- Gina Casalegno discussed the campus Smoke-Less Policy (Slides Here).
- Via strawpoll, the GSA supports the Smoke-Less Policy
- Via strawpoll, the GSA supports banning e-cigarettes within 20 feet of buildings
- The International Students Concerns Task Force presented a final report of 13 recommendations to support international graduate students.
- International students make up 2/3 of the graduate population.
- Via strawpoll, the GSA supports signing onto the National Association of Graduate and Professional Students' letter opposing North Carolina HB2 (Letter, Wikipedia).
- Upcoming GSA events include
- White Water Rafting @ Laurel Highlands (August 7th)
- UPCOMING GSA EVENTS : May 7 - PhD Movie 2 Screening (ticket lottery live on 5/1).
- Student Body Election Results were ratified by both Student Senate and GSA.
- GSA Elections are held in the May meeting. If you are interested in running for an executive position click here (for more information on running)!
- Liz Vaughan presented an overview of the Student Activities Arts Pass program which will be expanded to include the Heinz History Center.
- Reps heard budget previews from both GSA and JFC for the next school year. The Physics reps voted on your behalf on April 21st to approve Student Government budgets for 2016-2017.
- We got a chance to talk to President Suresh about the state of graduate student education at CMU. Additionally, the administration is soliciting feedback from the community on how best to allocate the $250 million from the Marvell settlement, more information on how to offer your suggestions is available here.
- Health Services presented 2016-2017 rates for the student healthcare plan. The premium for a single student will be going up to about $1799 (currently $1607). Link to the full presentation by Health Services is available here.
- Thanks to all who gave feedback about stipends. GSA is using this info as leverage for improving Ph.D. stipend packages across the university.
- We voted on your behalf to approve GSA bylaws which were presented in December.
- We have new events coming this spring to enrich the graduate student life at CMU (Full Monty, PhD Comics Movie, Sound of Music, Matilda and more). Updates about the events will be sent in due time.
- Those who are interested in volunteering for various CMU Community events, check out the 1000Plus service event.
- the new Star Wars movie will be out very soon; tickets for the movie will be decided by lottery
- the Collegiate Recovery Community offers help to people seeking recovery from alcohol or drug abuse
- the Graduate Lounge Budget Proposal which envisages the establishment of new lounge for graduate students in the third floor of the Cohon University Center was discussed
- raising funds for collaborations, organizational work and special projects through CMU Crowdfunding
- the results of the CMU Office of Title IX Initiatives' study on Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence are out; queries about the report can be directed to CMU's Title IX Director Holly Hippensteel
- the PTC Shuttle stop at the Greenfield Avenue near the Greenfield Bridge has been discontinued
- we discussed the rolling out of the new health insurance schemes
- on-campus grad housing options have been reduced due to large number of incoming undergrads
- discussed the development of a strategic plan summary which outlines the vision, goals and priorities of the plan
- discussed the participation of graduate students in the CMU Community Garden initiative
- we voted to pass the Joint Funding Committee (JFC) budget for the next fiscal year (the JFC is responsible for funding most student organizations), after much debate
- we elected a new executive board for the GSA
- the new single-plan health insurance negotiations have been finalized; official announcement to follow in a few days
- we ratified the results of the recent student government elections
- we voted on the new campus smoking policy, and it passed
- nothing will change until the summer or fall at the earliest
- essentially, once in effect, tobacco products will be banned on campus (all tobacco products)
- for now, vaporizers and e-cigarettes will not be included in the ban, but they will be banned indoors
- changes are coming to the student health insurance offerings; in short, prices are going up, but the plan(s) will provide better coverage
- GSA executive committee elections are coming up; interested in running?
- the tobacco policy for the University, which will soon be taken for approval by the President, CMU was discussed; highlight of the discussion was the permissibility of e-cigarettes
- a new masterplan for the dining services of CMU was discussed. The
highlights of the new masterplan include:
- Scott Hall Cafe (Scott Hall will be a new addition to the CMU campus)
- proposal to renovate Skibo and the Underground
- CMU Nutrition App
- the CMU strategic planning committee is looking for feedback from grad students on how to improve grad student life on campus as well as professional development opportunities, especially for non-academic career paths
- GSA is considering forming a new healthcare committee to deal with grad student concerns related to CMU health insurance policy changes
- "CMU idea space" is a new competition for grad students with big ideas (google it)
- we voted to endorse a campus effort to write a new tobacco policy for the university, which will ultimately ban tobacco on campus (no part of this policy is certain at this point, including the timeline)
- some upcoming GSA events include
- annual ski trip (Jan 24)
- BeethovenFest symphony tickets (Feb 20)
- GSA trivia night in March
- grad student appreciation week (April 6--10)
- wine tasting (April 24)