Staff Council Minutes
October 4, 2007
2:00 – 3:00 pm
In Attendance: Sara Punsky, Sam Rush, Alicia Guidotti, Joe Bialek, Toby Davis, Pattie Lumbra, Barbara Pliska, Rick Rubin, Sandy Bycenski, Chris Gentes, Trish Mailler, Bill Sheehan, Lynda Dallapegorara, Becca Washut, Sabrina Marsh, Katherine Messier, Kathy Yarnell, Karin LaBarge, John Zaikowski,
Guests: Stacy Anasazi, Jinny Mason
Minutes from September meeting were approved.
- All Steering Committee Meetings are at 1:30pm, 30 minutes prior to each Staff Council Meeting.
Chrissie Bell from the Hampshire County Interfaith Shelter spoke about seeking volunteers to assist the shelter between 9:00 pm and 7:00 am from November 2007-April 2008. Flyers were passed out to share with offices. Please contact Chrissie for more information. 413-203-1777 or 413-585-3721.
Pat Rist has resigned. We have four more names of interested people. Sandy will contact.
Activities Committee Update:
- Sabrina Marsh is back in action! Welcome Back!
- Upcoming Events…something every month!
- Hayride, October 27, tickets still remain
- NYC Trip, December 1
- Holiday Hoopla, December 13
- Ratatouille, January 12
- Pub Nights in the Campus Center, will start in the Spring
- E-Digest Meeting
- Recap from Sandy’s email
- College Relations is working towards optimizing communication to staff with eDigest and Grecourt Gate. Laurie Fenlason pointed out that staff have an obligaion to know what is going on at Smith or in the community.
Sam Rush asked if Staff Council felt that there was a topic important to staff could it be put on Grecourt Gate. Laurie said that they will make editoral decisions depending on the topic.
But she added that if Staff Council has something important or a tease for staff to read, she welcomes it.
We spoke about making sure staff have access to computers and know how to view HTML.
ITS will be working on making sure the computers are set up to view eDigest properly.
Computers on campus should have the Gate set up as the Home page.
Chris Gentes pointed out that eDigest has too much information and people are not willing to read thru it all. John Eue described a new option on the Gate called RSS feed. It will let staff choose the categories from eDigest that they want to read.
- The Gate
- Some like it, some don’t. Encourage people nonetheless.
- E-digest is here to stay
- How can Staff Council make people aware of it?
- College Relations commented that “It is our responsibility to seek out the info”
- How can we make sure it is readily available?
- We need to highlight specific issue to make change
- E-digest won’t be changed without push
- Could we send out a flyer “About E-Digest” to everyone has instructions on how to access
- Would word of mouth to custodial staff in our buildings make a difference
- Can we train staff on how to use computers?
- This would require more computers for staff to use
- The opportunity for staff to use computers is limited. Physical Plant shares only a few computers.
- Offer “don’t be afraid of computers” session
- Can we create and easy printable version. The current version isn’t user friendly.
- Do we need to build time into staff schedules to use computers, rather than expecting them to use their breaks? What if computers are not a part of your daily routine?
- Why no Staff Listserv:
- If we feel that we need to communicate with all staff, we can send it to College Relations and if it’s justified they’ll send it out.
- Example: Mountain Day Communication
- President should have included the Staff Council Event on her email
- Meeting with Naomi Miller
- We need to have a community forum in both Fall and Spring
- Fall will be November 5 – Transgender Awareness Week
- Looking for co-sponsors
- Office of Institutional Diversity
- Resource Center for Gender and Sexuality
- Study of Women and Gender
- Want to do a panel of transgender people
- How do you start the dialogue?
- The goal would be that all staff will be excused from work for the afternoon to attend the panel. Will is be possible to be released for this event?
- This will be supported by the President’s Office
- Staff Council is strongly encouraged to attend.
- Approach College Relations about emailing all staff
- This will be staff only to talk openly about working with students
Nominations and Elections Committee:
- We will be finding a replacement for Pat Rist.
Personnel Policy Committee:
- Parking was discussed
- Staff Development Day
- Staff don’t want full day, but a shortened day would be ok
- Applicant Tracking System
- Larry Hunt reports a positive response
- The College is not on the ball
- There is a process and HR only pays for inexpensive needs
- Spotlight Awards
- Weren’t getting a lot of participation in Sage Event
- Rarely had people there, feel more participation will happen at luncheon
- Years of Service Luncheon
- Changed from past, can’t invite family anymore
- There were many complaints about how recognition was handled in the past
- Looking for room for improvement
- April Staff Appreciation Day
- Spotlight and Years of Service people
- Possibly might not be individually recognized
- We believe that there was an opportunity for staff to give input on change in recognition events
Meeting with Paul Ominsky
- Did we get answers?
- We were talking to the wrong person
- We had good info but he isn’t the decision maker
- Who is part of the committee and decision making process?
- People went to the forums, but the policy was already in place
- Rick has been asked to serve on the committee for parking
- Stacy has volunteered to go in his place if needed
- There is another document will proposed changes, and now the committee will sort through it and decide on changes for next year
- There will be no meters placed on Elm Street
- Accreditation Meetings were fantastic
- Great opportunity to meet with faculty, staff and students
- Should a representative from Faculty Council come to Staff Council
- Yes, we have similar issues
- Help with the “us vs. them” mentality
- Put a face with a name
- Senior Staff and Staff Disconnect
- We don’t know senior staff
- Could someone come to our meetings
- Rick will email the list of department staff meetings for Staff Council to attend
- Green Team – potential co-sponsorship for the “FOCUS the Nation, Global Warming Solutions for America Event
Next Staff Council Meeting:
Tuesday, November 6