February 2022

SURPAS Council Meeting Agenda

Thursday February 24th , 2022 11:30am-1:00pm 

Location: Zoom

Quorum:  12

  • Acknowledgment statement, inc group norms/mutual respect (2’) 
  • Welcome, Zoom etiquette (2’) 
  • Introductions and approval of minutes (5’)

Julia and Rohini approved minutes

2 New postdocs introduced

  • Welcome

Acknowledgement statement, Introductions and approval of minutes (10’)

  • Updates (10’)
    • COVID-19 updates
    • SURPAS Survey
    • SURPAS/OPA/PACPA meeting update

Covid updates changing, check https://www.cdph.ca.gov/.

Analyzed data from SUPRAS benefits survey. Key points were financial aid grants (increased from $5000 to 10,000), housing, transport, food insecurity, health care premiums. Tim mentions they know what the issues are (as mentioned at Rice seminar) and now having the data is useful, maybe present data to faculty senate. Chinyere mentions that pushback is from faculty because PI grants don’t increase. Wants to invite Sophie from OPA to come to council meeting. Wants to address housing then work on salary. 

Income: over 50% postdocs live below SCC poverty line even with total household income. 57%. 47% of postdocs spend over $1500 a month on rent. Over 50% of postdocs spend over 30minutes community, 22% of postdocs spend more then $160 a month on transportation. 

Lucy asks if this will be shared so others can access full survey. Chinyere mentions we will share it soon when ready. Poonam asks if they are relocating incoming postdocs to EVGR? Chinyere mentions this is a new effort by OPA for temporary housing. Poonam mentions that they need to pay full 5 months at once an this is a lot of money, can we talk to OPA about this? Suggesting to contact Sophie and Robin to sort out. 

Gina shared Justin Akers, Director housing assignments, R&D Student Housing operations, 650-725-2810. Surpas was in touch with previously. 

Tim suggests present survey data to faculty senate, write in the Stanford Daily ect.. 

Priorities: Housing is a priority this year, task force to come up with Housing plan for postdocs, stanford email access (now 2-years access), and postdoc→ instructor position . Have talked about salary increase with PAPCA and they will be voting on this. Then will send recommendation to Provost. Will keep updated. 


  • Communications Committee
    • Ioana Marin

Extend communication of SURPAS is the goal; build community for postdocs, advocate for postdocs, offer platform for postdocs to practice skills related to communication and design. Past have done SURPAS mailer, postdoc highlights, and articles in Stanford Daily. Encourages postdocs to join the committee and slack channel if interested. 

  • Elections
    • Community Engagement Liaison
      • Surbhi Sharma

Wants to join SURPAS and get more engaged as council member and in Leadership. Has previous leadership experience in grad studies and currently. Has worked previously with Women in Bio and other initiatives. Wants to bridge gaps between surpas and affinity groups.

Vimala asks how she is going to manage time ect… Surbhi mentions she spoke to Leadership and spoke about time commitment she has and wants to put in. 

Rohini: one challenge we face is getting more postdocs involved, any suggestions about how to engage more postdocs (and new postdocs) on activities? Subhi mentions that there are admin activities initially as a postdoc and wants to reach out to department admins. Has to be a convo with postdocs to see what works in their favour. 

Maria: What is the role of the Community engagement liason? Primary role engage postdocs with surpas and affinity groups. Also getting newsletters out. Will know in a few months where the gaps are. Intermediate between affinity groups and surpas. 

Council member: VOTED IN- 15 yes

Community Engagement Liason: VOTED IN-  12 YES

  • Council Re-election
    • Chinyere Iweka

Chinyere wants to renew and advocate for postdocs, housing, salary and holding accountable. Wants to continue to advocate for postdocs and wants to advocate for having postdocs doing their IDPs. 


  • Postdoc Representative for working groups developed from IDEAL survey

Don’t need to be a council member to be in this position. Reach out to Leadership if interested. 

  • Bylaws

Bylaws were previously discussed. 

  • Diversity cabinet position (2 meetings a month): 

Elected within Leadership-

Elected position from within SURPAS council- 13

Position assumed by Advocacy coordinator-  2

Usman presents a motion to postpone this vote until someone from JEDI is here to speak on what they want to do with this position. Gina seconds the motion? Tim mentions that we are allowing to expand to all council and not just to Leadership. Chinyere mentions that not everyone involved in JEDI is not in the JEDI committee, just giving the opportunity to broaden the vote.  

  • Name and titles of council members public

Delete this sentence “names and titles of all elected and appointment council members” from the bylaws- 1

Do not delete- 11

  • Eligible council members change wording for clarity?

Change wording: 12

Do not change: 1

  • Upcoming events (5’)
    • SURPAS Happy Hour
      • Tomorrow, February 25th 4 – 5:30 pm
      • Location:
  • SURPAS/OPA Meeting
    • March 15th at 3 pm