EGSS Meeting Minutes – 27 September 2012

In attendance: Trish Baer; Adele Barclay; Sarah Brennan-Newell; Kevin Elliott (Vice-President); Aleta Gruenewald; Paula Johanson; Kate Juniper; Samantha MacFarlane; Shaun Macpherson; Tim Personn (President); Julia Ready; Brittany Therrien; Renee Vander Meulen; Travis VanderVelden; and Zaqir Virani.

Meeting Commenced at 4:34 p.m.


  • Explains Robert’s Rules to everybody to explain the format of how meetings will be conducted;
  • Announces call for participants for the GSS’s “Beyond the Jargon” radio show;
  • Announces call for members for vacant positions in various GSS sub-committees (advocacy committee; international studies committee; distance studies committee; and graduate council structure committee).


  • Announces information for upcoming GSS meetings for the academic year;
  • Summarizes report from the GSS’s Director of Finance on the financial state of the GSS. Finances are “sound” and there is a “small,” “projected” surplus for the upcoming year. For the first time in recent years, the restaurant in the graduate house made an overall profit in the last fiscal year. However, the GSS concedes that the restaurant loses money during the summer months, but that is a hit they are willing to accept in order to provide the services to students during those months.

Macpherson: What is the GSS doing to improve travel grant funding?

Barclay: Clarifies the logistics of the department’s “top-up” fund, but concedes that it is separate from the GSS.

Macpherson: How often can students get GSS travel grants?

Barclay: I think it’s a maximum of one per term per student.

MacFarlane: Also, the GSS will start to run out of money for travel grants later on in the academic year.

Macpherson: Based on my experiences, everything is done through Colleen and it’s all based on predetermined allotments.

Personn: It would be useful to make the whole process more transparent.


  • Reports back from department meeting: explains the faculty’s discussions about impending strike action on campus, the alteration to the university’s grading scale, and the confusion over the introduction of the “N” grade.

Personn: It seems that this would mostly only affect TAs because they have to do marking.

Macpherson: As the TA Peer Mentor, I’ll talk to Kim Blank about it.

Personn: Introduces a motion on behalf of Sandra Friesen (absent) to have the President, instead of the Secretary, chair future EGSS meetings; Virani seconds the motion.

Brennan-Newell: Can somebody clarify then what would be the remaining responsibilities of the Secretary?

Personn: Presumably to schedule EGSS meetings, organize the agendas for the meetings, and record/publish the minutes of the meetings.

Virani: Will this be a permanent switch?

Personn: Yes.

Gruenewald: Is the President always a PhD student?

Personn: Yes, that’s automatic.

Gruenewald introduces a motion to give the Secretary a training process but withdraws it upon learning about the (vacant) Registrar position.

The motion passes by a majority vote.


Macpherson introduces a motion to make the Secretary position temporarily an interim position until the end of the 2012 calendar year, with the Secretary retaining the option of thenafter assuming the position permanently; Ready seconds. The motion passes by a majority vote.

Ready nominates herself for the position of secretary; she receives it by acclamation.

Macpherson nominates himself for the position of Academic and Professional Committee Chairperson; he receives it by acclamation.

Ready nominates Virani for the position of Social Committee Chairperson; he accepts the nomination. Macpherson, on behalf of Sandra Friesen (absent), nominates Friesen. Virani and Friesen (absent) are elected, by majority vote, as co-chairs.

MacFarlane nominates herself for the position of Conferences and Colloquia Committee Chairperson; she receives it by acclamation.

Meeting adjourned at 5:51 p.m.