any one candidate.


Ø  Motion: To add the above amendment to the GSC Bylaws


Moved by: Senator Frank Strum; Seconded    Approved: 65 Opposed 7


Amendment 3: Allowing E-board the handling of matters not defined in constitution 

Goal: To allow the Executive Committee to make decisions on items not described in the Constitution. This amendment is to be added at the end of the GSC Bylaws.

Powers that are not expressly granted or prohibited by the GSC Constitution and Bylaws shall be at the Executive Committee’s discretion.

Senator Question (Senator Daniel Smith): Is it possible for any decision taken by the Executive Board which is not described by the Constitution being documented?

Response Summary (Vice-President, Dana Lashley): This is definitely possible and the Executive Board will from now on document all decisions taken for items which fall outside the matters described in the Constitution.


Ø  Motion: To add the above amendment to the GSC Bylaws


Moved by: Senator Bretford Griffin; Seconded    Approved: 60 Opposed 9


Speaker: Jameson Sofge, Senator



Goal: To stop students who are paying the $5 Graduate Student Fee being prevented from accessing GSC events and activities, if their department becomes inactive in the Senate. 


If a department becomes inactive then that department will lose all voting rights until returned to active status.

No graduate students will be prevented from participating in any graduate student events regardless of the status of their department.



Ø  Motion: To add the above amendment to the GSC Bylaws


Moved by: Senator Jameson Sofge; Seconded    Approved: 58 Opposed 10




Speaker: Pranav Vengsarkar, GSC Secretary


Topic- SGA Announcements

-Please check the GSC Facebook page for the most up to date SGA news.

-Please read the December Graduate Student newsletter.


Contact the SGA Representative on the GSC, Kristine Jones at for more details.


Senator Announcements


Senator: Jordan Jones, Senator from Audiology department


Topic- Student Academy of Audiology (SAA) Hosting Restaurant Night/Fundraising Event


Senators were informed that Student Academy of Audiology (SAA) with be hosting a restaurant night this Monday, December 3 from 4:00 until 9:00pm at Zoe's and Chill. All they have to do is place their receipt into a bowl after you check-out and our organization will receive 15% of your ticket amount. SAA is a graduate student organization that helps the 13 doctor of audiology students connect with future colleagues, as well as raise money to attend national and international conferences. A large portion of the funds raised each year aids in sending several of their students to Guatemala each Spring to test the hearing and fit hearing aids on the street children. 

The following links are for the Auburn University Guatemala Outreach Facebook page and blog:

Adjournment- The official meeting was adjourned at 8.00 PM


Appendix A

Amendment 1: Changes in Constitution

Section 1.2: Administrative Vice President

  1. The Administrative Vice President (hereafter, AVP) is shall be selected by the elected officers of the Executive Committee  the GSC Welfare Committee for that election term by an application and interview process.
  2. The AVP shall receive a stipend for her or her services to the GSC.
  3. If the Graduate School provides a matching stipend to the AVP in exchange for further service to the Graduate School, then the AVP is selected by the Graduate School, and this selection is confirmed by the elected officers of the Executive Committee. In this case, the AVP is referred to as the Executive Vice President.
  4. The AVP handles all administrative duties for the GSC. The AVP keeps track of GSC Senate meeting attendance and notifies any department of which one or more Senators have been absent without excuse for any meeting of the GSC Senate.
  5. The AVP keeps track of each department's active status as outlined in Section 4 of the GSC Code of Laws and keeps this record updated on the GSC Website. 
  6. The AVP is responsible for the execution of an annual GSC-sponsored research competition.
  7. The AVP does not have voting rights.
  8. The AVP may not act as the Senator for his/her department.

GSC Bylaws

SECTION 4: Student Welfare Committee (SWC)

  1. The default appointment for the SWC chairperson shall be the GSC President.
  2. The SWC shall recognize threats to graduate student welfare and identify possible improvements to graduate student welfare.
  3. The SWC shall communicate with university officials and organizations to make known the needs and issues of the graduate student community.
  4. The SWC shall recommend actions to the GSC Senate which will promote student welfare.
  5. The SWC shall act as the GSC Hiring Committee and conduct the annual interview and application process for the AVP / Executive Vice President (as defined in Article 1 Section 1.2)
  6. The SWC shall recommend a candidate for appointment as the AVP / Executive Vice President. This recommendation must be approved by a majority Senate vote during the March meeting of the GSC Senate.
  7. If the Senate does not approve of the AVP / Executive Vice President, then the SWC shall recommend another candidate for appointment to be approved by the Senate during the April meeting of the GSC Senate.
  8. If this second vote fails then it shall be at the GSC President's discretion to appoint an AVP/ Executive Vice President.


Created On: Feb 01, 2013

Last Updated: Feb 01, 2013

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