Meeting Minutes: December 9th, 2019

Section numbers will refer to item numbers in the meeting agenda, which you can find here.
See our shared Google Drive folder for the raw notes

Present: Abram, Audrey, Emra, Joel, Ricardo, and Rosa.

Proxies: Lola.

Note taker: Abram

1. Introductions

The check-in question was whether you put sugar in your coffee; all but one of us do (and one of us doesn’t like coffee).

2. Proposal – approve caucus charter (10 minutes, Ricardo)

Members agreed to delay voting on this proposal as one member who wasn’t present at the meeting had proposed significant changes hours before the meeting. We discussed how we wanted to define members and what missing a meeting constitutes, and item 2.3 regarding the comfort of other members with each other. Members suggested that the chair position have a term of a year, as opposed to the proposed per-term election. We moved to wait until Winter term to officially vote our charter in.

3. Proposal – meeting with Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Padma Akkaraju (20 minutes, Lola)

Our discussion around this proposal partly concerned catching up members on the disparate discussions that had happened around the possibility of having an official caucus meeting with the Graduate School’s Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Padma Akkaraju. Padma is very enthusiastic about meeting us, and we discussed how we felt about meeting officially with a University of Oregon administrator.

Many of us do not feel good about UO administration, and are conscious of the possibility of being tokenized by various groups; we recognized that when we meet in official capacities with other groups, that group is able to say they’ve consulted with the caucus, and we want to avoid feeling like we are a box to be checked off. Members felt we should be cautious and conscious with who we meet with officially.

Our discussion concluded that we are still in development as a caucus, and many of our members are already out of town or otherwise unable to participate fully as we wrap up Winter term. Therefore, we will wait to have any official meetings until Winter.

4. Discussion – Winter term 2020 plans and meeting patterns (30 minutes, Ricardo)

We discussed what kinds of focus we want to have going into next term. For this item, we went around in a circle and shared our thoughts. We discussed participating in a film festival with other caucuses, building our identity through our caucus name, writing declarations and discussions of the future we want to see, and what we might want to do with the money that GTFF is committing to caucuses.

Some members noted how they enjoyed watching a documentary at a Worker’s Caucus event, and suggested that we also host a film viewing. We discussed our group’s philosophy as to whether we are looking for recognition or resistance-building, working with the community, peer mentoring, and building our space.

We discussed how the caucus as a whole remains concerned about the last bargaining cycle and institutional racism. We resolved to commit events to our own union memory in ways we should build and work on.

As we go into next term, the plan is to have a consistent meeting time so that meeting times are known weeks in advance. We’ll also focus on developing caucus habits, including familiarity with reading and writing agendas, using our caucus tools (especially website and Slack), and participating in meetings.