With complete honesty, I want you to know how truly honored I am that you have placed your trust in me to serve as your Staff Senate President again. I promise to work hard, set high expectations for myself, and always operate in a transparent and ethical manner.
At the end of my term, I want to leave this role with new leaders in place that are well prepared to continue moving Staff Senate forward as a critical governing body that truly makes a difference in the lives and careers of all (and I emphasize all) staff members. I want us to continue working with administration to establish LSU as one of the best places to work in Louisiana. Yes, I know we have some work to do, but I also know that Staff Senators are up to the challenge.
The good news is that Past-President Lowery handed over the organization in excellent shape due to all of her hard work and innovative ideas last year. I am extremely excited to serve not only with such a talented group of Executive members, but with this group of Staff Senators who bring so many gifts and perspectives to the table. I must also mention that without Melonie Milton, it would be extremely difficult for this organization to accomplish all that it does each year. I really appreciate all that she does and look forward to working with her again this year.
Not only do I have high expectations for myself, I have high expectations for each of you as you serve your term as a Staff Senator. Although we have some initiatives to continue moving forward this year and some that we carry out every year, I expect you to set the tone for what we will accomplish this year. This means you must listen to your colleagues’ concerns and ideas and communicate them back to this body; offer new ideas on resolutions that need to be passed; improve existing and create new staff appreciation events, establish training and development opportunities for staff and fundraising opportunities for Staff Senate; find ways we can better communicate and serve all staff, and investigate legislative and LSU policy changes and the effect on staff.
Priority number one for me is getting information on our organization to all staff, not just the 10-20% we are currently reaching. The more staff support we receive, the greater our ability to inform administration of staff issues and be included by the administration in critical decisions and hires. We must continue to strengthen our relationship with Student Government and Faculty Senate. While each group has issues that affect only its constituents, there are issues, such as higher education funding that affects all three groups. We are strong separately, but I believe we have the strongest voice when we work together. I would also like for our staff senate scholarships to have an application process rather than recipients being chosen by a campus department. This not only puts scholarships into the hands of those who need them most, but also helps us tell more staff members of how we work for them.
We must also continue to move forward with implementation of the lactation policy and support growth in the number of campus lactation rooms, creation of a mentoring program, development of a parental leave policy, as well as be a voice for those staff members whose needs aren’t always heard or acknowledged. There should be no category of employees who aren’t allowed to participate in Staff Senate and we are going to address this issue.
I look forward to reporting on staff accomplishments and issues at every Board of Supervisors meeting and strengthening our relationship with BOS members, so they can see the importance of recruiting and retaining the very best students, faculty, AND staff members to successfully fulfill the mission of our university.
I am so excited about this year, and I plan to enjoy every moment of the journey as I serve our staff as President of Staff Senate.
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Louisiana State University
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