15 December 2010

Staff Advisory Council
Meeting Minutes for 15 December 2010


Cathy Pescatore, Lisa Maginnis, Kelly Fitzpatrick, Linda Hunt, Mary Marissen, Cassy Burnett, Lynn Grady, Sheila Magee, Tami Gura, John Dukes, Betsy Durning, Terry McGrath, Carolyn Vance, Janet McSwiggan

Ex-Officio Members:

Melanie Young, Sharmaine LaMar

Mary Marissen convened the meeting at 9:30 a.m. in the Scheuer Room.

Giving Tree

The Giving Tree project is going well. Presents need to be dropped off in the bookstore by Tuesday, 12/21.


Sheila Magee reported that the students have been working on a recycling campaign with Earthlust and hope to launch it in the spring semester.

Jeff Jabco, who files our annual recycling report with the Department of Environmental Protection, would be happy to come to an upcoming SAC meeting to talk more in depth about recycling at Swarthmore.

Staff Development Week

Sharmaine LaMar reports that registration is open and moving along. She encourages staff members to register before Holiday Break. Supervisors are asked to post the schedule for those staff members that do not have computer access.

Heat in Trotter

SAC received complaints that it is cold in Trotter. Staff are encouraged to call or write Workbox whenever there is a temperature issue so that it can be monitored and addressed.

Staff role in Strategic Planning

There is staff representation on all of the Strategic Planning Committees. Each division head will update their departments, apprising them of the committee’s progress. Strategic Planning Committees will also reach out to departments if more specific perspectives are needed in certain areas.

Tuition Grant

A staff member voiced concern about the discrepancy between the Tuition Grant benefit for dependent children of College faculty and staff and the need-blind financial aid awarded to all Swarthmore students. Melanie Young explained that the dollar amount of the Tuition Grant benefit depends on what college a student attends, and that many institutions are not able to offer as much financial aid as Swarthmore. SAC recommends talking to the financial aid offices at the colleges you are interested in and letting them know that you have tuition monies from your employer.

Laura Talbot, of Swarthmore’s Financial Aid Office, has accepted SAC’s invitation to speak at a brown-bag lunch on Tuesday, February 15, at noon in the Scheuer Room to talk about the financial aid process and ways that staff can get the most out of the Tuition Grant benefit.

Massages in the Workplace

SAC received a suggestion from a staff member regarding 15 minute masseuse “office calls” for massages at the office. The idea is that interested staff members could arrange and pay for a quick massage during their break, as this may lead to more productivity and have overall health and wellness benefits. SAC will forward the suggestion to the Wellness Committee for further exploration.

Children in the Workplace

A staff member is concerned that some people in their department are allowed to bring children to work, but others are not allowed. SAC members began to discuss this, but due to the complexity of the issue will continue the conversation in January. It is hoped that resolution may be discovered that works for everyone.

Pets in the Workplace

Melanie Young reported on a conversation at President’s Staff about the ongoing issues with allowing pets in the workplace in which it was determined that there should be broad discussion on campus before anything is decided. An email will be sent to staff letting everyone know there will not be decisions made about pets until further discussions take place. Melanie is working with an interested faculty member to come up with a list of pet issues and will then look at the list to see how some of the issues may be resolved.

It is important for everyone to know that we work in a community where everyone’s opinion is respected.

Being no further business, the meeting was adjourned at 10:45 a.m.

Next meeting will be January 19, 2011

Respectfully submitted,
Kelly Fitzpatrick
Whittier Circle Representative