Nov 5, 2003
Mary Maples Dunn Room, 1 p.m.
Attending: Kim Allen, Adrianne Andrews,
Nancy Brady, Chris Carr Hill, Karen Hebert, Marti Hobbes, Susan
Hollingsworth, Karen LeHouiller, Merrilyn Lewis, Janice Mason, Janice
McDowell, Linda Rainville, Laura Rauscher, Mike Washut
Excused: Adrian Beaulieu, Janice Cole, Serena Harris, Linda LaFlam,
Karen LeHouiller, Laura Matta, Dianne Mikucki, Steve Montiero, Janine
Nye, Patricia Swan, Tara Zidonik
Guests: Stacey Anasazi, Sandy Bycenski, Lou Ann Krawczynski and
I. The minutes of the Oct 1st Staff Council Meeting were approved.
II. Invited guest Kathy Zieja
Kathy began by commenting that dining services is a department the
touches many areas of the campus and serves staff, faculty and students
in a variety of ways. As a result of the recent separation of Dining
Services from Residence staff, the opening of the Campus Center
and the current efforts to evaluate student dining services, Kathy
reported that this has been an "interesting semester"
and includes lots of "growing pains" which will continue
for some time.
Kathy mentioned that even though dining services and residence services
have been separated, the housekeepers are still in the same union,
#211, as the residence service workers and the housekeepers still
"hang out" with the Dining Services staff during breaks.
The College Club continues to serve lunches Monday-Friday and that
has been going well. Catering has undergone some changes in staffing
but continues to be available for occasional events. In addition,
Summer Programs is staffed by 9-month Dining Service employees who
are given the option to work for this Program based on seniority.
The only staffing change resulting in an increase in staff are the
2 new year-round positions at the Campus Center. (Dining Services
has 12 members on their administrative team which has responsibility
for the house dining program, the Campus Center, Smith
College club, catering and Summer Programs. There are 120 dining
staff workers that cover those operational activities.) Kathysaid
currently there are 19 houses serving food to students during the
week and 11 serving food during the weekend.
The Campus Center, where there are ten dining service workers, has
exceeded its goals since its opening. At this point, the summer
hours for the campus center cafe will be the same as they were at
Davis Center; i.e., Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. A
Campus Center Advisory Committee is in place that is in charge of
setting procedural guidelines for programming and deciding how the
building will be used.
Kathy reported that the Dining Service Task Force is continuing
to meet. They made general recommendations to the Trustees when
they met in October. She predicts that whatever changes are made
won't be rash or dramatic for next year, but that gradual "phasing"
change is probable.
Regarding communication by Staff Council to dining service employees,
Kathy assured us that every work site has a computer and that she
will appoint one person at each site to facilitate the receipt of
electronic communication. There was discussion of the possibility
of creating a dedicated phone line to communicate information during
the summer for those staff who have 9 or 10-month schedules.
Kathy then reflected that anticipating change often creates anxiety
for staff though she believes that some of the likely changes will
actually create better working situations for many of her staff.
She remarked that in contrast to the changes that took place at
Smith in the early 90s when the focus was on improving efficiency
and productivity, now the desire to improve customer service is
driving the changes.
Staff Council Reps raised a few questions particularly about the
Campus Center and staff communication which Kathy readily answered.
III. Committee reports
A. A. Nominations & Elections
Kim sent around the sheet of committee assignments for final confirmation.
The committee is also working on the appointment of 2 staff members
to the Campus Center Advisory Board.
Kim then raised the question of what to do about vacant positions
on the Council such as we have now. (Three people have left the
Council: Cristen Abrams, Angela Musiak and Barbara Spaulding.) The
committee first tried to fill the positions with candidates for
the positions from last spring's election. However, these people
were now unable to assume the positions. In light of this situation,
the Council agreed to fill the open positions for the remainder
of their terms with interested volunteers preferably from the departments
in which the vacancies have occurred. (Angela Musiak had 6 months
left to her term, Cristen Abram's term was ending in May 2004, and
Barbara Spaulding's term was ending in May 2005.) It was suggested
that we should consider a change in the by-laws to anticipate this
kind of situation in the future.
For 2003-04 staff council membership, Merrilyn expects nominations
and elections to be concluded by May and officer elections and committee
choices to take place in June.
Some discussion followed about how to "advertise" Staff
Council around campus. The use of PSA's such as "brought to
you by. . " and having representatives of Staff Council attend
and speak for the Council at our many events, including departmental
meetings, were among the suggestions. The committee was charged
to step up this kind of outreach and develop more ways of doing
B. Personnel Policy
Sandy read the committee report and said their meeting dealt mostly
with morale changes and job security issues.
The Council Chronicle was the main topic of discussion. Sabrina
is interested in continuing to work on the Chronicle but she needs
more support. She can't "beat the bushes" for authors
to write and to meet Chronicle deadlines and she needs help with
the layout now that Navae has left the Chronicle. Also topics of
articles are always in short supply. The Council agreed that despite
greater dependence on electronic communication, the Chronicle remains
an important tool both to communicate and advertise our accomplishments
to staff and also the recognize interesting people and events on
the campus at large and should be supported by the Council. Kathy
Zieja agreed to write a couple of articles for up-coming Chronicles.
The Staff Visions show and reception and the emerging exercise area
at the gym were also mentioned as possible topics. Members agreed
to try to put more energy into the Chronicle both to support Sabrina
and the Chronicle itself.
It was also suggested that we have the Union steward as a guest
at an up-coming Council meeting in order to better understand and
communicate with staff who are union members. Someone said there's
a misconception among some service staff that Staff Council is not
relevant to them because they already are represented by unions.
It may be worthwhile for Staff Council to counter this misconception
by promoting the idea that Staff Council addresses different kinds
of staff issues than unions.
Send ideas and questions about activities to Lou Ann.
E. Ad Hoc Diversity - no report
F. Study Circles
Merrilyn reported that at a recent CCCP meeting it was discovered
that several groups on campus are looking at dialogue models, so
it was decided we'd pool our efforts through the CCCP. A subcommittee
has been formed that will explore the various models and make a
recommendation back to the full committee. Although this seems to
be a detour, if the CCCP endorses a model that will carry more clout
(and resources) than if we go it alone, it will ultimately bring
greater buy-in and results.
G. Treasurer's Report
Chris Carr Hill reported that she has reimbursed minor costs for
refreshments for the Lunch & Learn sessions. She also reported
that the Steering Committee approved the Activities budget for this
year in the amount of $3,000.
IV. Old business
Merrilyn reported that Carla Cook had talked to Kara Callahan of
the Engineering department and Karla responded that the Smith Women
in Engineering Club might be interested in designing a float. Jinny
Mason agreed to look over the papers and try to find out who might
be responsible and capable of taking on such a task. Peg Pitzer
was also mentioned as a likely participant and source of energy
and names of others that might want to participate.
V. New Business
Merrilyn said she thought the Staff Council table at the HR benefits
fair had been well received. She also said that she would like to
use an HR owned video about the positive aspects of change at an
upcoming Council meeting. Since time was running short, Merrilyn
said we would set dates and guest speakers for second semester at
the next meeting that will be on Friday, Dec. 5 with Pres.
Christ as our guest speaker.
Nancy R. Brady, co-secretary