February 19, 2004
(Approved March 4, 2004)
Nancy Brady, Marti Hobbes, Merrilyn Lewis, Steve Monteiro, Laura
Matta, Karen LeHouiller, Kim Allen, Laura Rauscher, Adrian Beaulieu,
Susan Hollingsworth, Jan Cole, Jinny Mason, Karen Hebert, Tara Zidonik,
Janice McDowell, Chris Carr Hill, Patricia Swan
Excused: Adrianne Andrews, Linda LaFlam, Diane Mikucki, Janine Nye,
Linda Rainville, Mike Washut
Guests: Sandy Bycenski, Lou Ann Krawczynski, Lauren Seidman '04
I. Feb. 5 minutes were approved.
II. COMMITTEE REPORTS
Merrilyn said although Staff Council declined participation in the
Rally Day show this year, she'd like the activities committee to
add it to its agenda for 2004-05. Someone suggested that the activities
committee contact Sam Rush of Theatre to ask if he could find a
student who could help with creating a skit. (This is what Staff
Council did last year.)
Personnel Policy Committee hasn't met since last Staff Council meeting;
will meet next week.Nominations and Elections hasn't met yet; however,
they will be meeting next week. Serena Harris resigned as chair,
so Kim Allen is looking for volunteers to help. She'd like to get
nomination forms out by the first or second week of March. Next
week she plans to send an e-mail to all staff announcing upcoming
Tara Zidonik has been working on re-designing the brochure. It's
The spring issue of the Council Chronicle is nearly complete thanks
to the design efforts of Ferris Shelton, and they hope to get it
out by mid-March. Karen Hebert is putting the finishing touches
on a staff resource directory. The plan is to continue to distribute
hard copies of the Council Chronicle via bulk mail to all staff.
Ad Hoc Diversity Committee
Patricia Swan presented the committee's plan for cultural awareness
programming in 2004-05 and said since it will require significant
involvement by Staff Council representatives, she needs to know
whether we think the ideas are feasible. Some ideas for cultural
awareness programs include a family heritage event at which staff
would showcase their different kinds of families -- maybe starting
with Staff Council members and then expanding the program to the
rest of the campus in two years; designating the fall for a cultural
event and the spring for an open event, like a lecture. Someone
from the Activities committee suggested that rather than directly
organizing diversity events, the committee might consider setting
aside funds to sponsor student affinity groups.
Merrilyn had one more suggestion for diversity committee: she thought
they might consider inviting a speaker, Jane Elliott, a teacher
from Iowa whose "blue eyes/brown eyes" experiment provides
a compelling lesson for anti-racist education. Merrilyn said there
are funds available specifically for lectures and that Staff Council
could underwrite such a talk. Also OMA and institutional diversity
could help out.
Ad Hoc Parade Float Committee
Staff Council plans to give $300 to the effort, bringing the total
budget for the parade float to $1,400. Also they can ask Activities
Committee for more money.
They plan to construct the float components in the sculpture courtyard
and get community involvement.
III. OLD BUSINESS
IV. NEW BUSINESS
A. Karen LeHouiller
received a letter from Janet Hukowicz about parking problems at
Lamont House. According to Hukowicz, staff are regularly blocked
into the lot by delivery trucks, and after repeated complaints to
Dining Services, the problem continues. Merrilyn suggested Janet
send her letter to Public Safety. Someone pointed out that although
the cars have gotten bigger over the years, the size of the parking
spaces has stayed the same. Someone said Gary Hartwell has a log
of all the parking places on campus.
B. Student Lauren Seidman introduced herself to
the Staff Council reps and said she wanted to attend one of our
meetings because she's worried about dining issues and diversity
issues, and she feels that students are not listened to by the administration
until the last minute when it's too late. She wondered if staff
had the same experience. Sandy Bycenski, who said she's been at
Smith 30 years, said in the last ten years, she's seen a huge improvement
in the administration's communication efforts with staff. Others
commented that they felt administration was very accessible and
forthcoming in the most recent round of budget cuts, citing the
forums as well as senior staff brown bag lunches.
Lauren also asked if Staff Council felt it was being involved in
the choice of the next diversity director. Someone told Lauren that
indeed we did and that the search committee even attended a recent
staff council meeting to solicit suggestions.
Lauren's third question was about what Staff Council thought of
the faculty retirement plan, which she believes will force younger
professors to retire.
She also asked Staff Council if we could suggest a faculty advisor
for her student group's coalition-style activism efforts.
C. The leadership training with Carol Bevan-Bogart
for March has been rescheduled to April, from noon to 2 p.m.
D. The Training and Development brochure will soon
be distributed by Human Resources. The classes focus on change and
stress, including two sessions with Jan Morton and Izzy Gissell.
E. The letter from Susan Hollingsworth raising
concerns about walkway safety on campus during inclement weather
and whether appropriate decisions are being made about weather delays
will be forwarded to Lianne Sullivan- Crowley via the Personnel
F. Merrilyn asked reps what they felt the general
pulse is on campus.
Steve Monteiro said recently Ruth, Bill Brandt and Rick Myers met
with Physical Plant staff and that the budget cuts could affect
up to ten positions. He remarked that the last round of layoffs
last fall was upbeat because the departures were voluntary; i.e.,
people taking the package, but this time the layoffs will be involuntary
and, consequently, morale is low.
Someone remarked that at least unionized staff have some control
via their labor union over how the cuts will take place; but non-unionized
staff do not have that control.
Submitted by Marti Hobbes, co-secretary.