9/18/2015 Meeting Agenda and Minutes

Agenda for ESA Meeting 9/18/2015:

  • Overview of ESA and meeting/action procedures
  • Review agenda for current meeting (9/18)
    • Amendments to agenda?
  • Review changes to ESA bylaws approved last spring
  • Reports from committees
  • Editorial Committee elections: elections will be held for the Editorial Committee as voted on last spring, to update student guides on the website
  • Vote: $500 for ESA conference “The Way of All Flesh”
  • Library: We now have an ESA library in the English lounge!  The library is in the back room, which is available to all for use as a library &/or workspace.  The library committee oversees guidelines for continued book donation.
  • Glam the lounge: We’d like to schedule another “glam the lounge” day to update the bulletin boards!  Ideas, suggestions, and dates are welcome.
  • Future ESA meetings: ESA meetings for the academic year 2015-16 will move from a Friday schedule.  Options for future meeting times will be discussed and decided upon.



Esther Bernstein
Meira Levinson
Elissa Myers
Alex Baldassano
Danny Dupont
Stefano Morello
Lindsay Lehman
Joseph Bowling
Rose Tomassi
Michael Druffel
Lindsey Albracht
Becky Fullan
Alec Magnet
Christina Katopodis
Alicia Andrzejewski
Paul Hebert
Talia Shalev

Review changes to ESA bylaws approved last spring:

A number of adjustments to the ESA bylaws were approved by a vote during elections in Spring 2015. The change in language to indicate that four students serve and have a vote on the Program’s Executive Committee, including the ESA Co-chairs as two of those four and not additional to those four, was brought up as a concern by students. As discussed last semester, this is an issue which will be revisited. It was agreed to add this to an upcoming meeting’s agenda and to have further discussion in person, to continue the conversation started via the list-serv during elections.

Committee Reports:

Admissions and Financial Aid:
Present: Talia Shalev
Nothing to report.

Alumni and Fundraising:
Present: Michael Druffel
We’re working on sending out an appeal later this fall to alumni. We will ask for donations to create a travel fund for English students.

Present: Joseph Bowling, Lindsay Lehman
We already have one keynote speaker and have reached out to another. We have a number of submissions already. Deadline for abstracts is October 15. The conference website is in process: https://fleshtheconference.wordpress.com/.

Course Assessment:
Present: Lindsey Albracht, Lindsay Lehman
Nothing to report.

Present: none
We haven’t heard anything yet. We will ask Mario this week for a sense of when the committee plans to meet.

Present: Becky Fullan
Nothing to report yet. We’re meeting after this ESA meeting.

Present: Rose Tomassi
We have been planning for the upcoming election for the new Editorial Committee. Our planned timeline is to open nominations via a Google Form next week and to hold the election using the GC survey system during the first week of October.

Present: Esther Bernstein, Meira Levinson, Paul Hebert
The Executive Committee will meet later today.

Faculty Membership:
Present: none
Nothing to report.

Friday Forum:
Present: none
We have not yet had a meeting, but have discussed goals for future Friday Forums between us and with other students. Our aim is to maintain and promote diversity in topic, speaker, and kind of event. We’re particularly interested in making sure that student ideas continue to be considered by the committee. We’ll update the ESA as soon as we have more information from faculty on the committee.

Present: Alec Magnet
Nothing to report yet, committee is seeking a time to meet.

Present: Christina Katopodis, Alicia Andzrejewski
Carrie has been in touch about us being liaisons for prospective students, and Nancy Yousef is supposed to be in touch to schedule a meeting soon.

Present: none
As a committee, this is how we’ve broken up some of the tasks: Erin will manage the Zotero plug-in, while Dale and Charlotte work on a schedule for how to update the website every few weeks. We will also be switching profiles of ESA members from student to alumni, for those who have deposited recently, reaching out to new students in the program with instructions for how to set up a Commons profile for the ESA website, and reminding continuing students through the ESA listserv how they can set up and update their Commons profile. We have also been discussing having one of our goals for the year be to make the website more accessible by using transcripts and captions, in hopes that the site can become a model for an accessible student-run doctoral program website.

Actions and Discussion:

Editorial Committee Elections:
A form for nominations will be sent out, and the vote will be held shortly after. The Editorial Committee will be in charge of keeping the student guides updated and adding any new ones as they see fit. This will entail organizing other students to write new content or edit existing content. These guides will be distributed on the ESA website.

Vote on Funds for ESA Conference:
Unanimous vote to allocate $500 of the ESA budget to the ESA conference “The Way of All Flesh.”

Christina Katopodis and Alec Magnet reported: The English program started off the ESA library with $500 of books. Donations of Norton, Oxford, Penguin, etc, classics are welcome, as are any practical guides useful to grad students and teachers. Contact the librarians for more specific guidelines. There is a notebook on the table near the bookshelves for signing out books, and a system for cataloguing books is in progress. Discussion of using an app to scan barcodes and create a catalog. After unanimous agreement of those present, librarians will use $50 of ESA funds for a library stamp and miscellaneous costs. Host a library party soon?

Re-Glam the Lounge:
Alec Magnet, Christina Katopodis, and Alicia Andzrejewski are organizing another “Glam the Lounge” day and will send details over the list-serv.

Future ESA Meetings:
A Doodle poll will be sent out over the ESA list-serv and the ESA Facebook group. A schedule for Fall 2015 meetings will be distributed shortly after.

Other Business:

Diversity and Recruitment committees discussed possibility of incorporating ideas from the Diversity Committee into recruitment events. Both committees agreed it would be productive to inquire and discuss what goals current program students may have regarding these events.

Executive Committee asked if there were any issues students wanted to be brought to the meeting today (after the ESA meeting). Two issues were raised: 1) faculty support at MLA, and 2) the concern regarding the fact that distinction now exists for the comps but not for the orals; outside (i.e. non-GC) individuals looking at our transcripts may not know that the English program doesn’t offer distinction for Orals, and may just assume student didn’t receive distinction – is there some way to clarify that on the transcript?