Smith College Staff Council
January 9, 2002 (Approved at the February 6, 2002 meeting)
A meeting of the full Staff Council was held on Wednesday, January 9, 2002 at 2:15 p.m. in the Mary Maples Dunn Room at Pierce Hall.
Attending: Stacey Anasazi, Jack
Begleiter, Cyndee Button,
Sandy Bycenski, Serena Harris,
Chris Carr Hill, Patty Kimura, Mimi Lempart, Merrilyn Lewis, Ann Mayo, Janice McDowell, Sam Rush, Stephanie Schoen and Bill Sheehan.
Excused: Cristen Abrams, Carla Coffey, Lakisha Coppedge, Patrick Diggins, Lisa Dwinell, Alicia Guidotti, Patty Hayes, Bob Lesko, Anne-Marie LaFosse, Steve Monteiro, Patty Rist and Mike Washut.
Patty Kimura called the meeting to order at 2:25 p.m. after a quorum was met.
The minutes of the December 2001 meeting were approved. Bill Sheehan announced that for further information on such areas as ACRA (presented at previous meeting), Jonathan Lovell is available to give an overview presentation about the college's budget processes, funding, expenditures, etc.
Since the committee has not met since the last Staff Council meeting, Ann Mayo has nothing to report. The committee is set to meet January 10.
The Communications Committee also has not met and needs to set a meeting date.
Nominations and Elections
Serena Harris reported that the committee is working on a nominations and elections report. Nominations will be held sometime between March and May of this year. During the nomination process, volunteers are needed for outreach to the Smith community, especially RADS and Physical Plant. Patty reinforced how important outreach can be. Since service areas tend to not feel included, it is very important to hand deliver the nomination ballots providing an opportunity to say hello and answer any questions.
All members were encouraged to think about Staff Council positions that are opening up in June since half of the council's terms will end in May.
It was announced that Honey Gillman has resigned from the council due to a heavy workload.
Sandy Bycenski reported that the committee is meeting with Lianne Sullivan-Crowley on January 10.
Staff Visions Ad
Mimi Lempart reminded members that January 18th is the deadline for submitting registration forms for the Staff Visions art exhibit that will take place March 4-29, 2002.
Staff Council Lunch with Carol Christ on January 28th
Lunch with the new president of Smith College is scheduled for Monday, January 28, at noon on the lower level of the Smith College Club.
Physical Plant Tour
At the last Steering Committee meeting, the idea of substituting a physical plant tour for a monthly Staff Council meeting was discussed. Gerry Manley, an administrative assistant at Physical Plant, contacted Patty Kimura about the details. Although the tunnels are not included at this time due to asbestos concerns, the tour is fascinating: one views areas such as the boiler plant that is four stories high and painted in primary colors to signify the different campus locations served. Staff Council agreed that Patty should pursue plans for the tour, keeping in mind times that may be optimum for outreach to members of Physical Plant.
Staff Council needs to begin forming ideas for a spring Community Forum. One idea suggested is asking Jonathan Lovell to present on Smith College's budget. Patty asked for ad hoc committee volunteers and Sandy Bycenski and Cristen Abrams (absent) volunteered.
Fragrance Free Ad Hoc Committee
Although Patty Hayes was not at the meeting, Patty Kimura explained that on the behalf of a friend who is experiencing difficulty in handling a situation involving allergies and fragrance sensitivity, Patty Hayes and the Steering Committee feel that this is a community/working issue. Since the council is committed to making the college community hospitable to all, how can the council help, educate, discuss and then send suggestions to the college workforce about this issue? It was decided that an ad hoc committee should be formed to discuss the best way to handle this situation. It is possible the result will be to make a recommendation to the Campus Climate Working Group to consider this issue (similar to the smoking issue). An ad hoc committee will be formed. Ann Mayo and Janice McDowell volunteered; other volunteers should contact Patty Kimura.
Spring Diversity Training Ad Hoc Committee
Merrilyn Lewis, Jack Begleiter, Patty Kimura and Stephanie Schoen volunteered for this ad hoc committee. All ad hoc committees should set dates to meet and move forward on planning.
Janice McDowell mentioned that she saw an ad in the Hampshire Gazette about this year's Spelling Bee. Staff Council needs to decide whether or not to support this fundraiser. This item will be discussed at the next meeting and the council's finances will be reviewed.
Patty then asked, "What are Staff Council's priorities for this year and how do they meet the goals of the council?" There is budget flexibility to shift Council priorities by supporting another kind of event, such as bringing in a speaker for a community event. Currently the budget supports the printing of the Council Chronicle, Activities Committee events including family entertainment for the Staff Picnic in June, and miscellaneous meeting expenses. One-time college funding supports the Staff Council diversity training. Patty asked that the council think about strategic planning and the budget. The council consists of an interesting, diverse group from all over campus; it is important to be leaders and make future plans/decisions about priorities and discuss funding. Members are to continue thinking about ideas for this year, ideas that may or may not need funding. Three ideas that came up were 1) how to better use the liaison list to reduce paper waste, 2) how to engage more staff in the Smith community and 3) how to better represent departments as Staff Council members by deciding what is the most efficient way to reach people and what information is of value to staff members. As a way to highlight members' leadership roles, it was suggested to invite yourself to a staff meeting in the area that you represent in order to introduce yourself, tell how to best contact you as a representative, explain what the council does, and answer any questions or concerns. In-person contact will increase your credibility as a Staff Council member.
The next Staff Council meeting will be Wednesday, February 6, 2002, 2:15 p.m. in the Mary Maples Dunn Room, Pierce Hall. The Staff Council meeting was adjourned at 3:21 p.m.
Cyndee Button, Co-Secretary