Meeting Minutes for October 30, 2012

Meeting Minutes


Meeting Type:                        Fall Senate Meeting

Date:                                       October 30th, 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 Executive Vice President, Jennifer Duggan, the Secretary, Pranav Vengsarkar, and the SGA Representative, Kristi Jones were not present for the meeting. 


Approval of Meeting Minutes for September 25, 2012 and October 17, 2012:

            Speaker: Dana Lashley, GSC Vice President 

            No corrections for the September 25 meeting minutes nor the October 17 meeting minutes were put forth and both minutes were approved as they were.


Old Business:

            Speaker: Winston Crowder, GSC Treasurer


Topic: Brief Overview of the Graduate Student Fee

           A summary was presented of the initial budget for the proposed graduate student fee, as discussed in the October 17 meeting.  The initial budget will have the following percentage allocations:

   55% Travel Funds

   37% Professional Development

   5% Social Events

   3% GSC Development


It was emphasized that the following restrictions and rules on the use of the fee will be in effect:

  No salary will be covered by the fee

  The budget will be flexible.  Every February the GSC will take a vote on restructuring the budget for the fee.  It will require a 2/3rds vote in the Senate to restructure the fee and a simple majority to pass a newly proposed budget.  The budget will default to the previous year's budget if a newly proposed budget does not pass in the Senate.

   The fee is charged every semester in which a graduate student is enrolled.  This will include the Summer semester.


Senator Question (Senator James Hammer): How easy would it be to change the amount of the fee?

Response Summary (Treasurer Winston Crowder): It would require the GSC to go through the entire process again, and for the suggestion to reach the Board of Trustees.  Because of this it will be very difficult to either increase or decrease the fee.


Senator Question (Senator Rafael Egues): Are travel grants currently issue only to presenters at conferences?

Response Summary (Treasurer Winston Crowder): Currently all students traveling to conferences are allowed to apply to the Graduate School for travel grants.  There is a priority for those presenting, but non-presenters are also having their requests accepted.  The graduate student fee contribution to travel grants will allow more graduate students, both those presenting and those not, the ability to receive travel grant support.


Senator Question (David Adams): How will the GSC handle unspent money from the fee?

Response Summary (Treasurer Winston Crowder): All money left at the end of the year will rollover into the following year's travel funds since that will likely be the place where it will be needed and used.


Motion: The GSC should support the $10 fee with the initial budget as outlined by the GSC Budget and Finance Committee.

Moved By: Frank Sturm; Seconded.  Approved: 25 
Opposed: 43


   Motion: The GSC should support the $5 fee with the initial budget as outlined by the GSC Budget and Finance Committee.

Moved By: James Hammer; Seconded.
Approved: 44 Opposed: 24


New Business:

Speaker: Dana Lashley, GSC Vice President


Topic: Rewording of Article 1, Section 2 of the GSC Code of Laws

            It was suggested that to clarify the process of motions that would require a change in the GSC constitution that the wording of Article 1, Section 2 of the Code of Laws be changed.


    Motion: In Article 1, Section 2 of the GSC Code of Laws the words “should” is changed to “shall” and the words “to the GSC Secretary” are to be amended.  Article 1, Section 2 should read:  All proposed amendments shall be presented to the GSC Secretary, in writing at least one week in advanced of the next scheduled meeting of the GSC Senate.

Moved By: Frank Sturm;  Seconded.  Approved: 69 Opposed: 1


Topic: GSC Quorum

            It was mentioned that there is currently no defined quorum in the GSC Constitution.  It was stressed that including an amendment that would require a quorum would ensure that proper representation is present for any voted items in the GSC Senate.


Senator Question (Senator Frank Sturm): Is the percentage required for the quorum calculated from the total number of potential senators or from only those in active status?

Response Summary (Vice President Dana Lashley): The percentage will be calculated from the potential active senators.


Senator Question (Senator Lowell Brown): Why was the quorum decided at 50%?

Response Summary (Senator Brefort Griffin): The presence of half of the senators would represent a good diversity.  Increasing much beyond 50% may make it difficult to achieve a quorum.  Having any quorum is better than having none, and the percentage can be adjusted in the future if there is a perceived need.



Motion: An amendment should be added to the GSC Constitution that would require 50% of Senators must be present to constitute a quorum.


                        Moved by: James Hammer; Seconded.  Approved: 61 Opposed: 8


Topic: Details About Senator Responsibilities

            The responsibilities of the GSC senators were discussed, including the following:

   To maintain active status in the GSC departments must have two senators who attend the GSC meeting and each much serve on a committee.

   A senator may miss up to two meetings unexcused and without a proxy.

   A senator must keep his department informed, and the GSC Secretary should be copied on informative emails sent to departments by the senators. 

   If a department becomes inactive then that department will lose all voting rights, be ineligible to partake in any GSC sponsored activities (esp. Forum), the GPO will be notified of the inactive status.

   The executive committee will work with departments on a case-by-case basis.


Speaker: Glenn Hughes, GSC President


Topic: University Student Insurance Renegotiation

            The Senate was informed that there is a university committee meeting to renegotiate the student insurance plan for the year 2013-2014, and the GSC President, Glenn Hughes is a member.  It was also stated that the premium for student insurance will likely increase if the coverage remains at current levels.  The primary purpose of the university committee renegotiating the insurance plan is to balance the benefits with the cost.  In preparation for the insurance discussion the GSC Welfare committee conducted a graduate student survey on the current concerns about the student insurance.




Speaker: Winston Crowder, GSC Treasurer


            Topic: Holiday Hosts

            The GSC Secretary discussed with the Senate the Holiday Host program suggested by Dr. Leonard Vining, Special Projects Coordinator for the Graduate School.  The program is designed to pair domestic students traveling home for the holidays with international students.  Those whose families are willing to host an international student for the holidays should contact Dr. Vining (


Speaker: Dana Lashley, GSC Vice President


Topic:  Upcoming Events

            Dana Lashley updated the Senate on upcoming events on behalf of Jennifer Duggan, GSC Executive Vice-President.  The Events Committee was informed that there will be meetings to discuss and plan events.  Some events and dates are listed below.

Fall Appreciation Week will be the week of November 26.  Ideas will be discussed within the Events Committee

November GSC Sponsored Colloquium is scheduled for November 27. Speaker: Dr. Wayne Flint
Topic: Alabama's Contribution to the Civil Rights Movement
Pizza and drinks will be supplied.

Graduate Student Research Forum is schedule for February 26-28.  Event Committee members are asked to brainstorm ideas on potential improvements to the Forum.  A senator with website design skill is requested.  


Speaker: Kyla Wilkinson, Guest


Topic: Campus-Wide Book Drive

            A guest, Kyla Wilkinson, spoke about a literacy initiative of Auburn University's Miss Homecoming candidate, Blanch Alverson.  A campus-wide book drive, Ballin' for Books, is an ongoing project to help denote books to inner-city schools.  Currently over 1000 books were donated at two Auburn University home basketball games. 





Created On: Nov 05, 2012

Last Updated: Nov 30, 2012

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