3/26/2010 ESA Meeting Minutes

Friday, March 26 2:00-3:30 Thesis Room, English Lounge


Ashley Foster, Mia Chen, Sue Barker, Lindsey Freer, Jill Belli

  • This meeting opened with a discussion of purchasing a coffee pod maker and coffee pods for the English Lounge.  We had a lively debate, and several main points were considered:

    Lindsey Freer raised the concern of who, and how frequently, the coffee pod will be used.  A similar system is used at Macaulay Honors College, where Lindsey works, and she mentioned that the staff often feels as though the coffee pod maker is under-used and dispensable.

    Jill Belli raised concerns about access to cups, water, and milk.  How are we to keep the milk fresh and ensure that the water in the reservoirs will be replenished?  She also mentioned that we would need to check with Nancy and receive permission from the department staff, who might not be so excited about having another potential task.  Also, the coffee pod maker would need to be next to an outlet, which begs the question, where would it go?  We discussed Anne McCarthy’s suggestion to use the study area behind the wall dividers.

    In the discussion, the concerns of the size of the cups that coffee pods make and the cost of the pods itself and reordering the pods were also brought up.

  • Ashley Foster has taken on the responsibility of researching the coffee pod makers and presented her research.  There are several different types of single-cup makers, ranging from $20-$800.  Based on the options and customer comments, Ashley thinks that coffee pod makers (as opposed to K-cup makers) are our best option.  The machines are generally less expensive and there is a greater variety of coffees available.  Looking for larger water reservoirs, spigots that will adjust to many mug sizes, durability, and customer ratings, Ashley narrowed the search down to 5 makers, with 2 favorites.  Her top choice is the Senseo Supreme Single Serve Coffee Maker, costing $130.00.  This model will make a 3-10 oz. cup of coffee and can adjust to any mug.  Her second favorite option is the Gevalia G90 Reversible Pod Coffee Brewer, which costs 22.95.  It also can adjusts to many cup sizes, brews up to a 12 oz. cup of coffee or tea, has a 40 oz. water reservoir, and automatic shut-off.

    The pods themselves cost between 20 and 50 cents. An 8-12 oz cup of coffee will take 2 pods.  Ashley proposes we charge 50 cents a pod (for we will probably want pods in the 35-40 cent range), and take the proceeds of the coffee pod replacement fund to buy creamers, sugar, and disposable paper coffee cups.  She proposes non-dairy creamers that do not need to be refrigerated be kept next to the coffee pod maker.  Ashley agrees with Jill that water could potentially be a problem and thinks that the only way the coffee pod maker could work is if everyone adheres to the honors system.  Those who make coffee will need to take the pod to the communal sink next to the bathrooms in the recycling area and clean the machine and refill the reservoir every time it is used, thus providing the next person a clean machine.

  • Sue Barker proposed that we buy the machine as a department and that people can bring in their own coffee pods and cups.
  • Mia Chen suggested that we float all these ideas on the Listserv.
  • Jill Belli mentioned that we could, at any time, borrow the DSC coffee carafes as a department and have a coffee day.  There is no fee for borrowing the carafes.
  • Jill Belli checked whether the ESA could create an award with excess money and found from the DSC that it could.
  • It was generally discussed that if we wanted to borrow the DSC carafes then we would need to form a committee for community building (or what Ashley would prefer to call a coffee committee) and that this committee would be responsible for various coffee days.
  • Mia Chen then presented on the Professionalization Workshop, to be held on April 16.  This workshop is administration centric, with guest speakers Tom Harford (who is in administration at City College); Dan Porterfield from Georgetown; and Peter Taback from The New School for Social Research Public Relations department.  Coffee and refreshments will be served, to pilot possible future coffee (and tea) related activities.

    As a group, all present at the ESA meeting worded a proposed amendment to put on the next ESA ballot concerning the ability for committees and co-chairs to elect interim members in the case of committee members becoming unavailable for participation. This was the text we arrived at after discussion:

    Be it resolved that, the Elections Committee shall retain a record of all election results, including the number of votes received by each nominee. In the event of there being fewer than mandated members on a committee, whether as a result of resignation or insufficient nominees on the ballot, the remaining committee members can appoint a replacement at their discretion until the next annual election. In the case of ESA CoChair and Conference CoChair, the remaining cochair can appoint a replacement at their discretion. If both cochairs resign, department-wide byelections shall be held.
    The resolution passed unanimously. (Note that the amendment doesn’t go into effect, it will just be placed on the ballot.)

  • Since the meeting, Mia checked that this amendment would apply to section 5.4, on the duties of the Elections Committee:
    THE ELECTIONS COMMITTEE: The elections committee, which contains two (2) student members, is a permanent ESA Committee, the sole function of which is to conduct the election of student committee members and ESA Co-chairs. The elections committee is also responsible for including any valid proposed amendments to the ESA by-laws on the ballot. Candidates are nominated on a nominations ballot, sent out in March. The ballot containing all candidates and proposed amendments is sent out near the end of April. If there are three seats on a committee, for example, the three candidates with the most votes will serve on the committees. Candidates who are not elected serve as alternates, in an order based on how many votes they receive.

    The proposed bill should be on the next electronic ballot.

    Another resolution passed: to amend Section 4.2, “Number of CoChairs,” to have the maximum number of CoChairs to be two.

    This too will go on the next electronic ballot.

Committee Reports:

  • Faculty Membership Committee reported that Sarah Chinn has been asked to give a job talk in the fall.  There are two Composition Rhetoric candidates at the moment, Mark McBeth and Jessica Yood.  These two candidates will have their student evaluations reviewed by the committee. The Graduate Center is creating three new interdisciplinary committees, on Science Studies, the Study of Religion, and the Study of Globalization and Social Change. Our new hire Kandice Chuh is associated with this last committee, and the Department expressed interest in the possibility of lines connected with the other two committee. Mia brought up the idea that the Graduate Center might consider hiring in the area of digital humanities, an “up-and-coming” field which should reflect the Program’s innovativeness and the current interests of students.

The Curriculum Committee has nothing to report at this time.

Committees not represented here are encouraged to submit their reports.