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Minutes from 10/20/08 - GSOCS

Minutes from 10/20/08

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Minutes from October 20th, 2008

Event Information Broadly, there are sections here, events we're planning, and how we're going to get to them

  • Event Planning:

All future events will be first-come first-serve and will be announced with plenty of advanced notice

We apologize for the confusion surrounding the Six Flags trip, but due to complaints of the lack of a previously announced plan, the trip had to be canceled for now. Since theme parks are just about closed for the Winter, future theme park trips will have to be planned for later on next Spring.

Our strategy for planning events will be 1 large event per semester/year and a number of smaller events throughout. This decision is based on the cost of large events relative to our Budget.

A skiing trip sometime during Winter has been suggested for the big event. We will look into this event in the next few weeks.

Many small event suggestions were suggested and can be seen on the Events page.

The president of the GSO-ME organization, Zhiting Tian, came by to announce that she would like to work with the GSOCS to plan some small events in the near future. The events are along the lines of department vs. department sports (basketball and soccer), computer game nights, or just a general mixer-type party. We will be in contact with her again to work on some of these ideas.

  • Event Transportation:

Transportation options used by the University are generally expensive.

OCCT is a good deal, at $50 an hour, but they will not travel beyond 100 miles from campus.

Other local alternatives were investigated and are probably more useful for our group:

1. "Coach Master Limo": These guys are based in Endicott. They are by far the cheapest, but they have less availability (need to reserve a month in advance). They offer 20-person and 30-person buses. Their daily rate is $780 for 12 hours and $70 per hour overtime. (For the 30-person bus, the rate goes to $900 for 12 hours at $80 per hour overtime). 607-748-2322

2. "Cisco Transportation": These guys are based in Binghamton. They are slightly more expensive, but they allow you to book as soon as a week before the trip - they usually have good availability. They offer 22-person and 36-person buses. They do not have daily rates, but instead charge by the hour @ $85/hour. (So, for example, the same 12-hour day trip would cost about $1000 dollars). 607-772-2442

The first company asks for a gratuity of about 15%, so in the end they would both generally end up costing about the same, depending on the trip we took, although the second one is clearly more flexible.

Budget The final budget for the semester is now posted on the Budget page. We have adopted an open ended approach to Student Purchase Requests (SPR's) this semester, until we see how things are going. SPR's can be used for more or less anything that a graduate student (or group of graduate students) thinks might be useful to help them succeed with their studies. Some ideas are:

    • Office supplies
    • Food for study groups
    • money to organize small meetings

We will need to monitor how much SPR's are being used and what types of rules might need to be enforced as the semester progresses. We reserve the right to limit requests based on the frequency and amount of requests we are receiving. We also encourage students who don't have lab space to make use of this money - it is your money after all!

One good suggestion on how to spend any remaining money is to use it to buy books for the CS Library at the end of the semester.

General Issues

The highlights are that OCCT is still not guaranteed for the Spring semester but things are looking promising.

  • Escape Bus Trips

Graduate students are no longer allowed on Escape bus trips. After meeting with the program director, 20% of the students on the trips were graduate students (which corresponds nicely with 20% of campus population being graduate students), but the funding for the trips comes from Campus Life, which the graduate students do not contribute to. We will appeal to the parent GSO to see if we can work out a deal with the Escape program to allow graduate students back on the trips.

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