SSA Minutes Summary: February 25th, 2018

Official SSA Meeting Minutes February 5th 2018:

In summary of the SSA council meeting, the executive report included funding requests, along with a break down of our current budget and talk of the upcoming election. T

he (vice) president report included talk of the DASH meeting, mental health initiatives thanks to our very own Carly Mastromonaco, and a furniture update in 209 Armes. 

SSA Minutes Summary: January 23rd, 2018

Official SSA Meeting Minutes January 23rd 2018:

In summary of the SSA meeting, we discussed increasing communication with the deans and heads of departments, council activities, and the Parker 109 update. We also discussed mental health awareness week, scholarship money approval, and the upcoming March 2nd Throwback social. Special events touched down on specifics of the April Gala, and councillors provided much input. 



SSA Minutes Summary: January 11th, 2018

Science Students Association Council Meeting Summary: January 8th 2018

January 8th 2018 SSA Official Minutes:

In summary of the first council meeting of 2018, our vice president, Laura Chan, along with Behnam Bezaei addressed the official council budget. Laura Chan also briefed council of the funding requests received by the executive committee where council discussed and approved specific amounts for the specific groups and people. 

As a council, we also discussed updates from the senate along with from the UMSU meeting in December. The special events team briefed council on the upcoming social (March 2nd/2018), while Jordan Beck, Director of indigenous communications, briefed us on his upcoming event "Indigenous Celebration in Science". 

SSA Minutes Summary: December 4th, 2017

Science Students Association Council Meeting Summary: December 4th 2017

December. 4th 2017 SSA Official Minutes:

In summary of the SSA council meeting, the executive and president (vice) report included house-keeping, council budgets, and funding requests. Along with this, discussion included new security measures that must be taken. Briefed council of January student orientation, parker renovations, and the ski trip. The sub-committees and council reports were fairly short with no new relevant information. 

SSA Minutes Summary: November 20th, 2017

Science Students Association Council Meeting Summary: November. 20th 2017

November. 20th/17 Official SSA Minutes:

In summary of the SSA council meeting, and in regards to the executive and treasurer report, SSA discussed budgets and revisions pertaining to such budgets. As a council, we also discussed possible ways to promote the ski trip, and approvals of funding requests.

The president (vice) report included multiple reimbursements for office supplies, and event supplies, along with further discussion the town hall meeting. The faculty of science is also introducing a new program: medical and pathophysiological to biology graduates and is requesting SSA’s support. This is a one year post-bac program for a diploma, that will boost applications. SSA decides to will support it.

The academics report included discussion of the test night they are hosting in which the winners could receive up to $100.00. Along with this, academics discussed and reminded council of “Student Night against Procrastination” where council members will be helping out.

Special events discussed ideas for the gingerbread house contest. The report includes further details of planning and ideas that will occur on the event day-December 1st 2017.

The LGBQTT representative, Eric Vasas discusses trans-remembrance week along with AIDS awareness week. Events pertaining to these occasions will be going on all week.

SSA Minutes Summary: November 6th, 2017

Science Students Association Council Meeting Summary: November. 6th 2017

November. 6th/17 Official SSA Minutes:

In summary of the SSA council meeting, and in regards to the executive, and president (vice) report, there was much discussion regarding funding requests and how much money SSA would be granting. We also discussed budget and what money will be allocated to which events; decided that hosting the annual Science Gala at the convention center would be too expensive, therefore we will be hosting the gala at the MET once again. SSA also discussed the idea of a donation hamper for the holiday season, and decided to try and fill three large hampers from UMSU, alomg with a fourth hamper in collaboration with Chris Moskal, a former SSA member who is doing research in Churchill and was wanting SSA to fill up a hamper for “Christmas with Churchill”. We will be putting up posters and using the lounge as a donation center for food and toys.

In regards to the By-Laws report; we are officially adding changes/amendments to the by-laws regarding elections, along with the treasurer “job description”.

The indigenous report included the breakdown of the ‘Science Students Endowment Fund Committees’’ funding requests, along with discussion of the upcoming rooster town fundraiser, and career development week.

Special events discusses the upcoming movie night, along with the gingerbread house making competition in December.

A few new academic changes were discussed in the senate regarding department name changes, international pre-requisite adjustments, the new academic schedule for 2018/2019, modifications of adding or dropping classes, and lastly, Bill 31. 

SSA Minutes Summary: October 23rd, 2017

Science Students Association Council Meeting Summary: October 23rd 2017

October 23rd/17 Official SSA Minutes:

In summary of the SSA council meeting, there was much discussion regarding the special events committee and the upcoming Science Gala in April. Location of the Gala was the main topic as special events proposes the convention center as the new location rather than the Met. Pricing, itinerary, sponsors, the DJ, and miscellaneous items were outlined and considered. Council reaches agreement and will be holding the 2018 Science Gala at the RBC Convention Center.


The President/Vice report included discussion of Bill 31. Attending meeting regarding Bill 31. Decide to ask UMSU questions pertaining to the availability of resources available for informing students of Bill 31. SSA council members pose the question,

“Do we want a formal stance or just get the word out there?”.

Discuss the idea of an informal statement opposing Bill 31. Voting favors that SSA will make a stance.

The senate discusses student opinion on the Steve Curvy sexual harassment allegations. An official statement was given from the board. They want student input and have every intention of strengthening sexual assault policies. The board is looking at reworking policies, and could potentially go above the political province policies. 

SSA Minutes Summary: October 2nd, 2017

Science Students Association Council Meeting Summary: October 2nd 2017

SSA Official Minutes for October.2nd/17:

            In summary of the SSA council meeting, there was much discussion regarding the special events committee and the upcoming Science social, “Hiatus”. Logistics were discussed including the drink specials, door prizes, ticket sales, food, and the DJ, Kevin.

            There was also lots of discussion regarding the possible changing of our by-laws where the bi-election and general assembly are concerned. Discussed the idea of community representatives running independently or on a slate.

            Approved many of the ski trip expenses and discussed the registration opening date.


SSA Minutes Summary: September 18th, 2017

September. 18th Official SSA Minutes:

Science Students Association Council Meeting Summary: September.18th 2017

            In summary of the SSA council meeting, the vice/president report included feedback of the science orientation along with the lab trek event was discussed. We had lots of positives remarks, however as a council we discussed possible improvements to be made for next year.

            The treasurer report by Behnam Bezaei included discussion of the many meetings he had attended throughout the month of September. Meetings with the faculty discussing reimbursement and budgets along with the UMSU financial advisor who touched on the “Dos and Don’ts) of budget spending.

            The social committee discusses possible names for the October.13th midterm social.

            The UMSU report included a strategic planning presentation, updates on IQ’s renovations, and the details of Frosh. The academic report by Nada Eltbgy included discussion of the tutoring program; how tutors and tutees go about signing up, along with the new compensation program. Nada also touched on the rental program we as SSA offer. We rent out sharpies, lab goggles, lab coats, dissection kits, calculators, and wax pencils.

New business discussed during the meeting was most relevant as Laura Chan reports that three voting positions on SSA are still open, and according to the by-laws, must be filled. The positions are LGBQTT Rep, Women’s Rep, and Accessibility Rep. As a council we discussed the idea of a bi election which occurs online, there is no minimum vote to win, and we would pay someone to come and put it on for us, while the second option would be a general assembly which would be cheap, would happen in one day, and would be less formal but. The SSA council votes for a general assembly and a tentative election date was set within 10 days of the meeting (September.18th/17).

SSA Minutes Summary: September 4th, 2017

September 4th Official SSA Minutes:

Science Students Association Council Meeting Summary: September.4th 2017

In summary of the SSA council meeting, a position on the bylaws committee opened up due to Yaweh Villanueva stepping down, therefore, a new council member must fill the position. Behnam Beizai self nominates himself, along with Nada Eltobgy, with Behnam winning council vote an becoming the new member of the bylaws committee.

The position of director of communications has also been filled by Bailey Groot.

            As a council we discussed further lounge and furniture updates for the new Parker study space, and the program modifications, additions, and subtractions of 1000-4000 science courses.

            Student services discusses the idea of giving away lockers to first years through a raffle or contest. The indigenous report included the reconciliACTION meeting, which focused on ways to work the indigenous culture into education at the University of Manitoba. Jordan Beck (Indigenous Rep) reports that Councillors day is now cancelled, as science was not the focus, and that the leftover funds ($26,000 for science based initiatives), will be put towards the presentation of the Fireside Group.

            The treasurer report included details in regards to the budget for orientation; SSA along with the faculty of science share the expenses. Behnam Beizaei (treasurer) outlines council budget for the year, and discusses the new online portal link in which councillors or those in need of reimbursement from SSA. The link allows for the explanation of the expense along with pictures of the hard-copy receipts.


SSA Minutes Summary: July 31st, 2017

July 31st Official SSA Minutes:

Science Students Association Council Meeting Summary: July. 31st 2017

           In summary of the SSA council meeting, the executive committee reports the changing of our treasurer position, Benham Beizai now holds the title and responsibilities as treasurer. As a council, we also approved the funding requests of each Sehaj Pal Singh, and Mary Elaine Herrera, granting them $300.00.

           The selections committee is now looking at candidates for the position of “Director of Communications”, as Andrew, our previous appointed director was accepted into the faculty of pharmacy and therefore is no longer a member of the faculty of science or SSA.

           The president/vice report by Ryan Churchill and Laura Chan included discussion of renovations in the Parker building. This included the addition of a study space and new furniture/appliances. The bulk of the report however included the details of the September.5th/2017 science orientation day/event. Ryan and Laura outlined the plan for the day which in the following order will include a panel discussion, a scavenger hunt where there will be prizes for the top five teams, and a free BBQ lunch where there will be booths, beer gardens, a bouncy castle, a dunk tank, and multiple volunteers and SSA members working and willing to answer questions and greet the incoming freshmen. There was also discussion of the extension of, and addition of, new library hours. As of now, the front desk and upper floors will be off limits during these extended hours, however if things go well, this could change. The library will now be open until 8:00pm during the week, and will be open from 9:00am to 5:00pm on Saturdays and Sundays. Along with this, five days prior to exams, the library will be open 24 hours. The library has also allowed for the possibility of renting books/text items, along with the renting of study rooms. Lastly, the president/vice report included discussion of the “research open house” event to take place September.6th/17. Shady Rizk, along with SSA volunteers will be organizing and planning a day in which first and second year students will have the opportunity to meet with professors and listen to a tutorial from each of the many involved professors/areas of study; Chemistry, Biology, Biochemistry, etc..

            Victor Aroso, lounge programmer, also reports the option of allowing the SSA lounge to be used as a contingency accommodation if there were to be another power cut in University Centre during the summer games (July 31 – August 13). SSA agreed that this would be fine.

             The indigenous report by Jordan Beck included discussion of a potential advisor day to highlight the many options for indigenous students coming in from northern/any communities. The event will include presentations, one with a community representative and the other with Firelight group, where they will describe their approach to facilitating community-driven research projects. The event will also include a thirty minute panel discussion centering around the topic of “What community based research means in the context of a science faculty?” and “How can it fit within an existing research program? How can such partnerships emerge?”

            The special events committee report included discussion of enclosed beer gardens along with prices to obtain an enclosed space. There was also discussion of the details/forms/budget of the orientation day event, along with the idea of sponsors/acquiring sponsors in order to cover the food and beer costs. There are many steps to take in order to achieve success for this event, so all of SSA is encouraged to volunteer and help out in any way they can.

             UMSU representative Lisa Huang reports of the new app built by students called “Connexus”, which will allow and provide improved resources to students, along with help with accessibility to scholarships. SSA discussed promoting this app on the SSA website.

             UMSU also approved the new health and dental plan so you can opt down or out, along with providing higher coverage that is specific to your needs.

             Lastly, Mira Villegas representing the Senate is a volunteer with “Canadian Blood Donors”, and had the idea of working with the blood donors by possibly advertising for the blood donor group. SSA could plan an event where there would be a faculty wide donation, or possibly set up a booth at orientation with blood typing and DNA swabs. Mira will send out an email to Canadian blood donors to officialise the idea of their involvement in the form of a booth at orientation.

SSA Minutes Summary: June 5th, 2017

June 5th SSA Official Minutes:

Science Students Association Council Meeting Summary: June. 5th 2017

         In summary of our first council meeting of the 2017/2018 school year, we finalized our executive committee through the addition of Lisa Huang and Jordan Beck, motioned by Laura Chan, seconded by Ryan Churchill and passed. We also discussed the possibility of adding a new position to the council; communications programmer as our two candidates for director of communications were both incredibly strong. The responsibilities of this position will be outlined and proposed at our next meeting (July.3rd 2017). Tomi Adeleye-olusae was chosen as the chairperson for SSA, and the executive committee will be continuously updating the councilors on changes within the Science faculty.

         The major topics discussed throughout the council meeting were included in the President (Vice) Report by Ryan Churchill and Laura Chan, as they met with the faculty of Science and discussed a multitude of relevant changes and ideas. SSA will be covering the costs of the new courtyard renovation which will include the removal of the solar panel along with new picnic tables and student landscapers. There was also talk of the idea of a 24/7 lounge becoming a reality, however Ryan Churchill and Laura Chan will continue to meet with the science deans and security heads to ensure that an emergency/safety plan is in place. There was also discussion of installing a utensil dispenser in the lounge along with ordering new furniture/donating the lounges old furniture. The referendum fund of SSA will be covering most of these costs, especially the courtyard renovation which will take approximately $400,000.00 out of our given $500,000. Another meeting attended by our chair was in regard to the mentorship program in place at the U of M. Out of the 202 attendees, 92 of them were science students, and therefore, SSA has agreed to advertise for this program, along with spread the word and opportunities that come with being a part of such a program. As a council, we discussed our terms and conditions pertaining to the U1 faculty/council that will be disclosed at a later date. Ryan and Laura also proposed a specific science orientation come September. Science orientation will take place on September. 5th 2017, 8:30 am-2:30 pm with 500 direct entry science students. We will be offering them a full day of activities, including the possibility of a BBQ, food and beer, social, photo scavenger hunt, bouncy castle, panel discussion, SWAG, a photo-booth, and prizes. We discussed the need for a budget for this event, as we plan on advertising and handing out t-shirts and/or land-yards. Ryan Churchill, Laura Chan, Karan Sharma, and Lisa Huang all attended and discussed life as a science student at the Head-start Presentations, which would pose as a layout as to how we would go about our panel discussions during science orientation day. The opportunity to be a part of the career services photoshoot was extended to SSA members, with many of them volunteering to appear on the U of M website/information packages. Next, we discussed the reimbursement of councilors of hoodie money as we agreed we would be using the hoodies for advertising, and as a tool to identify councilors at events. A motion was out forward to reimburse councilors 50% of the original cost by Karan Sharma, seconded by Shady Ritz, passing the motion. Under this same umbrella of using SSA money for councilors specifically, we agreed to hold 2 bonding activities covered by SSA, one each semester as our specific budget is approximately $5000.00. As a council, we decided to agree to a two year contract and partnership with prep 101 in return for advertising and help with organization of prep 101 seminars. Lastly, we decided to put forward an Instagram photo contest directed to U of M science students where we will choose two winners who will each receive a $50.00 U of M bookstore gift-card; Ryan moved this idea, all executive members seconded, therefore passing the motion.

            In regards to the topics discussed within the committee of student services, we plan on changing locker plans/location, as we may allot certain locker spaces to U1 students. We also discussed the idea of using online forms along with online payment when dealing with locker placement and fees.

            In regards to the topics included in the indigenous report by Jordan Beck, he mentioned the possibility of having indigenous speakers in the field of medicine or genetics present to students, along with his involvement of the Biology 1020 video lectures with Joey Stacey, and lastly, his presence on the U of M Aboriginal Students Association, the U of M Indigenous Achievements Committee, and the Faculty of Science Planning Committee.

            The UMSU representatives, Karan Sharma and Lisa Huang report that UMFM will advertise for SSA, hook us up with bands, and entertain the idea of coffee houses. UMSU also changed their health and dental package to be more flexible, adding opt down options. UMSU introduced new scholarships, new U-passes in the form of “Peggo Cards” without the $5.00 fee of the actual card, and passed motion 380, 359, and the availability of donors and awards. Karan and Lisa also discussed the idea of having 10 fancier meals during council meetings as Degrees partnered with us in giving a great deal for food (the same discount as the UMSU council). As a council, we agree on these terms and decide to have 10 meals catered through degrees and pass a motion to approve our food budget for the year to be $2000.00, including degrees and our pizza meals at council meetings.

              Abrar Latif reports that nominations for positions of specific executive heads within the senate were appointed.  Mira Villegas will head the committee of curricular and course changes, Carly Mastromonaco will head the committee of appeals, while Abrar Latif will head libraries. Requirements for pharmacy are changing; earning your Pharm D is now required. The university is changing policies to match university requirements across Canada. This change will be effective beginning 2018/2019 as it is a costly change with the creation of new space/lecture halls, along with the acquisitions of new professors. There is also a new program coming to U of M, and will be the first of its kind in Canada, masters of Human Rights. Along with this new addition, U of M is planning on expanding the statistics program, allowing students to major in statistics and create a degree plan out of statistics classes. There will be options in both advanced and remedial stats, plus the addition of labs in statistics courses.

             Where new business is concerned, treasurer Yaweh Villanueva provides a budget outline for SSA for the 2017/2018 school year. Along with proposing our yearly council budget, Yaweh discloses that elective members must reach a final draft of expenses/distribution of the budget and vote on the finalized copy within the following summer meetings. As a council, we will have to plan our events first, and then bring our proposed budgets to Yaweh Villanueva where he can adjust our finalized budget to allow for funding possibilities to the multiple committees. Yaweh will also meet with Ron about approving and confirming the budget of SSA, which we believe to be above $100,000, covering our committees/student involvement costs.

SSA Minutes Summary: July 3rd, 2017

June 3rd SSA Official Minutes:

Science Students Association Council Meeting Summary: July.3rd 2017

            In summary of our council meeting, the executive committee briefed SSA on the new funding request form, updates from the meeting with the dean including details about our science orientation day, officially taking place on September 6th 2017. The executives also touched down on the reworking of our budget based on what money is needed for each of the different SSA groups, along with the need for online forms of reimbursement for executive spending (similar to the online funding request forms). Next we discussed sponsorships, finalizing our agreement with Prep101 and adding a sponsorship agreement with Fun Mountain where councilors and science students get discounts at their water park in exchange for advertising online and around the faculty. SSA also approved the funding requests from Laura Eliuk, Ian Thompson, Rebecca van Ginkel, Patricia Ordonez and Mark Unger by giving 300$ to each of them in support of their cause. Lastly, executive touched on Jordan Beck’s appearance in the bio 1020 lectures as a way to advertise for SSA.

            The president/vice president report included discussion of Ryan Churchill’s presence at the college of dentistry final selections meeting where he motioned to propose the idea that when selecting dentistry applicants, the board should take into account CCR credit/university involvement rather than GPA alone. We further discussed the rearrangement of lounge furniture, and the establishment of a study space in the halls to replace the loss of study space in Machray due to the expanding of the dean’s office. Discussion around the panel discussion for orientation day was also productive in that we decided on the number of SSA members to be answering questions on each panel, along with possible questions to prompt the panel along. Megan Skakum won our Instagram photo contest; “What does summer look like for a science student?”, as she had an interesting observership with an anesthesiologist. As a council we are also looking to partner with “Safe-walk” by promoting their cause through a brochure or advertisement around the faculty. Library hours have officially been extended to 1:00am Sunday through Thursday, and have become 24 hour during exam periods. SSA has also decided to add another position to the council; communications programmer. This spot has already been allotted and we look forward to having another helping hand to assist the director of communications.

            The treasurer report included discussion of the possibility of a POS system. This system could be beneficial for transactions and SSA expenditures however it is pricey as it includes a partnership with a bank. SSA is looking into other options such as ‘Square Reader’ or ‘Mineras’.

The indigenous report included discussion of planning an advisory day where SSA would recruit indigenous students into school/academics within the faculty of science by using speakers from the world of medicine/science research.

The special events committee has many activities planned throughout the year from pie eating contests in October, to socials, coffee houses, and the annual science gala in April.

UMSU representatives explain that there will be a student fair during orientation week where SSA will set up a booth, explaining our part in the faculty of science and recruiting science students. There was also talk of cutting ties with CFS, as the only benefit UMSU feels we are getting from CSF is the supposed advocacy they hold for us in government, however we have UMSU to represent our University. CFS claims that there is power in numbers, and that their representation in government along with UMSU representation would be the best situation; that is their argument, however, if all schools had this issue, each University could use their own ‘UMSU’ as representatives and then the numbers problem wouldn’t exist. CFS say they unify us, but we can unify ourselves.

The senate reports upcoming changes to the fall reading week, along with changes to the VW date and the lengthening of Christmas break (starting 2018-2019). There are also a few suspensions and modifications to the BSc honor program and the M.Sc. course requirements, the miter and fiter which only affect med students, and lastly the dGPA and cut-offs of retaken courses in Asper. The pharmacy program has also outlined a few changes that will be coming; consideration of applicants will now include the need for essential skills and abilities including 1) observation and perception; 2) sensory and motor competencies; 3) conceptualization, integration and quantitative evaluation; 4) communication; 5) ethical, interpersonal, and professional skills; and (6) stamina. The final nominations of the senate committee also went through with Mira Villegas and Carly Mastromonaco officially holding responsibility for curriculars and course changes, and appeals respectively. Abrar Latif has applied to hold senate for academic dress [lmao]

Where new business is concerned, SSA selected the official Bylaws committee who will periodically advise and amend the bylaws to benefit the students and to help/guide the SSA committee. The members include, Laura Chan, Tomi Adeleye-olusae, Ridimmah Thomas, Yaweh Villanueva, and Christine Vaccaro. Shady Rizk adds his meeting with the dean under new business which included discussion of a research program that would be formatted as open house; anyone interested can join and take part. This would help provide clarity and insight to those interested in research and will allow the professors and different programs to reach out to incoming students in a very relaxed and simple setting. Dates and official sign ups are tentative, however finalization and further discussion to come next meeting.