Meeting Minutes - May 3, 2021

Members Present:

President: Michael Bennett
Representative: Caleb Langbroek

A variety of other non-executive CSA members & CS/CIS students were present.

Michael calls meeting to order at May 3, 2021 12:00.

Note: These minutes contain a condensed report of two meetings with Carl Janzen on May 3, 2021 at 13:00 & May 4, 2021 at 9:00. New CSA leadership is advised that reading over the section titled "The CSA" under the Carl meeting notes is a good idea.

1. Association report:

  1. AGM tentatively planned for next two weeks. (May 10-21)

2. Financial report:

  1. Status unchanged since March 2020 minutes.

3. SCC report:

  1. The room most likely still exists. Note: Some discussion of the SCC with Carl. He has thankfully kept the room from being claimed by a group that now has the MOLA room (office beside D224) to keep the room close to the labs, and easily discoverable by computing students.
  2. Calendar [of SCC, D224 being opened] is still a potential project. No point working on it right now. The Google Calendar still exists and probably needs to be updated or deleted and recreated.

4. Website report:

  1. Apparently Michael took photos for a new header image for the website last year, and "will create a collage later".
  2. Still todo on calendar for SCC being integrated into website.
  3. Website is still something students can work on if they want to get involved, at https://github.com/ufvcsa/ufvcsa.github.io (although the hosting is done through Sergei still)
  4. Michael took down the 3D printer information on the website. Probably.
  5. Last minutes: "Exam scheduler could be useful, there is some student interest."

5. Communications report:

  1. Nothing.

6. Projects report:

  1. Pinboards are on hold until virus ceases.
  2. If anyone wants GitHub association access, request it at https://github.com/ufvcsa
  3. TODO - fix csa email account system (from last minutes - not sure what this means)

7. Events report:

  1. ERA Event:
    • Met March 25, 2021 with Colleen, Amir Shabani, UFV staff & coordinators, and some ERA contacts.
    • As Colleen is retiring, Amir has stepped in to take the lead of this project/initiative.
    • A variety of concepts were floated and discussed. CSA executives can contact Michael for more detailed minutes from this meeting.
    • Potential of working on a lecture series around e-recycling to raise awareness of different issues (like security, etc)
    • Tentative consideration of a dry run small-scale event in November/December 2021.
  2. Hackathon: Still a possibility in the future. Should consider talking to professors when possible about involvement. This is copied over from the last minutes. This is very much editorializing, but there is more interest in this than in the past from faculty. A good initiative from students will likely find backing (potentially financial from the School of Computing, but no guarantees on that front)
  3. Funding through UFV still seems like a possibility for student initiatives.
  4. Gaming event would still be popular. Considering either Board Games+LAN or Smash/similar tournament. Should discuss with more people.

8. Expansion report:

  1. Previous minutes: "We are now in touch with Kayla from co-op and there is mutual interest in future coop related events." Note: This has not been followed up on (likely due to COVID)

9. Department news:

  1. IEEE Hackathon happened.
  2. As of May 1, 2021, the CIS department is now the School of Computing, and the CIS/CS programs fall under this new school. Carl Janzen is the school's director.

Meeting with Carl Janzen

  1. Ratios of students coming from different countries: The school is going to try to diversify its immigration policy, which should provide a variety of benefits including more resistance to geopolitical difficulties, while also focusing on bringing in more domestic students.

  2. Professor feedback: The major avenue for professor feedback continues to be through student evaluations of faculty; students have a lot more potential to have their voice heard through this than they may recognize. (Note: For complaints, attaching your name is a good way to ensure things go further up the chain) It simply feels slow due to lag time in receiving/being able to read through evaluations.

  3. Curriculum feedback:

    Carl has recognized some issues with the lack of direct avenues for students to give feedback on a curriculum. He would like to set something up, perhaps through surveymonkey, and notes that he would ensure there are anti-phishing measures taken (e.g. ufv.ca noting the existence of the survey, providing links, etc)

  4. The CSA: Carl is very supportive of the CSA and a strong proponent of CSA leadership/executives showing up to department (now school/faculty) meetings. Carl very much wants the CSA to be present, and encourages providing a report at these meetings of CSA activities/goings-on. TODO - The next president/executive team for the CSA should be made aware of this & the changes in nuance in these meetings.

    Carl would like the CSA to publicize what they're doing, in order to foster support between the department and the CSA. Encourages the CSA to invite faculty to do things (Example from Michael: Holding a talk, workshops, hackathons [as previously mentioned], etc)

    Carl encourages the CSA to report information from department meetings back to the CSA. In retrospect, possibly unclear how public this should be. In general, probably ideal to keep anything potentially sensitive between just executive members, but non-sensitive information should be shared with interested students where possible.

  5. CSA Funding: Carl floats the idea of providing some portion of left-over budget surplus to the CSA to procure resources for student use. As a paraphrased quote, "Just ask for things, even if you don't think you'd be able to get them." Essentially, (TODO) the CSA should create a spreadsheet, containing information like:

    1. Item name / ID
    2. Rationale for purchase
    3. Link(s) to potential site(s) where the item(s) can be purchased
    4. Cost of the item.

    This must be planned ahead, as surplus is something that appears for very short periods of time with little to no warning. This is very important as a potential avenue to get funding for resources that can be provided to students! It is very much in the CSA's mandate to take advantage of this in order to best assist students.

    Michael notes that buying used items, which can drastically reduce the cost of some items, is not necessarily something that works with pre-planned purchases. Carl says that he will look into this.

    Potential for funding allocated to purchasing supplies for IOT devices/embedded projects/etc. (Not sure if this note was linked directly to the above surplus planning or not)

    Some items mentioned by Carl & students: 3D printer [surplus planning spreadsheet should include examples of what it would be used for, etc] computer kit [etc], soldering kit.

  6. Alumni Engagement: The question of alumni engagement is raised. Carl notes that the CSA is one of the better avenues for connecting alumni to professors/faculty. Encourages the CSA to do alumni engagement. Not sure what this would look like necessarily, but it's something to keep in mind. The CSA discord is a potential avenue.

  7. Faculty Council: Brief bullet to note that there are spots on faculty council reserved for students. (This is essentially a meeting with UFV faculty, where a variety of things are discussed among faculty, and could be useful to keep up to date on faculty information)

  8. A variety of other initiatives: Carl is working to improve programs, doing a review of the program calendars (essentially things like course descriptions, prerequesites, finding courses that aren't actually being offered anymore) Carl is (now) very aware that students really want a general look at the course rotation, and will work towards providing this for students. Might be something to follow up on. (TODO) Hieu suggests the CSA hold workshops on industry topics, bring in industry representatives.

Meeting minutes created by Michael Bennett.