Minutes of the USLUEC meeting from 10/19/2009

Present: All members of the Committee were present for this call:

Harvey Newman
Robert Clare
Michael Barnett
Sheldon Stone
Sridhara Dasu
Peter Jacobs
Kevin Burkett
Greg Landsberg,
Sarah Demers
Sandor Feher 
Al Goshaw
Kevin Burkett
Greg Landsberg
Julia Thom

1) Funding:

Dues, meeting fees, contributions from FRA and BSA for the annual trip to Washington, etc.

Harvey mentioned that in order to raise funds from the FRA, and/or BSA and SLAC we need to establish that we are fully doing our part. Part of this is the collection of dues or donations. Since our need has been estimated at $ 20,000 per year we should aim to collect a significant part of that.

We discussed amounts, such as $ 20 or $ 30 per person. It was discussed if grad students should pay less. We will determine the suggested amount(s) after determining how we can collect fees.

Several proposals for membership fees were discussed:

  • asking for donations rather than dues
  • letting the members decide on the level of contribution
    (boxes to be checked for $10, $20, $30 and “other amount”)
  • asking for a low membership fee of $10 each

The discussion will continue offline, once the means of collecting dues or donations is set. [Note added: After the meeting Al Goshaw checked and the APS would help us collect dues or donations, for a nominal fee to offset their costs, but only if US LUO were a tax free organization. HN looked into setting up a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization and got some legal advice. The outlook is promising. Dan Green will contact the Fermilab lawyers to cross-check the advice.]

Enforcement: it was suggested to keep a list of “supporting members” rather than excluding people who do not pay the membership fee.

Also, HN will look into the possibility of USLUO becoming an APS unit.

[Note after the meeting: This was mentioned to Dennis Kovar in a conversation. He said he had experience with this, and felt  that an APS unit should have a very long lasting scientific purpose. We should discuss this further.]

The idea of a 2nd day conference full of young LUO members’ talks at the annual conference was discussed. A conference fee from participants could be collected, e.g. $50 per day. Concern was raised that the funding agencies may reject this as a mechanism to raise money for lobbying.

2) Annual Trip to Washington

Sridhara kindly agreed to form a working group to organize the trip.
The best time for the trip will have to be determined, it depends on when budget decisions will be made, etc.
[After the meeting we learned that this “most suitable time” is likely to be in late February or early March this year.]

A very positive report on the LUO Poster Competition was given.

3) April APS Meeting in February:

The idea of organizing an APS event for young people working at the LHC was discussed. The goal would be to facilitate a meeting between students and DOE/NSF.

A list of students going to the meeting will be available once the abstracts have been accepted. It was pointed out that supervisors will have to talk to their students to ensure good attendance. Sheldon agreed to help organize such a meeting.

Side trips to the Hill and to DOE Office of Science were discussed. Bob and Harvey will organize them.

4) Annual USLUO meeting

Co-Location/Co-Scheduling with the US CMS and US ATLAS annual collaboration meetings would be beneficial. Nick Hadley, [US Atlas Chair] will be contacted by Al and Harvey for co-scheduling.

5) Forming a Young US LHC or US LHC Students’ Organization

…similar to the FNAL grad student organization was discussed. Sarah offered to head this effort.

6) Officers:

Kevin will be the new secretary,

Harvey remains Chair of USLUO

7) AOB:

Tax and health insurance information for people at CERN has been collected. A document summarizing the information gathered on taxes is available here.

Health insurance information is very complex and not available yet. Need people based at CERN to continue with the work. Sarah agreed to be the contact person during Spring/Summer 2010.

Relocation Guide on the US LUO Website has to be kept up to date- Sheldon pointed out that some of the links are broken. Jen is very busy currently, so Kathy agreed to check the links and update information quarterly. Plenty of information can also be obtained from the CMS and Atlas guides for newcomers. Tamy, Alexa and Norma will be contacted to help keep the US LUO pages up to date.

The next meeting will take place in December, before the Holiday break.