EGSA Meeting Minutes
September 5, 2018
Minutes recorded by Georgia Henry
Welcome new students! EGSA is your grad student organization. It serves as a bridge, with the
presidents, Julia Kreiner and Amardeep Singh, attending faculty meetings to serve student interests.
They also keep students informed about departmental and university-wide goings-on. In previous years
they have been involved in collective bargaining. There are about 20 people on the EGSA committee.
The first meeting of the year will consist of committee member introduction and updates. More EGSA
meetings will happen this year, and at a time that works for all campus groups. 3 meetings per semester.
Poll will be sent out to figure out the best times. Also, EVENTS! Atwood Colloquium is especially
important. There are lots of opportunities to get involved throughout the year. More about these from
social committee and Atwood committee
Mission statement available on website: http://www.utegsa.wordpress.com
Facebook group: Ecology & Evolutionary Biology grad students association. (CLOSED GROUP! MUST
ANSWER QUESTION TO BE APPROVED FOR MEMBERSHIP)
Twitter: @eebtoronto (Email Tyler if you want anything posted)
Budget approved! $2500 per year. $1200 comes from GSU and matched by EEB. Mentorship money is
separate. Increased funding for mentorship ($100 more). Kate Brown organized excellent mental health
initiatives last year with no money officially designated for it. Thanks to her, we now have $500 for
mental health initiatives. Most of the budget (a portion) has typically gone unused, except for
subsidizing merch to get rid of it at the end of the year. We are looking for new events to fund (talk to
social committee). Ideas could be something like an art show, KSR (or Algonquin) winter retreat, take
the initiative and you’ll get funded maybe.
Meeting with Don Jackson
Two faculty searches this year. Job search this year is not for the disease ecology positions from last
couple of years, that’s up in the air. New positions: research stream (tenure track), as well as a teaching
stream position. With the job search comes Job talks! You’ll get emails about this later on. After the
candidate gives their talk there is free lunch and meeting with candidate for the grad students. We can
then relay our opinions, comments and concerns to the dept. search committee to be incorporated into
Committee member introductions and updates
Peer mentorship: not an executive position (yet?). We decided to take more organizational initiative this
year. Felix Beaudry is running this. At a later meeting we can vote for this to become an official position.
We have more money for this program this year. We’ll be hosting an informal event with everyone to
break the ice. $10 per semester. Just need a receipt for coffee from any time.
Zoe Humphries – treasurer. Bring her your receipts to be reimbursed! This includes the mentorship
coffee receipts or things purchased for EGSA events.
Georgia Henry – Secretary. I take meeting notes so you don’t have to!
Tyler Kent – IT. He fixes things but not actually. We have IT technicians for the department (Adam and
Ryan in ESC on 3rd floor). Tyler runs our twitter, keeps the website updates and is the admin for the
Facebook group. Any cool science events or papers you publish will be posted on twitter (we have a
good following) AS LONG AS YOU LET TYLER KNOW. Get your cool research out there for the people to
David Benoit – Fundraiser. No updates, as this is usually in December (holiday party raffle) but maybe
will do fundraising at other events. At future meetings we’ll vote for which charities to donate to!
Tyler Kent – Atwood Colloquium Rep. The Colloquium has three headlining speakers. Rising stars in
Ecology and Evolution are picked by faculty, the Atwood lecturer is a famous researcher we the grad
student nominate. All speakers give talks at the colloquium. We also get to meet them through meals
and drinks. Previous years our first choices had already been booked for other events, so this year we
voted early! Dr. Sharon Strauss has gladly accepted our invitation! Will need volunteers in April.
Committee to organize lunches and dinner as well as volunteers to keep things running smoothly
throughout the event.
David Timerman – Health and Safety. No updates.
David Timerman – CUPE Rep. Sent out email about health benefits. Union of public employees,
automatically a member if you TA >50hrs per year. David will give an orientation for CUPE entitlements
after TA training on Sept. 12th
. You can ask him questions then. You will be getting a lot of emails, mainly
forwards from CUPE email. This year will probably be uneventful because we negotiated a new contract
last year. CUPE is really pushing for organizing councils, “you are the union!”. Any ideas you have you
can bring to meetings. Always pretty good free food (bring Tupperware). Hosting a BBQ on Sept 17th
beside GSU pub. Special membership meeting 5-7PM, was last week but needed more people for
quorum. IMPORTANT as the meeting concerns new funds. $3.2 million needs to be distributed. We
have 4 CUPE positions, and are trying to fill them. $200 more per stewardship filled for the dept. CUPE
stewards get $200 honorarium at end of year. Tell David if you’re interested!
Zoe Humphries and Ariel Greiner (not present) – Student Journal Club. SJC is a place to talk about papers
or your work. A good opportunity to practice communication skills and engage with people outside of
your subfield. (good for appraisal exam!). More informal than the internal/external seminar series
(Mondays and Fridays, you get emails from Helen Rodd about those). Less intimidating! Alternates
between paper discussion and student seminar. A good place to give a practice talk for appraisal or
Leila Forsyth and David Benoit – Social reps. Will try to do something every 2 weeks. Main events are
Halloween party and Darwin Day in Feb. If you have ideas email them. Also looking for volunteers, only
need to commit to a single event (not ongoing unless you want?). Getting decorations, leading things.
Sports stuff: we want to set something up! Low-key/for the less athletic folk! We had a softball game in
the summer and it was super fun! We’ll try to do something similar (dodgeball, soccer, etc.) If enough
people are interested we could do an EEB intermural team, a bit more serious. This would need to
happen ASAP (sign ups start soon).
Ariel, Zoe and Bonnie Pilkington-Lindo – Mental Health Committee. Several things: coffee breaks! Rant
and have coffee/ice cream/snacks. Workshops and other events. If you ever just want to talk, come by
their offices (Zoe has chocolate). If you have ideas bring them to the mental health team! If you’d like to
be a mental health resource (someone people can vent to) talk to them. We had signs on doors last
year, we’ll do that again this year.
Madeline Peters – EEB Undergrad Rep (not present). Trying to get undergrads more involved in dept
events. Will pass on information to bridge gap for a more cohesive department.
Nishant Singh – GSU Rep: All automatically a part of GSU. Once a month general council meetings.
Nishant is there to make sure our goals are represented. We as a department aren’t very problematic. If
you need help understanding, or want to be more involved with the GSU, talk to him. Annual general
meeting is open to all members. High level jargon stuff, general policy.
Sean Anderson – UTSC Rep: Want to encourage cross campus communication. Commute is killer
though, so, in-house stuff! Another grad student union GSAS. Across dept. They have more money
($20,000/year) for stuff. You have to fill out form to join, but you only gain benefits (travel grants and
awards), don’t lose any affiliations. Orientation is next Thursday. Free food and drink. There are three
seminar series at UTSC: Wednesday at lunch student seminar ($50 prize at end of year), biological sci
seminar series Friday at noon, new frontiers seminar series voted on by GSAS. There will also be card
game/board game nights. Food usually included
EEB GRAD STUDENT MAGAZINE!!!!! Sean Anderson is Editor in Chief. First issue this Sept. Solicitations
sent out soon for December issue. If you have field research photos send to James Santangelo.
James Santangelo – UTM Rep. Increase communication between campuses. Encourages UTM students
to come downtown. Free shuttlebus! Cool seminars at UTM, “super speakers” seminar series. Sally
Aiken and Nobel Laureate (for creating GFP marking) this year. James is also serving as an associate
editor for the EEB magazine.
Ashley Reynolds – ROM Rep. Also serving to increase communication between campuses. The ROM
group is a “weird appendage to St. George”. ROM students can talk to Ashley if they have issues. Non-
ROM students with questions about ROM events are free to email Ashley. All grads get free access on
Tuesdays (all exhibits) OR make friends with ROM students and they’ll get you in. Spiders exhibit (on
now) is cool and includes a dancing game. Lecture series (3): $15 student tickets in evening. Series
throughout week is free with admission. Totally free seminar series on weekends. ROM has own journal
club, biweekly, everyone welcome. Ashely will spam EEB-ALL listserv with events.
Kate Brown and Denon Start – KSR Retreat Organizers. Update about this weekend: if you want to come
but haven’t signed up, email them ASAP! There is a bus leaving from downtown at 11AM on Saturday,
leaving KSR at 11AM Sunday. KSR director John Stinchcombe will be giving a tour, there might be a slip
and slide. Bring lunch if you’re bussing (dinner and Sunday breakfast are provided). Bring air
mattress/thermarest if you have one, we are running out of beds. Please email Kate & Denon if you have
any dietary restrictions/allergies. Carpool questions can also be emailed to Kate/Denon. Bring cottage
Kate & Jalina Bielaska-Da Silva are also running Sci. Comm. Workshops! Next workshops will be: Science
Blogging & Journalism, and Science Media & Broadcasting. Free food. If interested, come check it out!
Email if you have questions.