Smith College Staff Council
November 7, 2001 (Approved at the December 12, 2001 meeting)
A meeting of the full Staff Council was held on November 7th at 2:30 p.m. in the Mary Maples Dunn Room in Pierce Hall.
Attending: Stacey Anasazi, Cristen Abrams, Cyndee Button, Sandy Bycenski, Lakisha Coppedge (replacement for Joe Stoddart), Patrick Diggins, Lisa Dwinell, Patty Hayes, Chris Carr Hill, Patty Kimura, Anne-Marie LaFosse, Mimi Lempart, Bob Lesko, Ann Mayo, Janice McDowell, Steve Monteiro, Sam Rush, Stephanie Schoen, Bill Sheehan and Michael Washut
Excused: Jack Begleiter, Carla Coffey, Honey Gillman, Alicia Guidotti, Serena Harris, Merrilyn Lewis, and Patricia Rist
Guest: Dr. Adrianne Andrews, Ombudsperson
1. REVIEW MINUTES
Patty Kimura opened the meeting at 2:35 p.m. and asked for everyone to review the October 3rd minutes before the council moved for approval. The minutes were approved without change.
2. COMMITTEE REPORTS
Lisa Dwinell reported that ticket sales to Six Flags were a big success. The Denim Day drive raised $4,445, up 62% over last year. The Foxwoods bus trip went fine and the trip to New York City is scheduled for December 1st. A potluck dinner for November 5th was cancelled due to lack of enrollment. Looking into a possible golf league and a mitten project. They've discussed the issue of trying to accommodate disabled people at events they sponsor and they will continue the discussion of how to better meet the needs of the disabled. It would be great if they were able to get a disabled person on the committee to help them accomplish this.
Ann Mayo added that they continue to encourage staff council members to pass along suggested activities but since there are many factors involved in the committee's decision of which activities they can sponsor in a given year, they asked for our help in not raising expectations about whether it will be accepted. Patty Kimura suggested that when people approach us with ideas that we ask them if they are willing to be involved and to work on the project.
Continuing business is a discussion about the handling of the budget and the distribution of duties when Cindy Rucci steps down in June of 2002. Patty encouraged them to look for ways to keep the handling of the budget within staff council so that we may maintain our independence.
Cristen reported that they finalized the planning of the Lunch and Learn series. The first one was held on October 24th and Khalilah Karim-Rushdan shared her experience as a Muslim. It was well attended. The next one is Monday, November 12th when two participants in the Staff Visions show present their works of art. If all goes well with the series this year, they'll start planning early for next year's events.
Sam Rush passed out a rough draft of the Did You Know.? sheet that is being put together for new staff and for the van tours. He asked that we all take a look at it and send revisions and suggestions to him.
Cristen is still working on the roster of who's on Staff Council and which areas of the college they represent and should be reporting back to.
Patty Hayes said she hoped the Council Chronicle would go to Central Services for printing tomorrow.
The next meeting is Wednesday, November 14th from 2:00-3:00 p.m. in Garrison Hall.
Nominations and Elections:
Serena Harris was not in attendance so no report was made.
Sandy Bycenski handed out a revised roster of staff council members.
Workload issue: Letters to focus groups will go out on November 12 and the facilitator will be on campus December 4, 5, and 6. Computers randomly selected 200 people and they are looking for 14 focus groups. The consultant will put an aggregate report together after the meetings.
360 Supervisory Review: they suggested that Lianne Sullivan-Crowley bring this idea to SAMS. Mary Clayton spent time searching the web on this topic and did find some good websites.
not sure if they met in October or if they plan to meet soon.
Job Description Task Force:
Committee wants to understand how a limited number of standard job descriptions can be matched to the variety of jobs on this campus. PPC committee felt that a standard job description form will not consist of Smith related factors. It was pointed out how the current grading system seems to make incomparable comparisons.
Sick Leave Bank:
There has been no open enrollment to date, and participants are wondering if they will be asked to add days to the bank. Patty Kimura said that letters about Sick Leave Bank Enrollment were recently sent to staff members' homes. Current members will be asked to contribute one day to the bank to continue their membership, due to a large number of days needed this past year.
Concern for New Employees:
New employees may be experiencing misunderstandings around benefits and pay cycles, i.e., what benefits are available, when each benefit becomes available, resources available and timesheet questions. They might need a follow-up information session, or there may be a need for better communication or updating of our employee handbooks. PPC will continue to discuss with Human Resources ways to improve communication about benefits and payroll.
3. NEW/OLD BUSINESS
A. Dr. Adrianne Andrews, Ombudsperson, was present and she said she won't make all of our meetings but she felt it very helpful to come and get a cross section view of the campus.
B. Art on the Fence/Archives @ The ad hoc committee dismantled the project and took the strips of cloth and recorded them. Stacey Anasazi distributed a list of the comments to everyone. She said the project was featured on Channel 22 news and in the local newspapers. A listing of all the comments and some photographs are listed on the Staff Council web page at www.smith.edu/staffcouncil/. The committee hopes this is the first step in a continuing response and Stacey asked about next steps. Steve Monteiro mentioned that in the diversity training that several of us are undergoing we are learning ways to become allies. The College Archivist, Nanci Young, suggested we contact the Curator of Rare Books, Martin Antonetti, to talk to him about making a book out of the strips of cloth. We should contact the ad hoc committee if we have any suggestions. Stacey added that in the future we need to work more closely with Public Safety and contact them in the planning stages of events such as this.
Since we had run out of time, we continued the Fragrance Free agenda item to next month.
The next Staff Council meeting was set for December 5th, but because the workload issue focus groups will be meeting that day, we rescheduled the meeting to Wednesday, December 12th, at 2:15 p.m. in the MMD Conference Room.
Chris Carr Hill