The following minutes were unanimously approved as submitted on December 8, 2016.


The regular meeting of the DTSA was called to order at 3:08 pm on Aug 30 in Room 5409 by Jennifer Thompson.


Jennifer Thompson (President), Phoebe Rumsey (1st Vice President), Hansol Oh (Secretary-Treasurer), Margit Edwards (Professionalization Representative), Sarah Lucie (Admissions & Awards), Jared Pike Graduate Council and Alumni Engagement Representative) Janet Werther (DSC Rep. for Theatre), Joseph Paul Hill (Curriculum & Exams Representative), Kalle Westerling (Digital Initiatives Officer)


Elyse Singer (2nd Vice President)

Approval of Agenda

ME motioned to approve agenda. SL seconded. Agenda was unanimously approved as submitted.

Approval of Minutes

JP motioned to approve the minutes. SL seconded. Minutes unanimously approved as submitted.


President, Jennifer Thompson

The executive committee met on October 25. We discussed admissions, which Sarah can speak to. He let us know that the GC will produce a strategic plan for 2017-2022 and there will likely be a public forum related to that. Peter expects that the components of the strategic plan will be:

  1. Interdisciplinary learning and research,
  2. Public communication about work and impact (visibility of work),
  3. Diversification of resources (and efficiencies), and
  4. Building and expanding the theoretical sciences.

It will also likely discuss MA developments. Peter is optimistic about the rigor of the programs—our program has proposed one in Cultural Production, but Peter’s position is that we are not lining up to do it but will do it if required and therefore it is important for our program to participate in the conversation.

IRB: Peter and other EOs met with IRB representative and it sounds like there will be shifts to the program to exempt most of our students due to the low risk nature of our work.

Annual Reporting: There will be a requirement that programs produce better data on placement/graduation records; that program successes are reported; and 3-5 year hiring and recruitment plans.

The alumni event is coming up on December 1 and Elinor Fuchs will be giving a talk. Lynette has asked me to see if anyone from the board would be willing to help with set up or clean up.

The program name change to Theatre and Performance has been tabled by Exec and is going to curriculum committee (will go from Curriculum to Exec to Grad Council).

The program is still debating points change (from 3 to 4) credits. Wondering how it will affect course enrollment with shrinking cohorts; they are open to interdisciplinarity and encouragement of consortium students but want to strike a balance with not losing specialization in our program. Also sensitive to what it might mean for bringing in external faculty.

We talked about developing a protocol for research assistants, which we will discuss in new business.

We discussed the programs priorities in bringing in non-central faculty—so certain professors will likely get the priority in teaching in the coming semesters.

We discussed changes in funding and sustainability of conference attendance–perhaps our environment has been overzealous about this and we want to encourage strategic conference attendance more than blanket conference attendance.

The program dance conference planning is going well. Again, the date is May 11. We received funding from DSC for $650 and have $800 from Program … so the budget looks good. We are reaching out to faculty to participate very soon and will then send out a call for papers.

In New Business we will discuss proposal for first year GAA and for the annex and what kinds of materials we would like there; as well as the book sale.

I want to encourage you to attend the solidarity event tomorrow at 1:00 in the Green Room that Peter has put together.

First Vice President, Phoebe Rumsey

The theatre outing on Oct. 15 to Cherry Orchard went well. 27 tickets were bought and Shanghai students attended as well (their tickets were purchased by the Segal Center). Perhaps 2-3 students who bought tickets didn’t show, but all paid in a timely manner. Next up Karaoke on the 17th. Already a high level of RSVP.

Second Vice President, Elyse Singer

2017 Booth Award is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, April 27 in the MESTC. We presented our proposal to the DSC on November 1 for funding and it was sent back for more details (“revision requested”). This was in part due to the modest amount in Booth budget noted as DTSA support, and DSC awareness of their annual support for DTSA events. We will resubmit before next deadline—by Nov 17. They raised the question about outreach to other GC programs, such as CLAGS, Art History, etc. Frank shared with me at the end of last week that there is potential interest from Public Programs to present event in larger GC space (not guaranteed, but proposed). I have not yet gone back to Taylor to see if this is OK in terms of possibly changing the date or increasing size of venue. For example: Segal seats 70 vs. Proshansky’s 389; Elebash is not available. Waiting on DTSA Board’s input about larger space before going to Taylor and back to Frank/Public Programs Director. Request also put in for 4/27 for DSC room (reception), but they said status is pending because date is so far away.

Secretary-Treasurer, Hansol Oh

We’ve opened a Google account to put together DTSA-related documents. So far documents have been passed on in e-mails from year to year but from now on we’ll keep them in Google Drive for later use/reference. It’ll consist of constitution, officer reports, DTSA minutes, budget, as well as DTSA-related pictures. Please send the documents you want archived.

Admission and Awards Representative, Sarah Lucie

The Prospective Student Open House was a successful event on Tuesday, October 25. Thirty-two people attended the event, including eleven prospective students, as well as a number of Segal Center Visiting Scholars, current students from the department, and Theatre Program faculty. Highlights of the event include a brief lecture by Erika Lin, as well as comments by Nina Mercer, Eylul Akinci, and Shane Breaux. The prospective students seemed to enjoy the event and the time to mingle with current students, as many stayed past the official end time of the event.

Many outreach emails were sent to CUNY programs, local NYC colleges and MA programs, and programs in the Northeast Corridor. The majority of the attendees, however, were referred by current students or faculty.

Curriculum and Exams Representative, Joseph Paul Hill

I sent a list of suggested exam-related emendations for the Handbook to Peter, which he will present at the next appropriate committee meeting for approval. I’m pushing for the elimination of the need to pass the second language examination prior to declaring into to take the Second Examination. Also on the list is suggested wording to possibly allow for more crossover between the Second Examination and Dissertation committees. The last emendation specifies that both articles and book chapters are permissible substitutions for books at the rate of five to one.

I’m currently working on the curriculum survey with the aim of sending it out shortly after December 1, which is when spring registration opens, meaning that students will hopefully have familiarized themselves with next semester’s course offerings. The exam survey will go out in February following the next examination date.

Professionalization Representative, Margit Edwards

We held two professionalization events in October: Preparing your application materials, hosted by Jim Wilson and Applied Pedagogy: #BlackLivesMatter. Preparing your application materials was designed to help first years and those preparing for the job market workshop some of their materials and get immediate feedback on CV’s, cover letters, and teaching philosophies. Several advanced students attended, one currently on the job market, which helped to give the event a real-world immediacy. The #BlackLivesMatter applied pedagogy event was very successful. A number of students and alumni attended including Janet Werther, Nina Angela Mercer, Stefanie Jones, and Catherine Young. Catherine Young provided a google document that can be used to collect lesson plans, texts, and various other resources to assist in the planning of a syllabus that takes the issues raised by the Black Lives Matter Movement into consideration. Some helpful notes were also generated that can be made available to the DTSA. I’d also like to note that Prof. Erika Lin has been attending all of the professionalization events this semester and has been a welcome contributor.

Digital Initiatives Officer, Kalle Westerling

Sent out requests for bios to the DTSA website. Work continues on the Resource Exchange.

DSC Program Representative, Janet Werther

Had a meeting with Childcare Center on 10/26. They’re now accepting kids as young as 2 because of universal Pre-K, but the 2’s class is smaller by 2 students. I’m working with them to put together info packets on reduced cost infant care. They’re also looking for volunteers for arts programming because of funding cuts. Marginal tuition increase for next fall is coming. They voted to keep the childcare center for grad students’ kids only.

PLEASE sign the DSC petition by tomorrow if you haven’t already! Happy to give more info & take ideas for what to do with that $90,000 if we can get back access to it. This is just step 1 of a multi-step process so look out for the vote itself still coming.

Chloe and I will again be working on gender neutral bathrooms signage OUTSIDE the doors and single use bathrooms more accessible than the one on the 7th floor.

Outreach committee is planning 2 events: a party at City College in Dec. and a workshop for international students in Feb on taxes, taking work outside CUNY, and staying in the US after depositing the diss. We will likely have other urgent concerns by then re: deportation, as well.

Still hoping to have a theatre-focused drinks date for international students, but this has honestly been back-burnered at the moment.

Graduate Council and Alumni Engagement Representative, Jared Pike

The Graduate Council met on October 26, 2016. The meeting began with opening comments from President Chase Robinson in which he welcomed the new Provost Joy Connolly. He also read the names of the newly hired faculty members including our own Erika Lin. Another promotion announced with may be of interest to the DTSA was the appointment of Professor Martin Ruck (Psychology/Urban Education) as the President’s new Senior Advisor for Diversity and Inclusion. This new position marks the President’s attempt to promote a greater sense of diversity across the institution.

Regarding the recent budget cuts, President Robinson announced that the Graduate Center was able to submit a balanced budget at the end of the last financial year. While we continue to deal with the ramifications of the cuts made to balance that budget, President Robinson expressed a sense of stability and noted that there was not a need for immediate additional cuts.

Towards the end of the meeting there was a lively exchange regarding CUNY’s proposed Policy on Expressive Conduct. The Policy was slated to go before the Board of Directors but has been tabled for the time being due to its controversial nature. While the representatives from the DSC strongly object to the policy as expected, it was heartening to see objection from a large faculty contingent who are putting a together a petition to stop the policy in its current form due to its vague language and the blanket authority it grants to central administration. Representatives from the DSC pushed for a resolution from the Graduate Council condemning the policy. The Graduate Council Executive Committee expressed an openness to such a resolution should one be drafted and submitted to the Executive Committee prior to the next Graduate Council Meeting. These efforts are underway and the resolution should come up for a vote at the next meeting.

New Business

Booth Award location

Pros: funding chance, and we can make our program very visible

Cons: This will mean a lot of work; Segal Center Theatre offers more intimate space

We want the reception to be small and intimate.

If we’re holding the event as part of the GC Public Programs, Taylor will have to perform something. Taylor would have to agree to these arrangements so we’ll see what Taylor says.

Annex Library

We look forward to bring Annex back to student use.

Library with books including: General references, PAJ books, common references (for teaching, etc), faculty publications …

We can also use it for quiet study (adjust schedules so as not to overlap with AAs work hours, converting DVDs, etc)

The Futures Initiative

The Election Clapback Syllabus: A Teach In/Learn In program

Drafting a proposal about Research Assistants duty

In other institutions GAs work with their expertise valued.

It would be more benefiting if the RA duties could include something that can develop into in-depth engagement and good, lasting relationships.

Social Media

Ashley M. has offered to help with social media

JT asked for KW’s expertise regarding our future social media image

KW questioned difficulty of balancing DTSA v. Theatre Program social media outreach

All agreed that any labor regarding social media should be paid

Old Business

Book Sale (sign-up!)

JT will send a reminder to DTSA at-large

Everyone is encouraged to sign up for shifts and donate books


JT move to adjourn. ME seconds.

All in favor. Meeting adjourned at 4:53 pm.