Meeting Minutes for September 25, 2012

Meeting Minutes


Meeting Type:           Fall Senate Meeting

Date:                           September 25, 2012

Location:                    Room 2223, Student Center

Time:                         7:00 PM


Call to Order

            Speaker: Pranav Vengsarkar, GSC Secretary

Welcomed and called to order the GSC Senate. It is noted that the SGA Representative, Kristi Jones & the Vice-President, Dana Lashley were not present for this meeting. 

Approval of Meeting Minutes from August 2012 Meeting

            Speaker: Pranav Vengsarkar, GSC Secretary

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

Welcome from the GSC President

Speaker: Glenn Hughes, GSC President

Welcomed the senators to the first official GSC meeting and highlighted the importance of the Graduate Student Fee being discussed during the meeting. Senators were also asked to consider the needs of the graduate students from their department while voting on the fee and explained briefly regarding how the fee may benefit graduate students.

Budget Report

Speaker: Winston Crowder, GSC Treasurer

Informed the senators about the GSC budget/expenditure which has been put up on the GSC website for public viewing. The link for the GSC budget/expenditure is given below-


Old Business

Speaker: Bretford Griffin, Senator on the Rules Committee


Topic- Update on Rules Committee & Constitutional reorganization after SAP change

The final version of constitution is now available on the GSC website via the link below.


This version includes all of last year’s amendments. Also, upon becoming an SAP a new revised constitution will be generated to be voted on sometime in the future. 


Topic- Correction on voted item

Vote from the August meeting regarding the name change of the Ways & Means Committee was a constitutional amendment and didn't have one week’s notice as required by the Constitution. Hence, the vote was formally redone.


Senator Question (Senator Victor Agubra): Does the name change mean a change in the committee members too?

Response Summary (President Glenn Hughes):  No. The committee members will remain the same.


Ø  Motion: Change Article 5, Section 3 of GSC Code of Laws to replace “Ways and Means Committee” with “Rules Committee”.


Moved by: Senator Bretford Griffin; Seconded    Approved: 47 Opposed 7


Speaker: Winston Crowder, GSC Treasurer


Topic- A proposal for a new Graduate Student fee applicable to all the around 4000 graduate students was brought before the senate and the need for this fee was explained. The new fee would be enhance the flexibility and quantity of the current GSC funds and would be framed in such a way to ensure that all the funds go towards only graduate student activities. It is to be noted that the fee will have no effect on the funds currently allocated to the GSC but will be an addition to them. The Finance Committee came up with the decision that Travel grants should be major part of the funds allocated. The current budget for the Graduate School w.r.t the travel grants is $70,000 and the grants are limited to $500 per person and these grants last for around 7 months. Around $50,000-$60,000 extra should be enough to cover the entire year. The other items to which the fee would be allocated to are listed below-


Need: Professional Development

-Academic/Research Centered Events

-Colloquia (Speakers)

-Professional Workshops (Dissertation/Thesis)

-Networking Events


Need: GSC Enrichment

-Website Management and Upkeep

-One time purchases



Features of this fee:

- Entirely GSC Controlled

- Structure approved by Senate will pass to Provost, President, and Trustees

- We must abide by the structure we set in place

- Money spent outside travel must have majority Senate approval



The breakdown for the fee for the different amounts is as follows-


$20 Fee (~$210k* per fiscal year)

-   75% (~$155k) – Travel Grants

-   23% (~$48k) – Professional Development

-   2% (~$4k) – GSC Enrichment


$10 Fee (~$105k* per fiscal year)

-   75% (~$79k) – Travel Grants

-   22% (~$23k) – Professional Development

-    3% (~$3k) – GSC Enrichment


$5 Fee (~$52k* per fiscal year)

-   79% (~$41k) – Travel Grants

-   19% (~$10k) – Professional Development

-    2% (~$1k) – GSC Enrichment


The current GSC funds have several restrictions and the funds generated from this fee won’t have any restrictions and would open up several possibilities for the GSC including having off campus events.


Senator Question (Senator Gabriel Karns): Where does the money for the travel grants currently come from?

Response Summary (Treasurer Winston Crowder):  The Graduate School provides the funds for Travel Grants


Senator Question (Senator David Adams): When will this fee be levied and by whom? Are we augmenting the funds for the grad school?

Response Summary (Treasurer Winston Crowder):  The fee will be levied every semester by the Graduate School. Yes, we are augmenting the funds from the Graduate School.


Senator Question (Senator Bretford Griffin): Will the funds generated by this fee be added to the funds from the Graduate School or will their funds be capped?

Response Summary (Treasurer Winston Crowder):  The funds from this fee will be added to the funds for travel grants from the Graduate School so that an entire year can be covered.


Senator Question (Senator Lowell Brown): What are the sources for the current enrollment data and what are projections for graduate student enrollment in the future?

Response Summary (Treasurer Winston Crowder):  The data was acquired from the Division of Student Affairs and is an estimate based upon the average enrollment during an entire year. The graduate the student enrollment is expected to increase in the future and may double in a few years.


Senator Question (Senator Victor Agubra): Can we have a physical copy of the GSC budget? What about the possible ‘duplication of services’ like thesis writing seminars held by the Library and those held by the GSC under the new budget?

Response Summary (Treasurer Winston Crowder):  The GSC budget is put up on the GSC website. Also, every aspect of the spending money generated by the fee will have to be voted on by the Senate and hence the Senate has the opportunity to remove any ‘duplication of services’ which may occur.


Senator Question (Senator Ami DuBois): Instead of a fee can we look at activities like fund-raising, etc. to generate money for graduate student events?

Response Summary (Treasurer Winston Crowder):  We have looked into this aspect a bit but have not looked into it actively. This is definitely a suggestion we will look into in the future.


Senator Question (Senator Hector Hernandez-Corzo): Can we get details about the approval process for tavel grants and how they are awarded every year?

Response Summary (Treasurer Winston Crowder):  We will ask the Graduate School for details and should make it available for the senators as soon as it is made available to us.


Ø  Motion: To table the discussion and continue the discussion at the next meeting


Moved by: Senator Frank Strum; Seconded    Approved: 43 Opposed 12



New Business

Speaker: Bretford Griffin, Senator on the Rules Committee


Topic- Rewording of Constitutional amendment procedure

The aim was to change Article 1, Section 2 of GSC Code of Laws to state “All proposed amendments should be presented to, in writing, to the GSC Secretary at least one week in advance of the next scheduled meeting of the GSC Senate.” However, there was a call from the senators to modify the wording so that it is more grammatically correct. Hence, this vote will be brought up at the next meeting.




Speaker: Dr. Leonard Vining, Special Projects Coordinator at the Graduate School



Topic- Graduate Student Activity Announcements

Three new ideas for graduate students were announced as listed below

-InterConnect Event

-Holiday Hosts

-First Friend


InterConnect Event

    Americans host events for international students

    Consider starting with two GSC events per semester

    Concept is developed. Need GSC participation


Holiday Hosts

    Holidays are often lonely times for international students away from home

    Consider inviting an international friend home for the holiday

    Need help to develop this concept



First Friend

    First arrival in Auburn is crazy hard for international students…no friends, no transportation, no telephone, no bank account, etc.

    It would be great to have a friend to guide through this process and remove some stress.

    Especially important for students from the 60-70 countries who have no student organization at AU

    Need to develop this concept


Speaker: Pranav Vengsarkar, GSC Secretary


Topic- CPSM Committee Update

            Senators were informed about the buildings which are about to be replaced and renovated on campus. The webpage for the Comprehensive Master Plan is listed below along with the buildings to be replaced/renovated.

Buildings to be replaced-

    Haley Center

    Parker Hall

    Allison Hall

    Funchess Hall

    Upchurch Hall

    Spidle Hall

Buildings to be renovated-


    Mary Martin




    Other buildings may be included





Speaker: Bretford Griffin, Senator on SGA Committee


Topic- SGA Committee Updates

            Senators were informed about various events the SGA is organizing and the updated on recent SGA activities. The entire list of SGA announcements is attached in Appendix A.

Senator Announcements


Speaker: Frank Strum, Senator from Math department


Topic- SGA Committee Updates

Senators were informed about the new access control policy restricting card access to all students to any building on campus during home games. This has caused several academic and research related grievances for graduate students. It was suggested that the Welfare Committee take up this issue and it was also suggested to all the senators to talk to their GPOs to get card access authorized for every graduate student who needs it.

Adjournment- The official meeting was adjourned at 8.00 PM














Glenn Hughes

President - GSC


Date of Approval

Pranav Vengsarkar

Secretary - GSC



Appendix A

SGA Announcements


·        2 new food trucks on campus: Mac the Cheese and Mighty Meatballs. Prices were recently lowered at Mighty Meatballs, so check it out if you haven’t already.


·        5 new eateries around campus: JoAnn’s Kitchen (1st floor of the AU Student Center), Honeysuckle Gelato (Village Dining), Tiger Wok (Village Dining), and Lowder Lounge Coffee Shop.


·        You can now use your Tiger Card at Jordan-Hare Stadium during Auburn football games!


·        Only 2.4% of money was “swept” from Tiger Cards at the end of summer. This was the lowest amount in AU history since implementing the meal plans!

·        There is a new Tiger Dining app for the iPhone and Android that contains updated dining hours for all restaurants, a map of where the food trucks are located, and virtually anything else you would want to know about dining.


·        SGA is looking into adding a two-day fall break to the University Calendar, without taking away the full week break at Thanksgiving.



·        SGA is currently working to create a campus facility/construction channel on AU Access.


·        Soon you will be seeing orange bikes on campus. This is part of a campus bike sharing program called, War Eagle Wheels.


·        The “Green Game” will be October 6th, which will help keep Auburn the loveliest village on the plains by reducing littering at home football games.



·        PC lot enforcement is now only from 7am-2:30pm. After 2:30pm, ANY other car with a hang tag may freely park in the PC lots.


·        The parking passes were initially distributed at a 5% oversell (1700 hangtags were distributed for 1615 spaces).


·        Due to noticeable vacancies in the PC lots and over 400 additional PC hangtags being issued, more PC hangtags will be distributed to students until all of the PC lots reach capacity.


Upcoming SGA Campus Events:


            Hey Day! - October 3rd

            Bodda Getta Bash- October 5th


Volunteer Opportunities:


            Aubie Committee- (Ever wonder how all the cool props and outfits Aubie wears every week get made? This is how!) Every Tuesday at 8pm before home games at the loading dock the Aubie Committee meets, plans, and creates Aubie’s outfits for the next home football game!


Hey Day- Pass out name tags, serve pizza, and be a friendly face on the concourse on October 3rd.



Ø  Thanks to everyone who attended the Provost Open Forum last week! This is a large building (160,000 gross square feet) that will cost a lot of money ($35-$45 million) and be completed soon (2016).


Ø  SGA allocated almost $2 million dollars to various clubs and organizations on Monday night. Part of that amount included money to the Graduate and Professional Schools!


Ø  At least once a month a “newsletter” of sorts will be created and sent to the GSC Senate. This will be something you all will need to forward to your GPO’s so they can send out to all students in the department. Please copy me on the email when you send it to your GPO. If you fail to send it to your GPO, I will send it to your GPO with instructions to forward it to the students in the department.


The reason for this is because ALL graduate students deserve to be informed with information that relates to them. If you are not sending information to your GPO’s, your departments are not getting the information, and the result is a breakdown in communication. Furthermore, you department is not being represented when other departments are and that is not why your department chose you, elected you, or why you volunteered to be a Senator in the Graduate School Council. It is part of my responsibility to make sure graduate students know what is happening and by sending out the “newsletter” and copying me on it, I know that every step has been taken to ensure proper communication is at least being attempted by those whose task it is to do so.


A Graduate Student t-shirt order for “Hey Day” shirts will be taken at meeting. The t-shirt is $12, short sleeve, and will be “cool colors” navy blue. Hey Day is a long standing Auburn tradition and you can’t get this shirt anywhere else on campus or in Auburn, so please bring your money to meeting!


If you have any questions or comments about what is happening at SGA, if you would like to volunteer but don’t know who to contact, ASK ME! I will be more than happy to help to help you.



Kristi Jones

SGA Office (3rd floor Student Center) every Thursday from 4:00-5:00PM


Created On: Oct 01, 2012

Last Updated: Oct 01, 2012

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