Staff Council Minutes 2006-2007

Staff Council Minutes 08-15-06

Attendees: Cindy Legare, Rosita Nunez, Penny Silveira, Bill Farrington, Russ Boudreau, Amanda Bouse, Amy Fortenbery, Richard Rigali, Joni Haas Zubi, Monica Reginio

Vacant Position

Charmaine Colino’s co-chair position became vacant upon her leaving the College and the Council voted to have Penny Silveira fill the co-chair position. An all staff notice will be sent to have volunteers come forward to fill the vacant position in Division V.

Employee Service Award

Joni Haas Zubi and Amanda Bouse volunteered to join the Employee Service Award committee. Discussion was had and the Council was in favor of allowing employees to choose a lower level gift from the list they were given for a recognition award. Last year many employees deferred their gift and the monetary value was give to a charity of their choice this option will also be available again this year.

Topics to Pursue

The Council will continue to pursue discussions on the Grade System/Salaries, the One Card payroll deduction, official 2 hour lunch extension for Mountain Day, ice skates at Blanchard, Tuition benefits for children of retired staff, change language in Scholarship award, snow days off, pending payroll system, communication on campus and access to email and computers for all staff, and the inequitable application of performance evaluations.

Next meeting will be August 30, with President Creighton

Respectfully submitted,
Rosita Nunez, Secretary

Staff Council Minutes 08-30-06

Attendees: Russ Boudreau, Amanda Bouse, Barbara Bunyan, Bill Farrington, Amy Fortenberry, Joni Haas Zubi, Cindy Legare, Richard Rigali, Rosita Nunez, Monica Reginio, Penny Silveira, Andrew Soucy

Fall Update with President Creighton

President Creighton gave an overview of the Priority College Goals for 2006-2007, which are in line with the Plan 2010 and link the College and graduates to the larger world and purposeful engagement. A major concern this year is to balance the budget. She indicated that this is the first time in 8 years that the budget was not balanced. The hope is that everyone will take part in cutting spending, with a large focus to raise money and increase the endowment. The following are the goals outlined:

Priority College Goals for 2006-2007

Assessment: Engage campus constituents in midcourse assessment of Plan for 2010, now in its fourth year of implementation, and preparation of reaccreditation self-study report.

Budget: Educate the community about budget challenges and develop strategies for cost reduction and revenue enhancement designed to secure the College’s long-term financial equilibrium and sustainability.

Campaign:. Secure nucleus fund and launch the public phase of the $300 million Campaign for Mount Holyoke 2010 with campus events in October and April. Raise $40-45 million in new gifts and pledges. Reach $8 million in Annual Fund with 50% participation.

Academic Excellence: Work with faculty to develop initiatives proposed in Mellon challenge grant and other strategies to enhance learning, educational excellence, and student recruitment. Work with the Director of Academic Development to create a climate of achievement for all students. Strengthen second annual Senior Symposium.

Linking Curricular and Co-Curricular: Continue to strengthen pre-law and pre-health advising; build upon multiple connections and initiatives among the CDC, Alumnae Association, the Centers, Dean of College, and faculty designed to strengthen links of curricular and co-curricular learning and on- and off-campus experiences.

Community: Implement goals of Diverse Community Commission report and recommendations of MCCL. Enhance opportunities to vitalize campus community, communication, and broad engagement in realizing institutional priorities. Implement new web calendar.

Faculty: Strengthen training for new department chairs, mentoring of junior faculty, and academic advising; develop with APC fall faculty conversations on program, faculty size, support, facilities, and budget.

Technology and Information Resources: Continuously enhance new website and augment web presence; go live with Five College fiber optic connection and library system; continue major improvements to technological infrastructure and support services.

Construction: Begin in late fall construction of new residence hall. Complete plans for new outdoor athletic facilities: boathouse, track, turf field.

Enrollment: Reach 3200 applications; increase faculty participation in admission work; hire new registrar; complete SAT optional study.

Women’s Education Worldwide: Continue leadership in women’s education and build alliances with other institutions and organizations. Support the development Women’s Education Worldwide including a proposed student leadership conference at Mount Holyoke in summer 2008.

Staff Council Topics

These are a few of the items that Staff Council reviewed with President Creighton that are to be discussed this year.

All staff invite to Convocation
Mountain Day- more staff involvement
Winterfest: any changes
Performance evaluations equal for all
Week between Christmas and New Years
Position Replacements

The Council voted to accept Katharine Bryda as the replacement for Charmaine Colino’s Division V vacancy and to have Adriana DiPasquale replace Sudah Wadhwani’s vacancy on the MCCl committee.

Respectfully submitted,
Rosita Nunez, Secretary

Staff Council Minutes 09-12-06

Attendees: Russ Boudreau, Amanda Bouse, Barbara Bunyan, Bill Farrington, Joni Haas Zubi, Cindy Legare, Richard Rigali, Rosita Nunez, Penny Silveira

Review of President Creighton’s Meeting

It was determined that on Mountain Day the administrative offices will not be allowed to close for staff members to participate in the event, but at the noon hour there will be ice cream served for staff on the green. However, all staff that are able to participate in the event and meet on the mountain are also welcome to do so.

The Council is in full agreement to keep Winterfest scheduled as planned. Russ and Barbara will meet with the committee to discuss plans to cut meal costs, coordinate time, venue, and charities to contribute donations or goods.

President Creighton has convened a committee together to discuss the future plans for Gorse and Stonybrook.

As in the past few years, OPC has voted to retain flexibility around the closing of offices during the week between Christmas and New Year’s. They also approved the current calendar holiday schedule, which states that official holidays during the week from December 25-January 1, 2007 will be December 25-27 and January 1; those who want to take December 28 and 29 off can use accrued vacation time or available floating holidays.

The Council retreat with Lauren Turner is scheduled for October 6 from 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Willits. Topics to discuss with Lauren include: computer access for all staff along with training, performance evaluations, grade system/salaries, one-card payroll deductions, snow policy, and new employee orientation.

The Council discussed having two coffee breaks for staff this year, with one in November and another in the Spring. The topics will be based on pre-holiday event and MHC benefits. In April we will coordinate with President Creighton to combine the community breakfast with the community staff luncheon.

Penny is going to bring up to the OPC group the need for a review of the communication practices on campus and how to better coordinate efforts throughout the community as a whole.

Respectfully submitted,
Rosita Nunez, Secretary

Staff Council Retreat 10-06-06

Attendees: Russ Boudreau, Amanda Bouse-Florek, Barbara Bunyan, Bill Farrington, Joni Haas Zubi, Cindy Legare, Richard Rigali, Rosita Nunez, Penny Silveira, Andrew Soucy, Amy Barr, Monica Reginio, Katarine Bryda, and Lauren Turner, Director of Human Resources

The Staff Council met with Lauren Turner, the Director of Human Resources, who is the liaison between Senior Staff and Staff Council, to discuss topics of concern to be addressed this year and ones that were resolved last year.


The discussion started with Lauren encouraging more participation by staff and faculty at Convocation. This is an excellent opportunity to engage with the community. A suggestion was made to have Senior Staff send an email to welcome all staff to participate in addition to the general email that President Creighton sends out.

Tuition for Children of Retired Staff

The College would rather not extend a policy to provide tuition for children of retired staff at this time.

Snow and Adverse Weather (See details to policy in the Staff Handbook, page 76)

The decision to close the College during inclement weather is made by 5:30 a.m. and called into the weather line, channels 22 and 40. On those days the College does not close, it is expected that all use their own discretion to decide whether it is safe or not to come in to work. If the choice is to stay home then vacation or holiday time must be used. Those without vacation or holiday time available to cover the missed time will not be paid. All essential staff must report to work. Bill Farrington clarified that LITS may stay open after the College closes for adverse weather, but with student workers, and it is not considered an essential service.

Payroll System and Compensatory Statements

The Human Resources staff is converting its old payroll system to Datatel. Implementation will occur in three phases. The first phase, which is set to launch in February or March, will change the appearance of your check and how the state tax is calculated and deducted throughout the year. This change will no longer have the flexibility to allow cutting checks on the spur of the moment. The second phase will be an automated time entry system, which will entail online time sheets or some other method other than using paper documentation. The third and final phase is set to launch July 2007 and will begin to track accrued leave, such as vacation, sick, and holiday times. There will be a system in place to track the number of sick days used for personal time. They will be trying to include a One Card deposit deduction on the payroll check for those interested. Lauren will work with Human Resources staff to coordinate public forums to explain the process and to prepare staff for upcoming changes.


The Staff Council will sponsor a staff open forum to discuss the budget, and after the forum each Council member will go back to their respective divisions and discuss budget issues and try to come up with ways to reduce spending or generate revenue. Then the Council will present their findings with President Creighton and Senior Staff.

Coffee Break Topics

The Coffee Breaks are a time to staff to get together and share in the discussion of important topics affecting them within the community and to meet others around campus. This year we will host an Open Forum to discuss the budget with Mary Jo Maydew and ways we can work together to cut costs and increase revenue. Charlie Haight might present the new Campaign being launched this year. We will discuss adverse weather with Lauren Turner as Chef Jeff spills some of his cookie secrets for the holidays. Finally, we encourage staff to participate in a brown bag lunch to review benefits and the grade system with a Human Resources representative. This year the community luncheon will merge with the April 26 community breakfast; further information to come.

Sick Bank

The Staff Council will work on preparing a proposal to create a sick bank for MHC. They will work on eligibility requirements, methods of implementation, circumstances to draw and amount that can be drawn from the sick bank, and look into what other Colleges have implemented and the advantages and disadvantages to the program.

Computer Loan Program

A new computer loan program has been put in effect and details can be found at online (note: this program was discontinued 12/31/10).

Email Access to All

The Staff Council will investigate the need for email access and submit a request to support services for computers needed and the locations computer are needed. We encourage staff to go to general training on how to access information online, email, Web, and group lists.


With the College moving many of its news information on the Web, the Staff Council has found that the community is having a difficult time accessing information, knowing where to post information, and knowing what to send out on a email list. Drew will be preparing guidelines for what Staff Council will send out on the all-staff email list and Rosita will present this concern to the Web Strategy Team to develop a comprehensive community guide of how to access or post information online. In the meantime, we encourage the use of Events Calendar or News and Events to access information.

Respectfully submitted,
Rosita Nunez, Secretary

Staff Council Minutes 10-17-06

Attendees: Russ Boudreau, Amanda Bouse-Florek, Barbara Bunyan, Richard Rigali, Rosita Nunez, Andrew Soucy, Amy Barr, and Katarine Bryda

Campus Communication

Rosita discussed with the Web Strategy Team the issue of campus communication and need for guidelines as to how to distribute, access, and advertise information now that MHC Happenings and CSJ are no longer in print and the College is looking to cut cost on print materials and moving information onto the Web. Jane Brown recommended that the Council bring this concern to the Operations/Policy Council (OPC). The Council will also bring forward to OPC the need for electronic access to all staff, training on accessing information on the Web, and access to computers for all staff.

Coffee Breaks

This year we are preparing to host a coffee break in November to address adverse weather with Lauren Turner while Chef Jeff shares his secret to his tasty cookies. In February we look forward to a Human Resources representative speaking about benefits, grade/salary system, and to Charlie Haight who will announce the new Campaign. Please look for details on the Staff Council Web page.

Adverse Weather Policy

Russ will be presenting to Lauren Turner the Staff Council’s request to clarify the adverse weather policy and if department heads can override the Staff Handbook Policy and create their own, such as mandating that if someone takes personal time they must take four hour increments and not an hour at a time. The Staff Council wants to pursue getting the policy to state if a person takes time off and the College closes for a half-day then the person who takes the day off only gets a half-day deducted from time and not the entire day off, since there are instances where the person who has to take the time off has no control in taking the time off, because they may have to be home to care for children.

Sick Bank

The Council is going to pursue the possibility of establishing a proposal for a Sick Bank pool. Russ, Kate, and Monica will be gathering information from other Colleges that currently have a Sick Bank policy, so we can formulate a policy that will best meet the needs of Mount Holyoke College community.

Performance Evaluation

The Staff Council will be proposing to Lauren Turner that the performance evaluation form be eliminated; since there is no merit pay associated with it there is no need to have such an extensive objective evaluation done on an annual basis.

What the Council proposes is that an annual narrative be prepared by the department supervisor, which covers the employee’s achievements, areas of improvement, and goals set for the next year. The supervisor can use the individual’s job description as a tool to make sure they have met their job requirements. Throughout the year the supervisor can keep notes of any incidents that have occurred and have been addressed with an individual, any acknowledgements of thank you or praise for his/her efforts, and make reference to these in the annual narrative. With this completed both can set goals for the next year and can sign off on the narrative with space given to the employee to add his/her own comments to the narrative of agreement or disagreement. This annual narrative will then be sent to Human Resources and be put in the individual’s files.

Respectfully submitted,
Rosita Nunez, Secretary

Staff Council Minutes 11-14-06

Attendees: Russ Boudreau, Barbara Bunyan, Joni Haas Zubi, Richard Rigali, Rosita Nunez, Penny Silveira, Andrew Soucy, Amy Barr, Monica Reginio, Katharine Bryda, and guest Bill Denneen, Director of Internet Marketing

Case Management System Migration

Bill Denneen presented Staff Council with a brief explanation of his role as Director of Internet Marketing in the Office of Communications and his collaboration with on-campus support of technology. The College launched its new Web site this year and most recently has launched a new on-campus home page for all staff, faculty, and students. Instructions as to how to make the on-campus home page your default can be found online (note: this site was removed from the server and was not fully implemented).

The Council discussed with Bill the growing concern of needing a centralized on-campus communication system. A new calendar was launched but many comments from the community to the Council are that it is confusing to use and difficult to find specific information, and the link font is too small to find it on the home page. Bill encourages the use of the on-campus home page, the email lists where available, and the calendar (contact person Amy Barr) for announcements and notices. For News and Events, contact Sarah Barrett in the Office of Communications.

The recommendation by Staff Council is for Senior Staff to make a decision to have the entire community use the on-campus home page as their default page and as the main page for announcements and notices. The Council is not looking for more places to post information, rather it is looking to consolidate information. The Council would like to see an electronic Web access policy document prepared, so everyone knows where to access specific information on the Web.

Russ suggested that departments post their organizational charts on their Web pages, so it is easier to identify the person you are trying to contact in a department.


Penny will contact Sarah Oelher, Krysia Villon, and Elisa del Valle to see if they would accept the appointment to the Multicultural and College Life Committee.


Ric announced that the 11:30 a.m. shift is having a difficult time locating parking at the Gorse lot. Russ said there were approximately 70 spots converted to staff and faculty. Russ will keep track of the empty spots during this time period to see if adjustments need to be made. Discussion about shuttling people was raised, but this is not an option due to budgetary cost.

Performance Management Form

The Council is looking to present its recommendation to the Operations/Policy Council requesting the Performance Evaluation form and policy be changed with a more concise evaluation process at the December meeting.


The Council gathered the ideas and suggestions presented by various departments and will present them to Senior Staff for review.

Respectfully submitted,
Rosita Nunez, Secretary

Staff Council Minutes 12-12-06

Attendees: Russ Boudreau, Barbara Bunyan, Joni Haas Zubi, Richard Rigali, Rosita Nunez, Penny Silveira, Andrew Soucy, Amy Barr, Monica Reginio, Katharine Bryda, Cindy Legare, Amanda Bouse-Florek, Bill Farrington, guest Lauren Turner, Director of Human Resources


Lauren Turner informed the Council that Ruth Bowman and an external consultant are working with the Faculty Conference Committee to gather feedback on the needs for childcare in the MHC community and to assess the feasibility of Stony Brook and Gorse continuing as they exist and determine whether the programs can be altered in any way to cut the financial support MHC contributes to Stoneybrook’s operational budget.

Lauren stated that the Faculty Conference Committee asked if the Staff Council could co-sponsor an open forum to discuss the childcare issue with the community, Thursday, December 13th from 10-11:30 a.m. and send out an email, since it was such short notice. The Council found the subject an important topic for the community and agreed to co-sponsor the forum.

Evaluation Form

Lauren reviewed the evaluation proposal the Staff Council put together to present to OPC and asked if we wanted to eliminate the existing form that requires checking the boxes, because there are many supervisors in Facilities that use this form and find it useful. Lauren suggested that we leave the existing forms and recommend that the option to write a narrative summary be offered to the managers. Lauren stated that the forms are a resource and that we want to get managers and employees to have the conversation about their performance and that the form should not hinder the process. Barbara suggested that we give the employee the option to select which form they would want used for their evaluation. Penny and Lauren will take the proposal to OPC at their next meeting.

Health Care

Lauren asked the Council to nominate two to three people for the committee that conducts the comprehensive review of benefits. This process is taking place one year early due to the budget, the rising cost of insurance, and the change in market trends. Health benefits are approximately a 5.3 million dollar cost to the College annually with 80% of MHC members using the benefits. The goals for the advisory committee would be to send out RFPs to health care providers and plan and design the cost for coverage. It would only take 6-8 meetings from December to March.


Final preparations were discussed for Winterfest.

Staff Budget Report

The Council agreed to add to the list of items the review of the Executec copier contract and a look at Docu-Source services for printing, faxing, coping, and color printers. Russ will take the report and summarize it in common topics and send the final draft to Senior Staff.

Penny informed the Council that she is on the ticket review committee and is hearing more and more that there is no place to park. Faculty, staff, and students are parking in spots that do not pertain to them. Public Safety and Facilities have taken random drives through the lots and have found on average 25 open faculty/staff parking spots open at Gorse. Penny will be communicating with Paul Ominsky to present the parking concerns to OPC.

Respectfully submitted,
Rosita Nunez, Secretary

Staff Council Minutes 01-09-07

Attendees: Russ Boudreau, Barbara Bunyan, Joni Haas Zubi, Rosita Nunez, Andrew Soucy, Amy Barr, Monica Reginio, Katharine Bryda, Cindy Legare, and Amanda Bouse-Florek


Cindy, Rosita, and Drew will work together to prepare for elections this year. The following members end their term May 2007: Barbara Bunyan, Division I/II, Cindy Legare, Division III/IV, Rosita Nunez, Division VI/VII, Monica Reginio, Division VI/VII, Katharine Bryda, Division V, and Penny Silveira, Division I/II.

Stony Brook/Gorse

Staff Council conducted a survey on staff opinion about the Stony Brook/Gorse programs and the need for childcare services at MHC. The results of this survey will be submitted to Ruth Bowman, who is working with the Faculty Conference Committee to assess the feasibility of Stony Brook and Gorse continuing, as they exist.

Evaluation Form

Penny and Lauren will take the proposal the Council wrote requesting a narrative be an option for the evaluation review process to the next OPC meeting.

Staff Budget Report

Russ submitted the summary of the feedback gathered from divisions to Senior Staff for their review. The Council will follow up with Senior Staff about the FY’08 budget.

Employee Scholarship Award

The Council agreed to amend the scholarship award application to request one recommendation letter. Monica and Amanda will be the ones to receive the completed applications and the Council will review the applications at the May meeting.

Coffee Break

Rosita will speak with Bill Denneen to have him present the new Web site and the navigation behind it, where to locate information and the process of posting an announcement, and how to access and use the calendar at our February coffee break.

Staff Luncheon

The Council agrees that the President’s Staff Luncheon needs to take place separately from the community breakfast. Rosita and Barbara will work with Penny to make sure we get a date and location for the luncheon.

Grade System/Salaries

Cindy Legare will work with HR to provide a brown bag lunch to discuss the grade system used to determine salaries and to explain the job analysis form and how and when to use it.

Datatel System

Human Resources is working on implementing Colleague HR from Datatel. Once the system is “live” and producing our paychecks, the team will focus on the next phase, which will include the implementation of leave tracking and accrual. Once this feature is implemented, the accrual rates of vacation and sick time will be recorded directly on paychecks. HR also hopes to work on having direct deductions made from payroll to the One Card.

New Employee Orientation

Later in the year, Cindy Legare will be putting a committee together to organize a new employee orientation procedure that will best meet the needs of new employees. The following people have volunteered to serve on this committee: Barbara Bunyan, Rosita Nunez, Amanda Bouse-Florek, and Joni Haas Zubi.

Respectfully submitted,
Rosita Nunez, Secretary

Staff Council Minutes 02-13-07

Attendees: Russ Boudreau, Barbara Bunyan, Joni Haas Zubi, Richard Rigali, Rosita Nunez, Penny Silveira, Andrew Soucy, Amy Barr, Katharine Bryda, Cindy Legare, Amanda Bouse-Florek, Bill Farrington


The MHC Child Care and Child Study final report prepared by Ruth Bowman is on the Staff Council Web site.

Staff Council Budget Recommendations

The summary of budget recommendations from across the divisions presented to the senior administration by the Staff Council is posted on the Staff Council Web site.

Staff Council Elections

Rosita distributed the forms used for the election process to all council members for their review. The council agreed to have laptops available for voting at the Benefits Fair on May 11 from 10:30 am to 3:00 pm in the Morrison Room at Willits. The nomination process and voting will be online and ballots will be available for those without computer access. The Council approved the Multicultural and College Life Committee nomination request be placed on the nomination ballot with an explanation the names will be used for the council to appoint a candidate to the committee.


The next coffee break will be Tuesday, February 27 in Blancahrd from 9:00 am to 10:30 am on internal communications and how to access information online. The Staff Luncheon with the president will be April 4 from noon to 1:30 pm in the Morrison Room at Willits.

Web Site Upgrade

Rosita prepared a template for the new Staff Council Web site and distributed copies for members to review and offer their suggestions, she hopes to migrate the site before leaving her secretarial duties.


The council continues to work on parking issues, performance evaluation proposal, sick bank, grade system/salaries, One Card payroll deductions, new employee orientation, vacation policy for over 20 years of service, internal communications, access to computers for all staff, budget cuts, and the Stony Brook/Gorse child care/child study.

Respectfully submitted,
Rosita Nunez, Secretary

Staff Council Minutes 03-13-07

Attendees: Russ Boudreau, Barbara Bunyan, Richard Rigali, Penny Silveira, Andrew Soucy, Amy Barr, Katharine Bryda, Cindy Legare, Bill Farrington, Monica Reginio

Luncheon with the President

There have been over 100 responses for the luncheon with the President on April 4 from noon - 1:30 p.m. in the Morrison Room at Willits. Staff members may bring their questions to the luncheon and either ask them directly, or place questions in the basket anonymously. Those who wish to attend should contact Irasema Lewis, x2185 by March 30.

Staff Council Elections

Mike Crowley has the Staff Council Elections Web site ready. The nomination process and voting will be online, and ballots will be available for those without computer access. There will be Staff Council positions open as follows: Division I/II (2 positions), Division III/IV (1 position), Division V (1 position), Division VI/VII (2 positions). Nominations will take place from April 16 through April 20. The voting period will be May 5 through May 12. Laptops will be available for voting at the Benefits Fair on May 11 from 10:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at Chapin Auditorium.

MCCL Representative

The Staff Council will invite a representative from MCCL to report to Staff Council at the April meeting.

Sick Bank Policy Draft

Cindy has drawn up a draft of a Sick Bank Policy for Staff Council to review. Once complete, Staff Council will send the proposal to Human Resources.

Performance Evaluations

Cindy will look into the possibility of sending out system reminders to managers regarding performance evaluations.


The Council continues to work on parking issues, grade system/salaries, One Card payroll deductions, new employee orientation, vacation policy for over 20 years of service, internal communications, access to computers for all staff, budget cuts, and the Stony Brook/Gorse child care/child study.

Respectfully submitted,
Amy Barr

Staff Council Minutes 04-17-07

Attendees: Russ Boudreau, Barbara Bunyan, Richard Rigali, Penny Silveira, Andrew Soucy, Amanda Florek, Amy Barr, Katharine Byrda, Cindy Legare

Staff Council Elections

Nominations are underway for the elections process. Once the nominations are set, Staff Council members will split up the list and each contact a few nominees. Staff Council discussed the possibility of creating a web form for nominees to complete for their personal statements. This year we will also ask for photos to post along with the statements.

Report from MCCL

Kris Bergbom, the Staff Council appointee to the MCCL (Multicultural Community and College Life Committee) reported on MCCL’s work over the last year (2006-2007). They have been without a chairperson all year, and have been down 2 staff positions, 1 student position, and one faculty position. The commitment is 2 hours per week, and while faculty members make a 3-year commitment, there is currently no set term for the staff positions. Continuity is important to the committee. Staff Council agreed to try to appoint 2 staff positions this year with a minimum 2-year commitment.

On May 4th, MCCL will report to the Student Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees on this year’s focus on “Social Class,” the revision of the Bias Protocol Procedures, the administration of the Inclusiveness Initiatives Fund, a review of the Multicultural Course Requirement, and the development of the Web-based Community Report.

The “Making Class Visible” event in Chapin Auditorium this spring was a result of this year’s focus on “Social Class.” It began as a J-Term course, drawing on literature from visual anthropology, cultural studies, and film studies with a focus on social class at Mount Holyoke and its expression at the critical intersections of race, gender, and disability. The projects developed in the J-Term course prompted the campus to consider the cultural misconceptions and socioeconomic realities that infuse discussions of class. This lead to a documentary that was screened at a March 29 community forum called “Making Class Visible.” The event drew 300 students, staff and faculty, and was meant to be left as an open, continuing conversation on campus.

Sick-Leave Bank Draft Policy

Staff Council agreed to add the option of donating sick time (instead of just holiday or vacation time) to the sick-leave bank draft. Council members will re-read the draft of the sick-leave bank policy and send suggestions to Cindy. Cindy will then send it on to Lauren Turner in Human Resources to present to OPC.

Benefits Fair

Coverage for the Staff Council table has been set. Monica is to provide the items for the raffle gift. Drew will check on wireless capabilities in Chapin Auditorium for the laptops at the Staff Council table for elections.

Employee Scholarship Fund

The proposal to change the name of the Employee Scholarship Fund to the “David B. Truman Employee Scholarship Fund” was approved. Council members also suggested minor edits to the web form, including changing the word “essay” to “brief statement.”


The Council continues to work on parking issues, grade system/salaries, One Card payroll deductions, new employee orientation, vacation policy for over 20 years of service, internal communications, access to computers for all staff, budget cuts, and the Stony Brook/Gorse child care/child study.

Respectfully submitted,
Amy Barr