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Some past communications & outcomes

More from archives to be added soon.


2008 GSA Council

July 18th, 2008 Meeting Minutes

Speaker- Wednesday meeting 

Budget- ~4700 

Approximate incoming budget ~3000 (150-200 students at $10/semester, $20/year) 

Yearly charges- ~300 Chicano conference, research week (not taken out yet) 

Chancellor- matching travel funds?  (no response) – give them a round figure to work with

–          Suggestion: let Sam, Chancellor, etc. know so both administration and grad students know

–          Deadlines for travel needs to be decided on, (rolling deadline… per semester)

–          Receipts are needed for food 

Orientation pot luck- funding?  August 22nd, weekend at Millenium (cost vs. community pool)  


–          look into space issue

–          parking

–          GSA meetings frequency- once a month, once a semester

–          graduate track accreditation for programs other than ES

–          committee

–          orientation (August 18th) 12:30-1:30

–          website: advertise

–          get other groups involved

–          1:45-3:00PM, August 15th – international students


–     =========================================

Transportation Committee meeting at UC Merced

TAPS advisory board meeting minutes 05/12/08

Representative Justin Mathews

 The entire hour was spent discussing Graduate student parking, here are the highlights:

  1. Sister campus policies
    1. Cal – Hold teaching/TA position get Faculty/Staff
    2. Davis – If payroll categorizes them as Faculty / Staff via title code; UCD payroll confirms that: researchers, Jr. specialists, and TA are all staff (3276) positions.
    3. SF – n/a for obvious reasons, only graduate students enrolled.
    4. Merced – currently pretty lenient… no RA/TA delineation
    5. Santa Cruz – Special permit that allows parking in Graduate Student lot near Faculty/Staff Lot
    6. San Diego – A (Faculty), B (Staff)**Graduate**, S (Student)
    7. Santa Barbara – A (Faculty), B (Staff)**Graduate >=50%**, S (Student)
    8. Los Angeles – Point system: based on need… +off campus, +children, +distance, +class standing (Graduate: 19pts, Undergraduate: 10 pts.)
    9. Riverside – Same opportunity at Faculty/Staff
    10. Irvine – TA = Faculty/staff, 50 % or more = preferred faculty/staff


Campus Staff Student Misc.
Berkeley X    
Davis X    
Merced X    
Santa Cruz X    
San Diego X    
Santa Barbara X    
Los Angeles     Points
Riverside X    
Irvine X    
San Francisco     n/a


 I made the following suggestions:

 In the end, the advisory board passed the following resolution:

 Starting Fall 2008, Graduate Students will need to purchase a Student Parking Pass and park in student parking unless they meet the following criteria:

 a) Whether to have some permits (in Science & Engineering Lots, Library 1 &2 lots, Lake Lot 1) cost more than permits for other parking spaces.

This is not fair to those in income brackets that are already strapped for cash (grad students). Grad students have to be on campus to perform basic duties that keep this university functioning as a university (research, teaching, undergraduate instruction, and service), just like faculty.

To address the needs of researchers and staff; I believe that there should be a 2 or 3 car, 30 minute loading/unloading zone next to both the engineering and classroom buildings to allow both students and faculty to carry in larger items, and then park as normal.  (I really do hate it when I have a huge box of papers graded and can’t park for a minute just to get them into my rolling file.)

I know that many of us Grad students did buy the more costly faculty/staff permit this year, and there is never parking in those lots anyway. I guess they should just sell those to faculty given the limited number of spaces.

Absolutely the parking in the upper lots should cost more than parking where you have to walk up the hill.  It should cost a minimum of $80 a month, as you would have to spend that much to enter the lower lots on a daily basis.  If the convenience of the upper lot isn’t worth it, then faculty/staff will walk… and it will be good for them.
I think if you price the parking properly, the problem with grad students parking and faculty complaining about it will go away.  Most grad students won’t want to pay that sort of money.  Use the law of supply and demand to solve the issue.

b) whether to allow Grad students working at 49% time to purchase those more expensive permits in S&E and Library lots, or to open those permitted areas to Faculty/Staff only.
Restricted parking should definitely be made available to those individuals that INSTRUCT. If you have to stand up in front of a class/discussion section/lab you should have the opportunity to buy a restricted permit, full stop.

 Let’s examine the clause, ‘whether to consider Grad students working as TAs/RAs as “staff” or “students”‘  Please note the word ‘working’ appears in the text.  I sort of had the idea that if you worked for a school you were part of the staff, but maybe faculty does all the work.  Pardon the sarcasm, but gee whiz, the real problem is not enough parking (lack of supply) and too many people (lots of demand).  Just raise the prices and let economics fix the situation.

 Grad students are routinely treated as “mere students” on this campus, this initiative would make that situation even worse. Most grad students’ only income comes from the UC. Other universities commonly refer to graduate students as “Faculty” since they usually teach, conduct research, hold office hours, etc… It is already difficult for grad students to learn how to function as faculty (something that most of us are training to do for the rest of our working years) without additional barriers such as parking hassles.

 The two tiered structure of fees sounds fine to me but should include Grad students since they are most likely working in the labs and offices closest to the upper tier parking.

I have not seen any graduate student at the other UCs classified as staff.  We are students first and foremost.

 I think all staff should be treated equally, there should not be a “faculty only” parking lot.  Likewise there should not be a persons with children or persons of advanced age parking lot.

 I have been asking around for others’ opinions in the EECS department, and we agree on these:
1. We don’t mind walking from the lake lot, we are young, and walking for sometime everyday is actually good for health.
2. A lot of grad students are actually working in the S&E COB buildings more than 8 hours everyday. In that sense we should not be differentiated from the staffs/faculties.
3. We don’t understand why the growing number of grad students will be something held against us particularly. More staffs/faculties will also be coming into the univ, new undergrads too, the univ has to solve the parking problem one way or another

 **we absolutely need more loading spaces for the SE building.  I often have more equipment than I can be expected to carry up from the lake lot.  I often travel back and forth to Castle to use equipment that UC Merced is dragging their feet on moving to campus.  Part of the travel back and forth involves a fair amount of chemicals, samples, and supplies.  We need a loading dock or loading spaces for the building separate from facilities management activities. (RR)


 it would be nice to add a few more stops to Cattracks so that more of us could ride that to and from campus, rather than take our cars. Maybe they could take a survey and see where we want new stops =) maybe one near G and El Portal? Or at least at the “Bus” stop on G by Raleys. I think the closest stop to that is by millenium sports, which is a bit far.
I think the parking situation is insane, and they should be encouraging bus-riding rather than building so many parking lots (I’m pretty sure more space is taken up here by our cars, rather than the buildings.)

 I see grad and undergrad students at Sam Café all the time- we should have a Cattracks stop there! (MLK and 12th).

 I think it would also help if Cattracks and the Registrar’s Office talked.  I’ve heard a lot of students complain about having to drive when they would take Cattracks if it coordinated with their classes/final exam schedule better.

I think the most important efforts are to encourage bicycle transportation by more bike racks on the busses, either a bike service center or at least flat repair items for sale on campus, an air compressor with an air chuck in an accessible location and a bike friendly attitude from the faculty and staff.  I also support the idea of more frequent busses supported by a raise in parking fees.


February 6, 2008

To Dr. Steve Kang

Chancellor University of California Merced

Graduate Student Association Meeting Agenda

 Office Space:

 Health Care:

 Research Facilities:

 Child Care:

 Long term vs. Short term planning:

Who is advocating for the short-term and long-term interests of the graduate students when it comes to campus planning?  How will graduate students be incorporated into the planning process? 


How are graduate students being informed of accreditation progress?  What will it mean to graduate student degrees when we graduate from a school that is going through the process of accreditation?

 Graduate Student Fees: Approximately 2-3% of our income goes to paying annual student fees.


Health Insurance Analysis for better Grad Student Health Insurance at UC Merced

Prepared  on 3-31-2008 for Meeting with Chancellor Steve Kang by 2008 GSA led by Dorie Beals

  UC Merced UCLA UC Santa Cruz UC Davis UC Riverside UC SB UC I UC Berkeley  
Annual Deductible $100 $250 $200 $100   $300   $200  
CoPay $10 $25 $10   $10        
Insurance pays to a preferred provider 90% 80% 85% 80% 95% 80% 90% 80%  
Insurance pays to Out of Network 80% 50% 65% 50% 65% 50% 50% 60%  
Insurance pays w/o referral  to a preferred provider   50%              
Insurance pays w/o referral to Out of Network   50%              
Maximum  Benefit $100,000 per year $500,000 for lifetime $250,000 per year $400,000 for lifetime $250,000 per condition $300,000 per condition $500,000 for lifetime $250,000  
Out of pocket Maximum with Preferred Provider $3,000 $1,000 $3,000 $3,000 none? $4,000 $1,000 $3,000  
Out of pocket Maximum with Out of Network   $5,000   $5,000 none? $5,000      
Prescription Benefit $2,000 no limit? no limit $3,000 $15,000 $5,000 no limit $2,000  
Deductible $25 $50 $25 $0 different for services provided $15 different for services provided $25  
Maximum Benefit $1,000 $1,000 $1,500 $500 none 50% discounton services, no limit   $1,000  


==GSA Agenda for Friday February 1, 2008

 Introductions of GSA officers 


GSA has approximately $7,000 and we are getting around $20 a year from each grad student (about $2,500 for this year).  Heather and Dorie will meet separately to work out a draft budget and present it at a future GSA meeting solely for budget discussions. 

Currently, GSA has allocated $300 to a grad student organized conference and reimbursed some money for travel by the external chair (Joel). 

Chancellor agenda:

Office space, a letter will be presented from the graduate students.  Eve and Justin are working on a paragraph for the SSHA grad programs.  I need a paragraph for people in wet labs and one for people in dry labs from the science and engineering side. 

 Responsiveness to Graduate Students specifically from:


Healthcare questions


 Orientation Committee to be headed up by Eve and Alyssa with the Grad division liaison Jesus Cisneros

            This committee needs assistance form other 1st year grad students to provide input and assistance in revamping orientation.  In addition, the committee will be drafting a letter regarding TA training and working with Callale and Sam on getting new Grad students “buddies” (grad students more familiar with UC Merced and Merced)

Fundraising: some ideas for fundraising were tossed around including a formal dinner with mock prizes handed out, a car wash, t-shirts.  We could double are budget if we get any of this put together. 

 Talk to Dave about some outdoor hoops

 Sam’s Lunch

 Each grad program is now assigned a Lead dean in charge of space, TA appointments and getting money for the graduate program.  Graduate Dean Sam Traina is solely in charge of academics and is the only dean who can sign off on any academic paperwork.

 UC Merced will be awarding Fellowships soon

 Research week will be from March 4-7; anyone wanting to put together a poster is encouraged to do so for a prize that Sam is paying for personally. 

 There will be a Post-Doc boot camp at UCSF towards the end of the year.  This is ideally suited for grad students who are 1 year from graduation.

 Questions were asked about hosting a web page for grad students.  Sam offered the Office of Research server but does not have any staff to get it up and running for web page hosting.  There was discussion of having IT do a “how to” webpage seminar and to looking into an increase in the email quota.  In addition, web pages may be hosted by individual grad programs but this is dependent upon graduate programs.

By 2008 GSA Council led by Dorie Beals


2008 UC Merced Committees Number of Grad Reps. Representative

Student Fees 2 Ryan Lucas

Liz Duran

Sarah Martin

Referendum Fee 1 Beth Hernandez

Student Affairs 1

Intercultural Task Force 1

Student Union Planning 1 David Gravano

Health Care 1 or 2 Heidi Dietrich

Child Care 1 Rob Root

Chancellor’s Sustainability 2 Nelson Rivera

Gyami Shrestha

Peter Kirchner?

University conduct 1 Steve Minter

Debye Conte

EVC Budget 1 Dorothy Beals

Graduate & Research Council 1 Dorothy Beals

CAPRA 1 Nelson Rivera

Strategic Planning (SAP) 1 Gyami Shrestha

Peter Kirchner?

Bookstore Advisory Board 1

Dining Services Advisory Board 1

Student Recreation Advisory Board 1 Sarah Martin?

Transportation and Parking Advisory 1 Beth Hernandez

Information Technology Advisory 1 Henry Pai

Web Portal Advisory 1


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