There was a great turnout this month for the GSA General Meeting! It was exciting to see everyone there and so many new faces!
Bylaws and Officer Election
The meeting started off with a review of the proposed GSA bylaws, which were ratified by a unanimous vote. The final version of these bylaws can be found here. This was followed by the announcement of the new GSA officers in uncontested positions, and a vote was cast for the contested position of Student Ambassador. Here are your new GSA Officers:
- President: Elizabeth Fucich
- Vice President: Stacey Stahl
- Secretary: Mikaela Sifuentes
- Treasurer: Travis Block
- Student Ambassador: Nour Abdelfattah
The program representatives were also announced, and they can be found here. The only contested positions for program representative is the Translational Science program, for which the selection will be conducted via an online vote to those students in that program. We are still searching for program representatives for Biomedical Engineering, Clinical Laboratory Sciences, and Nursing Science! If you know someone who may be interested in representing the interests and needs of their program, let us/them know!
The issue was brought up that some of the new students were required to pay their parking permit fees in a lump sum upfront, rather than have the fees deducted from their paycheck on a monthly basis. It seems as though if students specify that they are an employee of UTHSCSA (which grad students are), the option to deduct the fees from their student stipend will be made available.
The issue of zoning for grad students was also brought up at the meeting. Last year, it was announced that Zone 5 would be eliminated and that all students would be parking in Zone 4. This decision was appealed, and the outcome is still uncertain. As a result, this year some grad students were bumped up to Zone 4 parking, while others were not. It was proposed by a member of the GSA that graduate students be bumped up to a higher zone such as 2 or 3. We will investigate this matter further, as this is a decision involving the Student Government Association (SGA).
The Career Fair is an event hosted by the GSA on October 30th, 12 – 4 pm, in the Academic and Administration Building (AAB) Breezway. The GSA officers announced their plans to invite molecular biologist, author, comedian and creator of the Grad Student Rap, Adam Reuben, as the keynote speaker for this event, and are currently raising the money to bring him to our campus. He is also the author of the book Surviving Your Stupid Stupid Decision to go to Grad School, which the GSA officers are hoping to bring to the shelves of our UTHSCSA book store. He is also a prolific writer at the Careers section for Science magazine, and he appeared in the Discovery Channel show, Outrageous Acts of Science.
If you are interested in helping the Career Fair come into existence, email the GSA officers at email@example.com or sign up here to join the Career Fair Committee! The Career Fair Committee will be having their first meeting on Thursday, September 18th, at 5 pm in room DTL 3.663U. Even if you miss the first meeting, you are still welcome to join us at our later meetings and help make the Career Fair happen!
The Chili Cook Off!
Every year, the SGA hosts an annual Halloween-themed cook off in October. This year’s event will take place on October 30th, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at the Intramural fields next to Gold’s Gym. There is free chili and free beer (students to get your wrist band bring both your student ID and driver’s license). There will be prizes for multiple categories in chili and in costumes. The SGA will cover up to $25 of supplies, and there is no limit to the number of people on a team. Last year, the GSA won prizes for the Hottest Chili! Let’s win something this year!
The Student Government Association
For institution-wide issues that go beyond the scope of grad students and the GSA, we turn to the Student Government Association (SGA). The SGA has representatives from each of the schools within the Health Science Center, and has monthly meetings. The next meeting will be October 2, in room AAB 116. These meetings are open to all students, but you must RSVP. To do so, send an email to Nathanael Phillips at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At this point, a major SGA announcement was brought up by Sabrina Martinez, one of the Graduate School reps for the SGA. There is a minor power outage scheduled for Friday, September 19, 2015 from 10 pm – 4 am. There will also be a major power outage scheduled for January 16-20, 2015 (4 days, MLK weekend). All power, including back up power, will be cut during this time, so inform your PIs, your lab mates, and your class mates. Schedule your experiments around this event and come up with a plan to preserve your lab materials. This is beyond the control of the GSA, so contact the SGA or attend the next General Meeting in October to voice your concerns and opinions.
Clarification: the power outage announcements apply to the UTHSCSA Long Campus ONLY! This will not be affecting the Texas Biomedical Research Institute, the Texas Research Park, or the Greehey Campus.
The Bake Sale
Everything the GSA does costs money. Having meetings, feeding students, and hosting events must be supported by fundraising. Please, help the GSA conduct a bake sale scheduled for Tuesday, September 30th, in the Lecture Hall foyer on Main Campus. We welcome any baked goods donations, along with healthy items, vegan options, or anything creative you’d like to add to the table (last year we even had home-made deer jerky!). We also need people to help man the booth throughout the day. If you can help, please email the GSA officers at email@example.com to sign up!
The slides with all the information presented at Tuesday’s meeting can be seen below.