One proposal was to have a single class take care of tours, probably the 2nd year class. Nidhi reported that, when feedback was solicited about such a plan the 1st years were pretty open to the idea, generally being optimistic about finishing their tour duty in a year. The later years were pretty opposed, feeling that the 2nd year is already busy and the addition of full tour responsibility would be onerous. It was generally noted that such a system would need to have some mechanism to allow non-2nd-years to volunteer to give tours.
Another proposal was to try to find out about giving tour whips effective tools to pop the queue. At the moment, the tour whips have no real recourse if someone consistently refuses to do their part. It was also suggested that it would be helpful to remove those "problem people" from the tour queue normal listings, effectively giving up on them as too much work. This suggestion was met with some resistance in that it would be rewarding anti-social behavior, but the consensus was that this would help matters.
Yet another proposal involved abolishing the tour queue and finding people that like to give tours, forming an official set of tour guides. This proposal was generally agreed to be infeasible, as there was great skepticism that enough tour guides could successfully be recruited without significant compensation of some sort.
In the end, there seemed to be a reasonable split between people who would rather go with the class tour idea and people who would rather tweak the existing system. Justin agreed to investigate the feasibility of giving the tour whips some official recourse for those people who don't do their part. Raghu and Ranjith agreed to look for Tour Whips from their respective years.
Bart mentioned that last year there was some mention of finding out whether it would be feasible and cost effective to be covered under the faculty and staff health insurance plan instead.
There was some discussion about how people were going to cover the increase in costs. No clear guidelines exist as to whether or not it is appropriate for RoboOrg to lobby the RI with respect to graduate student compensation. Just agreed to talk to Chuck Thorpe about it to see if the health insurance hike was something the RI was planning to address in any way.
Nikhil agreed to investigate the possiblity of coverage through the faculty and staff health insurance plan.
There was some discussion about the relatively small size and high specialization of the program limiting the opportunities to bring in employers in "career fair" types of events.
No full resolution was reached. Nikhil agreed to investigate what other similar programs do, what the current Masters students would find helpful, and what recent Masters graduates would have found helpful. The topic will then be re-addressed at the next meeting.
Nidhi mentioned that her general plan for the year involved smaller events on a more frequent basis. She mentioned that, if there was only 1 happy hour this year, she could do a lot more events like the funky bowling event tonight.
Both items were generally lauded.