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FAQ - GSOCS

FAQ

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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a few of the questions we've received over time. Please add new questions to this list.

1. I am a CS Grad Student, so how do I spend Money?

All spending is done through reimbursements. You spend it and we reimburse it. This includes both for holding events as well as making individual purchases.

2. If I just buy a new gadget or fix my car, will I always get reimbursed?

No. You must ask the e-board before you attempt to make a purchase. We must evaluate if it can benefit the entire computer science graduate student body. If you don't ask us first, then we will not reimburse you.

3. Does spending always have to be related to Computer Science?

Maybe. Our primary rule is that your spending request must benefit all computer science students. It does not necessarily have to be related to computer science. In fact most of the things we've authorized so far have not been directly related to computer science. But if it does not benefit all computer science students, we will deny the request.

4. How do I organize events with the GSOCS?

In general, this is what you should do:

  1. Prepare a budget. A complete budget. (If you need transportation, you must follow GSOCS rules on the Events page.
  2. Send the budget to the e-board.
  3. After it is approved, the e-board will add your event to the budget on the Budget page.
  4. You should edit the Events page yourself and list your event on the website 24 hours in advance and create a signup page for students to signup. Add a link to your new wiki page on the Events page.
  5. Tell the e-board to protect the Event's webpage for you.
  6. Email the GSOCS primary mailing list 24 hours in advance to advertise that your event is ready.
  7. Tell the e-board to unprotect the Event page and allow people to signup.
  8. Once the event is full or the deadline is over, you should go purchases tickets or buy supplies for the event you want to hold
  9. Make sure you use our "tax-exempt" forms before buying stuff so that you do not have to pay taxes.
  10. Finally, ask the e-board for a reimbursement form so that you can get your money back.

All events must follow rules for signup located on the Events page to gaurantee that signups for events are fair. Read the events page before you submit a request to hold an event.

5. If I spend my own money, will I get it back/reimbursed?

Yes. That is a guarantee. If we approve your purchase, we will put it into the Online Budget *before* you spend it. If the e-board has not put it into the online budget, then you do not have confirmation to buy it. Once we have it in the budget you have 100% permission to submit a reimbursement form for that purchase.

6. Does the GSOCS have a bank account?

No, we don't. Each grad student pays $40/semester to the University. This fee goes straight to the parent GSO in the Library. From there, everything we spend is done through reimbursements only.

7. Who determines how much money the GSOCS has?

This is determined by the parent GSO in the Library. Compared to other departments, the GSOCS has a LOT of money. The amount of money is determined to be directly proportional to the number of graduate students in our department. The more grad students we have, the more money we have.

8. COFFEE supplies are gone! Help!

The department (Ellen Tilden) has an agreement with us that we buy and re-stock coffee supplies and the department's vendor delivers the actual coffee. If there is missing sugar or milk, then please contact an e-board member so that they can get new supplies out of the Storage Cabinet next to the sink. We do not buy cups. There are waaaaay too expensive. You should buy yourself a mug. The department supplies cups, but if they run out, we will not pressure them to buy more. It's simply not cost-effective.

9. Can the GSOCS pay for my conference travel?

No. The GSOCS does not provide travel funding. There are good reasons for this:

  1. The parent GSO in the library already provides a fund for travel reimbursement. Several students use it every single semester. They do not cover all expenses, but it does help.
  2. You can find the parent GSO's conference reimbursement information on the GSO website.
  3. The GSOCS is only allocated $5k for the entire year. There are 300 grad CS students (Yes, 300). You do the math.
  4. Conferences are not predictable. Even if only a small portion of the student population attended conferences, those students can get publications accepted at arbitrary times of the year. Thus, if we ran out of money in the Fall, then students in the Spring would be left hung out to dry.

10. I heard you had games (Wii / Board Games). Can we use it?

Yes! Please read the Wii page and the Games page for more information.

11. I am from a Student Group. How do I request a donation?

The GSOCS donated $800 in the 2008/2009 school year to various graduate student groups on campus and we're proud of it. A donation from the GSOCS is an "unconditional" donation, meaning that there are no stipulations that Computer Science students be required to participate in your organization's event. If you would like a donation from Computer Science, this is how you do it:

  1. Give us a letter and a budget. A detailed budget. We will not consider your request without a detailed budget.
  2. The default donation amount is $200. If you are requesting more, then you must justify that request.
  3. Send your request to the e-board @ gsocs-eboard@cs.binghamton.edu
  4. Finally, the GSOCS will be Voting on your request. We will ask all of our students to approve the donation. To date, a donation has never been voted down, but yes it is a real vote and is held online through our website. If the vote does not pass, then we will deny the donation.

If you would like to see a list of prior donations we have made, please check out the Voting page.

12. I am from a Student Group. Can we hold a joint-event with you? (Co-sponsorships)

Yes. The GSOCS makes a distinction between Co-sponsorships and donations. If you are a graduate student group and would like to jointly co-sponsor an event with computer science, then we are happy to do so. We do not consider sponsorships to be donations. Sponsorships require that your student group follow Computer Science rules for Events Organization. These rules cover transportation, funding, and student participation and are strictly enforced. Please visit our Events page for more information.

13. Do we have an Alumni Network?

Would you like to help us set one up? We can't do everything =)

14. Can other students change this website? Edit the Wiki?

Yes! Absolutely. Just login with your PODS/CS username and get to work!

15. Do we have coffee hours?

Yes. We have what we call "pizza hours". They are held every two weeks. They also function as our meetings.

16. Why didn't you buy more pizza? I'm hungry, damnit!

We spend over $70 on EACH meeting for pizza from our budget (hundreds of dollars per semester). It is more than sufficient to create a group atmosphere.

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