MCS GSAC Meeting Minutes
April 6, 2005

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December 6, 2005

GSAC Meeting
Tuesday, December 6, 2005

In attendance:

Sandra Zimmerman (BSC)
Jessica Cooper (CMY)
Gerard Brunick (MSC)
Zeb Krahn (PHY)

Gregg Franklin
Katya Malkin

GSAC has several new members this semester - Jessica Cooper and Anna Zatsman from Chemistry.

1. Poster Session in February
This year's poster session will be held on Friday, February 10, from 5:30 - 8:00 PM in Rangos 2 & 3. Sandra volunteered to create flyers advertising the poster session. We will post these around campus and Mellon and GSAC reps will email students in their departments to advertise the event and to recruit poster presenters.

The prize distribution will remain the same as last year ( gift certificates):

  1. Raffle by Department
  2. There will be a $75 gift certificate raffled off for each of the 4 departments. However, to be eligible the department must have at least 3 posters.
  3. Grand Raffle
  4. The names of everyone contributing a poster will be put into a single bag which will be used to raffle off two $100 gift certificates. If a department has less than 3 posters, we'll add the $75 certificate to the grand raffle.
Issues to address for this year:
  • Last year we ran out of easels. We typically borrow these from Barry Luokkala in the physics department, but additional easels can be obtained from the UC. We might also get some extra boards in case we run out.
  • Katya will increase the food order slightly.
  • GSAC reps will remind presenters from their departments to show up about half an hour early to et up their posters.

2. Fusion Forum
Fusion Forum is a program through which advisors from historically black colleges and universities visit other schools to address diversity issues and offer advice about how to increase diversity. This year a group of advisors will be visiting MCS to evaluate its graduate programs and they will be bringing some undergraduate students with them. This is an opportunity for these students to visit and learn about a research university and consider graduate school in the sciences. The visit will be on April 7 and 8 (Friday & Saturday). There are currently no structured programs or events and we are not sure how many students will be visiting. The forum provides an opportunity to sell our programs to prospective student, learn more about the needs and perceptions of minority students, and to expose them to a research university environment.

The issue of diversity in MCS graduate programs might be a good topic for general discussion in GSAC.

3. Health Insurance
Zeb provided a brief update on the state of graduate student health insurance options. Bidding will begin in February and will probably result in two to three options for the university to choose from. For the most part, students do not have much say in which carriers or plans are chosen. An are where students do have some say is in how cost increases are distributed. For example, increases can be distributed such that all plans see a smaller percentage of increase or such that one type of plan sees a large increase while others see none. The hard waiver (minimum coverage requirement, mental health options, etc) is not open to negotiation. Zeb will continue to serve on the GSA healthcare committee and will provide updates to GSAC.