STAFF SENATE MEETING MINUTES

    July 20, 2016

                                                               

    President Trey Truitt presided over the July 20, 2016, Staff Senate meeting held at the LSU Student Union in Career Center Classroom (256J) at 10:30 a.m. 

     

    ATTENDANCE

    SENATORS                                                   

    Executive/Administrator/ Manager           

     
    Service/Maintenance

    Pr - Matkovic, Igor (’17)

    P - Cherry, Aaron (‘17)

     
    Professional/Non-Faculty

    P - DeRoche, Jon (’17)

    P - Godfrey, Nikki (’17)

    P - Kucharchuk, Kayla (’17)

    P- Lemoine, Nathan (’17)

    P - Lopez, Ramon (’17)

    P - Lowery, Michelle (’17)

    P - Millican, Tammy (’17)

    P - Reonas, Barbara (’17)

    P - Spurlock, Maggi (’17)

    P - Steib, Summer (’17)

    P - Truitt, Trey (’17)

    P - Villien, Douglas (’17)

    A - Dufrene, Robert (’18)

    P - Gomez, Jennifer (’18)

    P - Ortiz, Shelly (’18)

    P - Poret, Elizabeth (’18)

    P - Springstead, Jennifer (’18)

    A - Waguespack, Darcy (’18)

    P - Ethridge, Jade (’19)

    P - Hendricks, Kendra (’19)

    P - Henry, Rachel (’19)

    P - Heroman, Stephanie (’19)

    P - Rios, Hector (’19)

     
    Skilled Crafts

    P - Owens, Kevin (’18)

    P - Adedeji, Funmilayo (’19)

     

    Technical/Paraprofessional

    P - Corbitt, Brent (’17)

     

    Clerical/Secretarial

    P - Arnold, Nancy (’19)

    P - Thibodeaux, Ashley (’19)

     

    A - Indicates Absent               

    P - Indicates Present

    Pr - Indicates Proxy
     

     
    GUESTS:

    Zack Faircloth, Student Government

    Amber Salvadras, College of Human Sciences & Education

    Vice Provost Dereck Rovaris, Office of Diversity

     

    CALL TO ORDER

    The meeting was called to order by President Trey Truitt at 10:30 a.m.

     

    ATTENDANCE

    There was a quorum with one proxy noted.

     

    PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

    Senator Shelly Ortiz led the Pledge of Allegiance.

     

    APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES – June 15, 2016, Staff Senate Meeting

    A motion to accept the minutes was made by Senator Kendra Hendricks. The motion, seconded by Senator Nancy Arnold, carried.

     

    PRESIDENT’S ADDRESS & REPORT

    President Trey Truitt began his address by stating, “Ladies and Gentleman of our exemplary LSU Staff Senate, it is an honor to serve you as the 2016-17 LSU Staff Senate President. I am grateful for the opportunity to support staff members as their representative voice in matters relating to the University and our campus community. Through each Staff Senator’s support, I will remain steadfast and tireless in building active dialogue and engagement with fellow staff, faculty and administration and through our committees, we will work to develop a better work place environment for all LSU employees.

     

    “For the coming year, the LSU Staff Senate will:

     

    “We will be a Mission driven organization, and will maintain our vision and purpose in all things and actions in the coming year.

     

    “We will be good stewards and protectors of all the goodwill and efforts our past Senators and Executive Committees have built for us, all the while maintaining a professional, forward thinking and positive voice when faced with future challenges.

     

    “We will work to keep the momentum, efforts, issues, and a “service-mindset” going forward in 2016-17. We will work to enhance our staff appreciation events and programs, and strive to make a larger impact with our fellow staff members.

     

    “We will work to expand partnerships and relationships with both the Faculty Senate and Student Government, by working in conjunction with these organizations whenever possible and partnering to provide a better quality of experiences for our students and working environment for our fellow co-workers. 

     

    “We will continue to build strong, open lines of communication between Staff Senate and the Office of the President and the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost.

     

    “We will be committed, and champion LSU’s Commitment to Community and work to ensure that the University is an inclusive, diverse and welcoming work environment and campus. We will work to expand Staff Senate to be more diverse and will seek new representation so that more campus departments/units are represented in Staff Senate.

     

    “We will champion staff issues when called to do so, and through our Committees we will work to make viable changes, recommendations, and identify cost effective and timely solutions to staff concerns.

     

    “We will communicate and recognize staff successes, awards, and or exemplary efforts.

     

    “We will continue to strive for success within the framework of our current Strategic Plan, and will be ready to adapt and readjust our efforts with the forthcoming new LSU 2020 Strategic plan. 

     

    “And finally, we must be tireless in your support of each other, our team, our fellow Senators, staff, and our tireless in our efforts while knowing that we cannot do this alone nor by our individual selves”.

     

    Truitt confided that he is really energized by sitting here today. He is looking forward to making this a successful year, keeping these things going forward.   

     

    President Truitt announced in an effort to keep everyone informed, he plans on sharing a document through Microsoft Office 365 which is called “One Drive.” He has created a running spreadsheet of meetings that he has attended. He will invite the full Senate to this document once it is completed, so senators will have viewable access and will be aware of what is going on throughout the month.   

     

    President Truitt shared that on June 23rd, he and President-Elect Michelle Lowery presented to the Child Care Center employees. The Staff Senate was asked to speak in an effort to help inform them of all the benefits that staff receive at LSU. So as they transition into the College of Human Sciences and Education, our Executive Committee representatives spoke about what Staff Senate does, and how we serve them, as well as the various types of “lagniappe” benefits that LSU staff members have, as many of them were unaware. One thing that came to light is that many of the LSU CCC employees did not have a chance to attend a Benefits Fair, due to the difficulty of leaving in the midst of a work day, while taking care of children. It was a very heathy discussion and good opportunity to represent.

     

    On June 23rd, President Truitt met with Student Leader Derrick Bougouis regarding the LSU Food Pantry. The pantry is in the midst of a protein drive. He circulated a handout which describes their current effort with a list of items needed. They have moved to the 4th floor in the LSU Student Union and one of the things that they are trying to promote is protein donations.

     

    Senator Jennifer Gomez announced that the Career Center is promoting the protein drive by hosting Beans for Jeans in their office. Their Director, Jesse Downs has implemented Beans for Jeans, so if you bring a can of beans or any sort of a protein item, the employee is allowed to wear jeans that day. Many of their staff members brought 5 items on Monday to be able to wear jeans all week. There are collection points throughout the LSU Student Union to donate as well.

     

    On June 23rd, President Truitt participated and represented the Staff Senate by attending the LSU Reflects on Orlando event with members of the LSU Community, which gave the opportunity for dialogue to discuss the recent shootings in Orlando, Florida.

     

    On June 24th, he attended the Board of Supervisors Meeting. There was a liaison report included in the meeting packet for the highlights of the meeting.

     

    On June 30th, he and Senator Jennifer Springstead attended a meeting regarding Commencement with Ashley Arceneaux, LSU President’s Office, to discuss Staff Senate’s support and recommendations for commencements in the future.  The Staff Senate has been charged with doing more with the volunteering efforts of staff on campus. At that meeting, staff senate representatives were given the opportunity to come up with recommendations and enhancements on how we make LSU Commencement a better experience for our graduates and visitors, guests and family members. President Truitt was thrilled to be given the opportunity to provide feedback, because during the volunteer efforts at spring commencement, many senators felt there was room for improvement.  At the same time, we are all here for one purpose: to truly help our students complete their degrees. To know that end game result could be a very positive experience; we’re excited for that. There will be a follow-up meeting tomorrow. The recommendations have been drafted and include providing better, gas-powered golf carts, open parking lots that are closer to the venue for those who are handicap impaired, dedicated buses that can get people parked further away to their venues, and having more of an organizational effort overall, including more water and information stations. Truitt has sent those recommendations to the Executive Committee and once he receives their feedback, he will share with the full Senate. Moving forward, we will be charged with helping out with future ceremonies. The summer commencement, scheduled on August 5, is not as large as the spring commencement, but immediately after tomorrow’s meeting, we will put out a call for volunteers for the summer commencement to be held soon. Senator Jennifer Springstead is leading the charge on that. We will probably be volunteering for all three commencement ceremonies happening throughout the year, so as to be consistent. Some ceremonies, we have been more inside the PMAC and some ceremonies our efforts have been focused more on the outside; it seems to be different every year. We were told that spring commencement for 2017 will remain in the same time and format as this year, which were all in one day and all on a Friday. Senator Nikki Godfrey asked that she be included in the planning for any beverage donation requests for future ceremonies.    

     

    On July 5th, the Executive Committee held a pre-planning, team-building SWOT retreat at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center. We had a great meeting and a quick tour of the facility. President Truitt hopes to host a full Senate meeting there sometime this year.

     

    On July 12th, the Executive Committee met to plan for today’s meeting and set the agenda.

     

    President Truitt announced that he and President-Elect Michelle Lowery met with Student Government leaders, Zack Faircloth and Lindsey Landry to discuss partnering in some of our overall goals for the year and then discussing how we can support them and partner again with Fall Fest, as well as with Holiday on Campus, of which they would like to become a part.

     

    President Truitt announced that the Forever Baton Rouge Vigil will be held today at 2pm at the Memorial Tower. There were handouts at the door of today’s Senate meeting, if you are interested in attending. Student Government announced that Reverend Raymond Jetson will be the keynote speaker. He encouraged everyone to attend. There will be members of the community as well as the Provost in attendance.

     

    President Truitt shared that we have been asked to promote the opportunity for Community Bound Site Supervisors. The 14th Annual Community Bound for LSU students will be held on August 19, 2016. We have really worked to have Staff Senate representation participating in these community type events. He is happy to share the information regarding Community Bound and call for site leaders.      

     

    President Truitt reminded Senators that LSU Athletics has implemented a clear bag policy for sporting events, starting this year (2016), in an effort to ensure and promote safety for all patrons and athletes. Please share with everyone you can. If you have ever been to a NFL event, they do not allow any type of non-clear bag or purse in their stadium events. This is huge policy change that will be implemented for the year going forward with LSU Athletics.

     

    STANDING COMMITTEES

    President Truitt requested that standing committee updates be provided.

     

    Staff Benefits, Policies and Development

    Member at Large Aaron Cherry reported that the Staff Benefits, Policies and Development Committee met on June 1, 2016. The written report was included in the meeting packet and can be used as action items for the next committee, for the coming year. The committee discussed inviting a representative from Human Resource Management to attend an upcoming Staff Senate general meeting to review the new federal Overtime Final Rule and how it will affect staff members across the LSU System. The committee also discussed inviting a knowledgeable representative to discuss the Option Retirement Plan contribution timelines and investigate what can be done to clear up the issue of members potentially missing out on some earnings. There is room for improvement, in terms of the speed in which retirement earnings are deposited and invested.  It was suggested that next year’s committee enlist the help of Derek Angelloz to further explore employee options.  He has been working to see change to the Optional Retirement Plan for the last several years and is eager to help in any way he can.

     

    A letter drafted for submission to the Administrative Process Improvement Committee (APIC) regarding problems with the new mail-order prescription service through Citizens RX for LSU First, and this was approved by the Executive Committee.  Some Executive members suggested we begin submitting those problems individually through the APIC website as well. The committee has also discussed reaching out to other universities regarding their leave policies and policies in place regarding parental leave or a combined annual and sick paid time off system. They decided this would be an excellent opportunity to reach out to other staff senates or councils. There was a request for an introduction letter from the Executive Committee which can be sent out to other university senates, requesting help in gathering this information.

     

    SPECIAL AD-HOC COMMITTEES

    President Truitt requested ad-hoc committee updates be provided.

     

    Holiday on Campus

    President-Elect Michelle Lowery reported that the Holiday on Campus Committee met on February 2, 2016 to discuss last year’s event. The written report was included in this month’s meeting packet. With this summary, there are recommendations and evaluations, but she would like to highlight some of the major changes. Since the event has been held in the LSU Union’s front lobby, this area makes it very tight to host craft activities. So half of this area will be moved to the center lobby to make additional space for all of those activities.,  Also, this will encourage  people to move out of the main lobby area. For door prizes, there were issues with stopping the music to do the drawings, and people not being able to hear the raffle numbers. Senator Jennifer Springstead shared some suggestions with regard to this issue. For food, people will receive tickets to go through the line, so we know how many were served. For inflatables, there were issues with the company we’ve used in the past, hence these were lacking in last year’s event.  However, not having inflatables provided more space, so the committee recommends foregoing these this year, but increasing the amount of crafts and activities. Last year, there were more options to take pictures; you may have seen the Star Wars characters who approached us to participate. There is encouragement for the new committee to bring these participants back, as well as the character costumes which we’ve already been utilizing over the last several years.  For the set-up, we wanted to block off the Main Lobby, Center Lobby and Tiger Lair earlier in the afternoon, so people do not come in until the event begins. There were some issues with people trying to get into those areas to sit, while we were trying to set-up. For talent, we have people from balloon artists to face painters and a magician. It was recommended to have the balloon artists and face painters for the full two hours instead of one hour in the middle of the event. For volunteers, it is suggested only the Holiday on Campus Committee members arrive at 4pm to help with set-up, at 5pm have our Staff Senate volunteers arrive, with shift 1 beginning at 5:30pm, shift 2 at 6:45pm and then Staff Senator break down at 8pm. The remaining recommendations and highlights are outlined in the HOC report.         

     

    LIAISON COMMITTEES

    President Truitt asked that liaison committee updates be provided.  

     

    Campus Communicators

    Senator Kendra Hendricks reported that Campus Communicators met on June 16, 2016. The written report was included in this month’s meeting packet. Provost Richard Koubek began the meeting by discussing the University’s strategic planning process and its projected results. The University will conduct focus groups, surveys and stakeholder interviews to form the goals and objectives for our plan. Matt Lee, Vice Provost for Academic Programs and Support Services, described the University's efforts to update the general education curriculum so as to be reflective of the new tenants of the strategic plan. Also, Ashley Arceneaux, Director of Presidential and Policy Communications, spoke about the development of a University-wide communications calendar.

     

    Board of Supervisors

    President Truitt reported that the Board of Supervisors met on June 23, 2016. The written report was included in this month’s meeting packet. Some brief highlights include the consulting group, hired by LSU Athletics, presented their findings within certain areas of communication and staffing  Other notable initiatives covered include LSU Unlimited, which is a developing initiative involving an online effort or component, without losing the integrity of an LSU degree. Secretary Barbara Reonas explained that, with this initiative, there is definitely more opportunity to recruit additional students and even LSU Alumni for their life-long learning interests, and through such, there are potential revenue opportunities. This development is in its infancy, and there may be additional branding changes as well. In the fall of 2017, we hope to have more of an online presence, in addition to what we have now. The long term goal is to have 45,000 online students by possibly year 2020 or even year 2030. Currently LSU enrolls approximately 1,500 online students. If you look at some of our peer institutions, they have online learning which includes not necessarily degree paths, but educational components, similar to continuing education for additional post certificates or even leisure classes. So our administrators are looking at having more of a comprehensive online offering for anybody in the community. Vice Provost Koubek, who presented LSU Unlimited to the Board, discussed “career coaches” who would persist in helping our online students, not just through the undergraduate degree and beyond, but even into our students’ career and toward their retirement goals. LSU Unlimited is currently idealized to become a life-enriching educational component for people, not just a degree granting mission. There was a question during the Staff Senate meeting of how this initiative will be different from independent learning or continuing education. This was not addressed during Provost Koubek’s presentation.       

     

    OLD BUSINESS:

    Resolution for the Student Bill of Rights

     

    President Truitt announced that the Student Bill of Rights is still being drafted. There are no updates at this time.

     

    NEW BUSINESS:

    Senator Resignation/Appointment

     

    President Truitt announced that Senator George Eldredge resigned his seat on the Staff Senate in June. The next runner-up from the last general election is Barrett Linam, from the Office of Enrollment Management and Undergraduate Admissions, who has agreed to fill the vacancy through June 2018. Senator Barrett Linam introduced himself explaining he has been a student employee for Enrollment Management since2006. After receiving his doctorate, he has remained in that office, and was crucial in coordinating and implementing the Transfer Evaluation System (TES) on campus.

     

    Truitt mentioned that one of the things he would like to work on is trying to get a more diverse population of Senators. In the next couple of months, the Executive Committee will research which units on campus have no representation, and how we may approach those groups. Under the Staff Senate Constitution, we have the ability to make appointments. With that, our guest, Amber Salvadras, is interested in serving and is observing today. Part of this process will be to vote on her appointment during the August Meeting, and hopefully have her begin a term in September, filling the current vacancy in the Clerical/Secretarial Category through June 2018.   

     

    Truitt encouraged Senators to think about other staff members on campus who may be interested in serving and to help diversify our group. They must be at least 75% effort and have been employed for one year. We would love to find new staff members who could use the opportunity to become more involved on campus, and who have a service mindset to help make our organization better. There are some vacancies that can be appointed depending on the EEO Category but President Truitt would like some input from the full Senate for those individuals. We need to also work on making the Staff Senate more representative of the entire campus. The Executive Committee has discussed looking at finding a representative from the Law Center, now that they are a part of the A&M campus. And from other units, such as LSU Police and the Child Care Center. The list of vacancies are posted on the Staff Senate Roster and include 2 in the Executive/Administrative/Manager Category, 1 through 2017 and 1 through 2018, 1 vacancy in the Professional/Non-Faculty Category through 2018, which Senator Barrett Linam is now filling, 1 vacancy in the Clerical/Secretarial Category through 2018 (Amber Salvadras is interested in filling this), 1 in the Technical/Paraprofessional Category through 2019 and 3 in the Service/Maintenance Category, 1 through 2017 and 2 through 2019. We do have a bigger capacity in different categories but right now we are very top heavy in the Professional/Non-Faculty Category at 67% with one category, so President Truitt would like to try and attain a greater balance with representation across the categories.  

     

    Summer Commencement

    President Truitt announced that Summer Commencement is scheduled on Friday, August 5, 2016. There will be a request for volunteers amongst Staff Senators. He encouraged everyone to participate. Unfortunately he will be unable to attend this commencement. He doesn’t expect that it will be a huge effort because of the scope in size. The heat will be the biggest challenge. There will be water distribution, guidance for guests, possibly golf cart shuttles and a presence inside, handing out the commencement programs. Senator Jennifer Springstead mentioned that once the meeting is held tomorrow, she will have a better idea of what is needed. Senator Nikki Godfrey mentioned that if water is needed, Auxiliary Services will need to be included on those conversations. Truitt mentioned that Staff Senate’s effort is more for volunteers. He thinks there is still a balance of who is in charge of commencement. Truitt asked Godfrey, how Auxiliary Services has been involved with regards to the water donation request through Coca-Cola. Godfrey explained this depends on the commencement; sometimes it’s Auxiliary Services and sometimes it’s Coca-Cola. Ideally, we would like for all of that to go through the donation process and be facilitated by Dining, so that they can get truck, ice and equipment there, rather than just delivering bottles of water. Senator Godfrey is the lead contact for that effort.

     

    Student Move In Day/August Staff Senate Meeting

    President Truitt announced that Student Move-In Day is scheduled on Wednesday, August 17, 2016, which is the same date as the Staff Senate general meeting. We have promoted that volunteering effort. Some Staff Senators have assisted with this effort in the past, and we would like Senators to assist again this year. The morning shift begins at 7:00 a.m. and the focus for that earlier shift is typically directing traffic, helping families unload their belongings, and getting them into their dorm rooms. There are different opportunities in volunteering if you can’t lift heavy objects. You are encouraged to participate if you can. Knowing that there is a scheduling conflict with our meeting, the Executive Committee decided to move the meeting time to 2:00 p.m. instead of 10:30 a.m. on the same day, in our usual meeting location, giving everyone the opportunity to volunteer for the Move-In Day morning shift. Last year, a group of Senators left simultaneously from the same location, which was not ideal for the volunteer and coordination effort.  

     

    Staff Senate Handbook

    President-Elect Lowery announced that the Staff Senate Annual Packet in the past has been in different fonts, and pages with PDF’s included, so it has been more streamlined as the new Staff Senate Handbook. The governing documents have been moved to the front, immediately following the contact information, and it looks very different. The Executive Committee is in the process of finalizing it and once completed, will distribute it electronically to the full Senate. If you would prefer a printed copy, please let her know. It’s about 24 pages in length and includes more information about outreach, as Staff Senate likes to do with different campus events. The scholarships section is now more consistent with the same format. The full Senate will receive the document this afternoon and we hope you find it more useful.        

     

    Committee Charges & Sign-up

    President Truitt announced that for committee charges and sign-up, we are going to do something different this year, having Senators electronically select their desired committees through Tigerlink.  There will be a link sent out to the full Senate to sign up for the committees in which they are interested, as well as indicating whether or not there is an interest to Chair a committee. This has usually been handled by a paper method but we would like to use our resources and be more sustainable. President-Elect Lowery mentioned that with the Tigerlink software, we can use it, not only for polling or surveys, but it’s also a good way to get to know everyone outside of our meetings. If you do not have an account, please create one and add a photo. With your account, you will receive instructions to log into Tigerlink and create an account first, then back to the email for committee charges, and follow that specific link for the committee sign-up survey. If you don’t do it that way, it won’t work. There will be an outline of those instructions sent out electronically to the full Senate this afternoon.   

     

    Guest Speaker Suggestions

    President Truitt mentioned that Staff Senate typically tries to have a guest speaker for each meeting. The Executive Committee will be working on an outline for the year. If anyone has a recommendation for guest speakers, please send those forward. We would like as much information as possible shared with Senators, who can then share with their constituents. We have received a request from FETI to host a meeting at their site and include a tour of their facilities. He also mentioned hosting a meeting sometime this year at Pennington Biomedical Research Center. 

     

    Staff Senate Budget

    Treasurer Kayla Kucharchuk announced that she has met with President-Elect Lowery regarding the Staff Senate Accounts and the highly professional spreadsheets created by President-Elect Lowery over the last year in order to keep everything organized. Currently, Treasurer Kucharchuk and Staff Senate Administrative Coordinator Melonie Milton are working to gain access for our treasurer to be able to view those accounts. However, with Workday, there has been a slight delay, waiting to determine the best way to accomplish this transition. Therefore, she asked Lowery to give the full Senate a synopsis for the budget.

     

    President-Elect Michelle Lowery gave an end-of-the-year report on the updated balance sheet for the Staff Senate accounts. A copy was circulated to the full Senate as part of the meeting packet.

     

    She reported the following:

    Bursar Account (Gift Fund) - $153.75

     

    LSU Foundation Accounts:

    Fee Support Scholarship - $13,414.96

    This account actually went down, as we were charged sales tax on the end of the semester candy gram sales. We will have to look at the cost of candy grams to include in the future. 

    Holiday on Campus Support Fund - $667.31

    Scholarship Award - $3,084.98

    Support Fund – $139.47

    There are a few charges that are pending, so this balance will decrease next month.

    State Account (Operating Budget) $767.27

     

    Total Budget: $18,227.74

     

    The Staff Senate did not receive a budget cut this year. All of the balances will roll over except for the state account. We have also moved $2,250 from the operating expenses to supplies due to our spending trend last year. The Staff Senate Handbook will include information about the Staff Senate Accounts.

     

    Staff Senate Gift Fund

    President Truitt asked Melonie Milton, Staff Senate Administrative Coordinator to report on the Staff Senate Gift Fund.

     

    Melonie Milton announced that the Executive implemented new guidelines for the gift fund which are:

     

    Baby - Send flowers or gift to current Senators with the cost not to exceed $50.

     

    Death - Send flowers upon death of a current Senator or former Senator, and for current Senator’s immediate family members which includes spouse, child, or parent with the cost not to exceed $50. If a memorial donation is requested in lieu of flowers, the amount of the donation will be $50.

     

    Graduation – Send an appropriate gift to current Senators with the cost not to exceed $50.

     

    Retirement – send an appropriate gift to current Senators as well as former Senators with the cost not to exceed $50.

     

    Wedding – Send an appropriate gift to current Senators with the cost not to exceed $50.

     

    The Administrative Coordinator is responsible for collecting funds from Senators each year, maintaining the account and sending gifts.

     

    Truitt encouraged Senators to contribute $10 per year on a voluntary basis to the LSU Staff Senate Gift Fund as fund are low for the upcoming year.

     

    President Truitt circulated a Direct Contact list for Senators to fill out with their cell phone number if they would like to. This is a great way to reach Senators within our group directly when we are holding events and need to reach each other.

     

    ANNOUNCEMENTS:

    Charles E. Dunbar, Jr. Career Civil Service Award
     
    President Trey Truitt announced that nominations are now being accepted for the Charles E. Dunbar, Jr. Career Civil Service Award, an annual state-wide award for civil service employees. The Dunbar Award is the highest honor a classified state employee can receive for their service to the citizens of Louisiana. The nomination deadline is September 16, 2016 and anyone can nominate a person. The link to the nomination information and form were included in today’s meeting packet email.

     

    Staff Senate Constitution and Bylaws

    President Truitt broached the fact that there is some language which should be updated in the Constitution and Bylaws for such things as the “President” instead of “Chancellor.” President-Elect Lowery reviewed the current Constitution and Bylaws with the full Senate for feedback on the items that may need to be amended further. The technical changes regarding the language has already been updated. There were also some grammatical amendments needed as well. Additionally, there are some other items which must be reviewed by the full Senate. As a reminder, Constitutional amendments, must be approved by the full Senate, then by 2/3rds vote approval by the entire staff population. Therefore, in the next month, we must review the Constitution for feedback, and those items which may need to be amended. For the most part, it is a great document, but this will give us a chance to look at everything. For instance, we are looking at which committees we currently have, to see if those needs have changed. Instead of Long Range Review and Planning, should we move more towards Strategic Planning? Amending the Constitution is a lengthier process, so we will be looking at this over the next month or two.

     

    Lowery mentioned that there are changes that are needed with the Bylaws as well, which can be proposed today and voted on by the full Senate for the President’s approval and does not require the 2/3rds vote from the entire staff population. She reviewed the document with the full Senate for thoughts on the changes needed. Some of the verbiage pertains to the general election, we can now vote via electronic mail or campus mail. We would like to move this to more of an online effort so as to be more sustainable. Senator Springstead mentioned it may be difficult to go completely online due to access issues with some Senate members from the Skilled Crafts and Service/Maintenance groups. Member-at-Large Aaron Cherry discussed the same issue and explained that with Workday, many more employees have been getting online, but this is something that we definitely need to monitor for the next couple of years. Past-President Tammy Millican mentioned with campus mail there was the problem with delivery, as bundles for employees would get set out on a table instead of in their hands. If we decide to do both, we need to figure out a way to get that information to each staff member. There is over 3,000 staff members on campus. We can review how many paper responses are received, compared to electronic responses. Unfortunately a lot of the Skilled Crafts and Service/Maintenance staff do not seem to participate with the general elections. Senator Hector Rios suggested we could potentially direct staff to computer labs to vote electronically. Both options may be made available, though we would have to be careful with duplicate voting. Lowery also mentioned an amendment for notification to be sent by official university correspondence instead of saying electronic or by paper. Under procedures for voting, we would like to move more towards online which can remain anonymous and can be done through Tigerlink and/or Qualtrics. Senator Ramon Lopez suggested maintaining language that votes are confidential. Senator Summer Steib recommended including Senator Officer Election speeches as an electronic statement in case Senators missed those speeches. Secretary Barbara Reonas suggested to also offer the speeches by video tape media for distribution. Lowery also indicated she would like to include the notice of Staff Senate meetings by social media, as well as being posted on the website, in the Bylaws. Lowery indicated the dates of approvals at the bottom of the Bylaws have been updated, as this document has been amended several times since its inception. Lowery will review the voting feature in Tigerlink to see if it would be more beneficial for Staff Senate’s use.  

     

    President Truitt asked everyone to review and submit suggestions to President-Elect Lowery for inclusion.

     

    President Truitt recognized our new Senators in attendance and circulated a door placard to each of them, for showcase in their workspace. This notifies others of our Senator status, which may encourage them to reach out to you for assistance or feedback.  

     

    Student Government President Zack Faircloth thanked everyone who has been a part of making the Baton Rouge Vigil happen this afternoon. If you can attend, please come out, as your presence is appreciated. 

     

    Vice Provost Dereck Rovaris mentioned that a lot of work has gone into making this Vigil happen. It is a very trying time for the campus and the Baton Rouge community, with a variety of feelings and emotions flying around right now. So events like this, give us an opportunity to get together in solidarity and to support one another. Some people are processing recent events very differently, so he encouraged everyone to watch out for their co-workers. It’s prudent for us to keep an eye on each other and check in. The good news in a bad situation is that it has really opened up some dialogue that has needed happen for a long time. He commends LSU for how it has responded, in such an appropriate manner, and is a testimony to the good relations that we do have.

     

    Rovaris announced that Andrea Grant is the new Director for the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

     

    President Truitt announced that the Staff Senate will also schedule head shots for Senators who need to take one, or for those who would like to take a new photo, for the Staff Senate website. Please let Melonie Milton know if you are interested, so she can schedule with Strategic Communications.

      

    Staff Senator Birthdays

    President Trey Truitt announced that Senator Nikki Godfrey celebrated her birthday on July 2nd and Treasurer Kayla Kucharchuk celebrated her birthday on July 16th. “Happy Birthday!”

     

    MOTION TO ADJOURN – With there being no more business, Treasurer Kayla Kucharchuk moved to adjourn.  The motion, seconded by Senator Nathan Lemoine, carried.  The meeting adjourned after noon.

     

    Barbara Reonas, Secretary

     

    BR/mm