Smith College Staff Council
December 4, 2002 (Approved at the January 8, 2002 meeting)
The December monthly meeting of Staff Council was held on Wednesday, December 4, 2002 at 2:30 p.m. in the Mary Maples Dunn Room at Pierce Hall.
Attending: Cristen Abrams, Kim Allen, Stacey Anasazi, Cyndee Button, Lakisha Coppedge, Connie Dragon, Serena Harris, Chris Carr Hill, Susan Hollingsworth, Patty Kimura, Karen LeHouiller, Merrilyn Lewis, Laura Matta, Steve Monteiro, Janine Nye, Sam Rush, Patricia Swan and Tara Zidonik
Excused: Gary Duffy, Alicia Guidotti, Anne-Marie LaFosse, Ann Mayo, Janice McDowell, Dianne Mikucki, Angela Musiak, Laura Rauscher and Michael Washut
Guest: Sandy Bycenski
Patty Kimura called the meeting to order at 2:35 p.m.
There was one change to the November minutes. Under the heading, Discussion on Staff Council focus on diversity and community, paragraph two was changed to read: Stacey suggested that each committee prepare and submit minutes to the group shortly before the monthly meeting so that they can be reviewed ahead of time.
Merrilyn added that the minutes could be sent to the co-secretaries, who would send them to the council members as an attachment in our e-mail reminder about the meeting.
The minutes were then approved.
2. COMMITTEE REPORTS:
A. Nominations and Elections:
Has not met yet but they need to realign slots to slide people into the right areas of coverage, and this will be done before the next election.
Personnel Policy Committee:
Childcare survey: Charles Staelin, chair of the childcare committee, informed them the new childcare proposal is moving forward.
Employee orientation: ad hoc committee is waiting for a meeting to be called. As a result of discussions at the Campus Climate Working Group, Merrilyn suggested that conflict resolution training be considered for staff as part of the orientation process and the committee agreed with her suggestion
Workload report: the ad hoc committee is hoping to have the report to staff soon.
Admission Office Efficiency Study: the committee was interested in the process that Admissions has been through to eliminate unnecessary tasks and make the office run more efficiently. The entire staff is working to implement suggestions that will streamline the workflow.
Next meeting is December 12th
Met on November 21st. Set up more lunch and learn sessions.
Council Chronicle is out. It was suggested that council members e-mail their staff areas about the new look and ask for feedback and encourage staff members to write articles.
Community forums: committee needed guidance about the previous community forums and whether SAMS and President's Office were involved in them. Patty said that SAMS has always been supportive of them but not actively involved. In the past, it was hoped that the President would come to the community forums, but Ruth Simmons did not attend them. President Christ has expressed interest in them and it was suggested that we check her schedule as we set them up. It was believed they previously were held from 1:30 2:30 p.m.
Had a table at the Human Resources fair in November.
Bus trip to New York City in November was a success.
Bus trip to Bright Nights still has seats available.
Holiday cookie swap set for December 16th
Spring trips are in process of being planned.
Next meeting is December 10th
Ad Hoc Diversity Committee:
Ann Shanahan of College Relations is working on a listing of the activities staff is involved in within the community and she's preparing a survey to be distributed to staff. Merrilyn asked if Ann would incorporate one question that would include activities related to diversity, and Ann agreed she would. Merrilyn asked for suggestions about how to word the question. Patty said we should work on phrasing it to use it as a mechanism for what diversity means. Merrilyn said she would try to find out from Ann how she was phrasing the other questions.
People questioned whether this question was going to serve us since the answers were not going to change our directives. Patty felt that it we push the message that diversity is not separate, it's a dimension of every part of Smith that it may make people think differently about their volunteerism. It's an opportunity for people who fill out the survey to think about diversity. Stacey wondered if we should use the Council Chronicle for our diversity survey? Merrilyn said she hopes Ann Shanahan will share the results and we may be able to give feedback via the Council Chronicle.
Merrilyn has talked with Michael McCormick, Program Director, Study Circles Resource Center, and he is willing to come to Smith and give a demonstration. Study Circles are a means of dialogue around touchy subjects. We're thinking of inviting senior staff and select others to see if they're willing to get involved in the initiative. Michael would facilitate training so that we could then do it on our own.
It was decided that we would try to schedule it for February 5th from 1:30 4:00 p.m. This would take the place of the normal monthly meeting. An update will be given at the January meeting.
Laura Rauscher had car problems and was not able to attend the meeting. Her discussion of diversity will be on the January agenda.
Winter party: President Christ cancelled the winter party and instead threw two parties (one for RADS and one for Physical Plant). Her e-mail explaining her decision did not reach all of the service staff, as many of them don't receive e-mail. The staff received the invitation, but not the previous explanation so there has been much confusion and poor response to the parties. Many service staff are feeling segregated again. Laura Matta said she believes that people are missing an outlet that brings the entire Smith community together.
The next regular Staff Council meeting is set for 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 8th in the Mary Maples Dunn Conference Room.
The Staff Council meeting adjourned at 3:45 p.m.
Chris Carr Hill, Co-Secretary
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