Presentation on theme: "Council of Graduate Students General Assembly Meeting Nov. 29 2007 President’s Room Coffman Union."— Presentation transcript:
Council of Graduate Students General Assembly Meeting Nov. 29 2007 President’s Room Coffman Union
Agenda Approve October GA Minutes Speakers UMPD – Sgt. Eric Stenemann UMore Park – Carla Carlson Officer reports State Legislature (Matt Kaplan) Film/Social Committee (Geoff Hart) P&R Council Report of Executive P&R Council Resolutions UMore Park – Committee Student Chair Position Sudan Child Abduction Commonwealth Terrace Cooperative Herbicide Use Old Business New Business Call for Volunteers – Graduate Student Survey Steering Committee
Officer Reports State Senate visit—Matt Kaplan Are there issues you think we should be talking to the State legislature about? Film Committee—interested? Email Geoff Hart firstname.lastname@example.org
P&R Council Reports Exec Council All degree program changes were approved Discussion on collaborative theses option Support grad student representation o UMore Park Committees Specific Councils
Resolution: UMore Park Committee Student Chair PositionAuthor: Jenny Corcoran In February 2006 the University of Minnesota Board of Regents established the goal of developing a 5,000 acre portion of UMore Park with a sustainable community that will house 20,000-30,000 residents, in a manner that furthers the University’s mission1. Additionally, in May 2006 the Governor of Minnesota signed legislation for the state DNR to be able to acquire the 2,840 acre piece of property to the south of UMore Park called Vermillion Highlands, at approximately $10.25 million each year over 25 years, in conjunction with state support for the University’s construction of a new Gopher football stadium. The University will retain permanent rights to further its educational, scientific and agricultural research, and outreach mission on the Vermillion Highlands property2,3. Whereas the academic objectives, goals, and mission of the UMore Park sustainable community development plan are to develop creative approaches that will ensure quality education, health, energy, environment, transportation, technology, arts and culture, and civic life. This plan sets out to anchor the future sustainable community in the University’s land grant mission. These goals and objectives, among others, are incorporated into the core identity of the new UMore Park sustainable community to benefit the University, its faculty, staff and students, and citizens of the new community and the broader region, over time4; Whereas graduate students play a vital role in accomplishing the University of Minnesota’s overarching mission to share dedication to the advancement of learning through education and the application of this knowledge for the greater benefit; graduate students will continue to contribute enormously to the University’s mission of the advancement of its research, education and outreach mission over time; Whereas the UMore Park Strategic Planning Steering Committee has recommended that a development team work with University leadership and faculty to determine the optimum structure for managing the UMore Park sustainable community development plan throughout its estimated 25 to 30 year life-cycle1. This recommendation recognizes the importance of University leadership and faculty, but does not specifically include students; Whereas the UMore Park sustainable community development plan encompasses a breadth of research opportunities for the University and its faculty and students, for both the duration of the plan development and the life-long learning opportunities within the community after it is developed;
Con. Be it Resolved COGS respectfully requests student representation on the UMore Park Strategic Planning Steering Committee or Academic Advisory Board for the duration of the estimated 25 to 30 year development process and beyond.
Resolution: calling for an end to child abduction in Southern SudanAuthor: Dan Bernard Whereas an August 29, 2007, report by the Secretary-General of the United Nations found that a lack of security in Southern Sudan has allowed the abduction of children in the hundreds to continue unabated despite declarations of ethnic leaders to cease the practice, Whereas the governor of South Sudan’s Jonglei state acknowledged to the U.S. Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance in October 2007 that in the last two years, raiders from the Murle community of Sudan have abducted nearly 170 children from Jonglei and more than 270 children from neighboring Eastern Equatoria state, Whereas the United Nations Mission in Sudan has documented the October 3, 2007, abduction of 18-month-old Ajak Achiek Mading and her 3-year-old sister Yar in Jonglei state, Whereas local police officials in Jonglei, lacking in staff and equipment, failed to locate or pursue the Murle raiders who abducted the girls, Whereas the lack of resources or political will that the Government of Southern Sudan possesses to address the economic and health problems that motivate the Murle community to abduct children or to resolve the security problems that allow this practice to continue with impunity, Whereas the University of Minnesota has a connection to these events in that Ajak and Yar Mading are the nieces of U.S. citizen Gabriel Kou Solomon, a resident of St. Paul, Minnesota, and a graduate student at the University of Minnesota, And whereas Mr. Solomon’s efforts to free his nieces has grown into a broad movement against child abduction involving students from several organizations and degree programs at the University of Minnesota, as reflected in news coverage by the Minnesota Daily, Pioneer Press, Star Tribune, and Minnesota Public Radio,
Con. Therefore, be it resolved that the University of Minnesota Council of Graduate Students (COGS): 1. Calls upon the United States Congress and the United States State Department to urge the Government of Southern Sudan to negotiate for the peaceful release of Ajak and Yar Mading and any abducted children being held by the Murle; 2. Further requests that the U.S. Congress and the U.S. State Department provide assistance to the Government of Southern Sudan in improving the economic, health and security problems that underlie this pattern of child abduction; 3. Encourages the U.S. Congress to fully fund the U.S. Agency for International Development’s proposed Local Economic Recovery Program (LERP), which was designed to stimulate economic development in Southern Sudan including Jonglei state but which currently lacks sufficient funding; 4. Declares accordingly that COGS is a member of the Save Yar Campaign housed in the University of Minnesota Human Rights Program; 5. Further invites other members of the Minnesota community to support the campaign via its web site www.Save-Yar.org.
Graduate students and residents oppose use of potentially harmful pesticides at Commonwealth Terrace Cooperative Authors: Charlie Rohwer, Robyn Geldner Whereas Facilities Management (U of M Landcare) has a landcare contract with Commonwealth Terrace Cooperative (CTC), which is on University-owned land; Whereas CTC houses students and families in 464 housing units, with a large number of residents who have small children, are mothers nursing children, are pregnant, or may become pregnant; Whereas 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) has been applied by Landcare to CTC (Momentum herbicide, applied May 2007); Whereas 2,4-D is banned in 4 countries and application of this and other pesticides for cosmetic purposes is prohibited in numerous municipalities; Whereas 2,4-D has been linked to neurological disorders, reproductive problems, kidney/liver damage, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and other cancers, and endocrine system disruption; Whereas Children and infants can be exposed to 2,4-D through breastmilk and from contact with household members who have been exposed; Whereas The breakdown product of 2,4-D, 2,4-dichlorophenol (2,4-DCP), is a volatile compound listed by the Pesticide Action Network (PAN) as a "Possible Carcinogen" and a "Suspected Endocrine Disruptor" ; Whereas To address CTC residents' concerns about the safety of 2,4-D, U of M Landcare applied Eliminate herbicide in the Fall of 2007; Whereas Eliminate herbicide contains Dicamba, listed by the PAN as a "Developmental or Reproductive Toxin" ; Whereas To address CTC residents' concerns about the safety of Eliminate herbicide, U of M Landcare is considering application of Speed Zone herbicide in the future; Whereas In addition to Dicamba, Speed Zone herbicide contains 2,4-D 2-ethylhexyl ester, which is listed by the PAN as a "Developmental or Reproductive Toxin" and a "Possible Carcinogen", and Mecoprop-P, which is listed by the PAN as a "Possible Carcinogen" ;
Con. Whereas Children generally are more susceptible than adults to pesticides because they ingest more chemicals relative to their body weight than adults, they have developing neurological and organ systems that are more vulnerable to toxic chemicals, and they have a "longer lifetime over which disease initiated early in life can develop"; Whereas Children are especially at risk for increased exposure to herbicides since they play on lawns for extended periods of time and put their hands and other objects into their mouths; Whereas Residents who speak no or limited English and children have been seen walking and playing on treated areas at CTC within hours of herbicide application, even though posted signs indicate a 2-day re-entry interval; Whereas U of M Landcare has provided no evidence that the presence of weeds is a health risk or a hindrance to proper development of children; Whereas full occupancy and a waiting list to move into CTC indicate that the presence of weeds is not a hindrance to occupancy; Whereas the Pesticide Action Network compiles data from multiple publicly available independent or governmental sources to classify PAN "Bad Actor Chemicals" as those that are "one or more of the following: highly acutely toxic, cholinesterase inhibitor, known/probable carcinogen, known groundwater pollutant or known reproductive or developmental toxicant"5; Be it resolved that Facilities Management should eliminate and the University should prohibit the use of products containing 2,4- D, suspected endocrine disruptors (as defined by the PAN), and PAN "Bad Actor Chemicals" on the lawns at Commonwealth Terrace Cooperative
New Business Call for Volunteers – Graduate Student Survey Steering Committee Any announcements?