21 February 2017
Staff Advisory Council Meeting
Minutes Tuesday, Feb 21, 2017
In attendance: Diane Fritz, Julie DiPietro, Pam Borkowski-Valentin, Meg Gebhard, Susan Lewis, Lynn Grady, Danie Martin, Luis Alvarez, Pamela Prescod-Caesar, Ben Wilson, Zenobia Hargust, Domenic Porrini, Christi Pappert
Tuesday, Mar 21 Val Smith will join us
Thursday, April 13 Spring All Staff Meeting Lang Concert Hall
Tentative agenda to include
Karl Clauss to discuss the new Campaign
Greg Brown/Alice Turbiville – to discuss the new budget process, FY18, and introduce new Budget Director
Maybe Jan Semler to give an update on summer construction projects and the BEP building.
SAC discussed that the final meeting for Spring 2017 will be on Tuesday, April 18
Magnolia Circle still needs another circle volunteer. SAC will solicit for volunteers starting in May. Those SAC members rotating off of SAC in May 2017 should also start soliciting for volunteers for their circles and hold elections if necessary.
For the meeting with President Smith in March what topics would we like to discuss? SAC is interested in getting involved in a broader initiative or project on campus. Suggestions included holding a regular meet and greet perhaps once a semester for staff, creation of affinity groups to help build inclusivity across the community. Who can we partner with further? HR? It was suggested that SAC reps each out to circle members for things they would like to hear more about. Discussion on reviving the learning for life projects not to be confused with the Life Long Learning opportunities offered through advancement. HR reminded SAC that Life Long Learning is eligible for the college tuition benefit.
For the second half of the meeting SAC met with Allison Emmerich, James Murphy, Susan Smythe, Mike Hill, Jan Semler, Doug Willen and Mike Gross from Skanska
As of June, there will be an influx of rental groups using the Lang Center and thus parking after 4:30pm will become more challenging. SAC was asked to get the word out to staff that it is suggested staff try to leave campus by 4:30pm. Do not leave cars overnight and if it’s not necessary for staff to be on campus on the weekends then it’s best not to be since parking will be in high demand.
SAC received the following comments on parking challenges:
No spots! One person in my building circled for 10 – 15 minutes before giving up and going home; worked from home. Only going to become more of an issue once construction projects (BEP) start.
Why am I seeing students parking in Water Tower and Whittier; I know it’s students – I see them walking from their car to the buildings on MWF or TR at class times.
Why are the arrows indicating flow of traffic OPPOSITE of what would be the norm
General questions/comments addressed to SAC –
A general discussion of parking challenges ensued. Mike Hill reminded SAC that parking enforcement occurs during the hours of 7:30-3:30pm. After 3:30pm enforcement wanes. Due to limited Public Safety staff, warnings and tickets are written when possible but Public Safety staff have many other responsibilities in addition to parking enforcement. Staff should report cars without decals or permits to Public Safety.
Cunningham Field South parking will be open for summer students and special events - it is next to the SEPTA lot. It is expected we will have 200 summer students for 2017.
Parking at 101 is tight and it is suggested staff get in as early as possible. Overflow parking should be at Field House Lane.
The new Whittier building is on schedule to be completed within the next two months. This will open up some parking again in the Whittier and DuPont lots.
Summer construction project including the 3 year BEP building project will impact the north end of campus and parking. The three major projects this summer - reconstructing the meeting house turnaround which will result in complete inaccessibility in front of the meeting house, widening of Whittier place, and underground utility work starting in mid-May, all demolition work supposed to be done by end of August, renovating ground floor of Pearson by end of August. Papazian coming down this summer, Hicks coming down second summer of the three-year project.
Doug Willen is a member of the Parking/Transportation Committee and they have previously discussed parking alternatives including Septa subsidies, increased Bike routes/Bike parking and increased use of the Zip cars.
During construction staff/faculty/students can get in and out of the north entrance and can continue to park there. There will be two entrances off of Elm. The stone gates will be removed and stored over next 3 years to prevent damage. There will still be some parking spaces occupied by trailers and shuttles.
Facilities will provide a Community update at the end of April - last week of classes, to discuss design and schedule for construction - Keep eye out for that invite. Biweekly updates will go out to campus via faculty staff email during the course of the BEP project. There was a suggestion to add a box to the DASH regarding construction that will also be regularly updated.
Questions to SAC:
Question from staff to SAC:
I feel it would be of great value for the academic departments, if there was management & benefits training for new Chairs coming onboard. Communicating effectively, with other colleagues and working as a team leader within the department. Having a team playing chair makes for an effective, productive, department which carries over onto the students & classrooms in a very positive way. Included in the training would be meeting with HR going over Staff Benefits - Paid Time off, Holidays, Sick leave, Vacation hours, Bereavement leave etc... Faculty are not aware of staff time & benefits -
HR response – This is already being done; there is a half-day meeting every year in late August for new and returning chairs. HR is available for any questions a Chair may have regarding staff concerns.
Question to SAC from staff:
I continue to be concerned that SAC does not represent any of us as there has been no voting on any representative in the 5 years I've been here. Why do your by-laws mention an election process when you don’t do it?
Response: SAC often has trouble recruiting volunteers and rarely are there more than two volunteers per circle. When two or more people from the same circle are interested in serving on SAC an election is held. More information on SAC can be found here - http://www.swarthmore.edu/staff-advisory-council
Question to SAC from staff:
The noise level of the piano in Parrish Parlors during work/lunch hours is a problem.
This has come up before; Dean’s office involvement? Not just our students – visitors, community members, etc. SAC is looking into this.
Q: There is nowhere for staff to go to eat their lunch in Parrish because either students put their stuff on a table and just walk away or all seats are taken.
The College has recently undertaken a visioning exercise and one of this things discovered was the need for shared spaces that allow for informal, serendipitous interactions between and among students, staff, and faculty. By offering shared spaces and programming –such as SwatFit and Dinner with Strangers– we increase the opportunities to encourage an inclusive environment for students, faculty, and staff.
Additional areas that staff can take advantage of for dining include Essie Mae’s, Kohlberg, the Science Center coffee bar.
PPC – comments on Visioning/Inclusivity, please
Q: Are there defibrillators in each building? If someone had a heart attack on the 3rd floor, would staff know what to do? Or on any other floor?
Not addressed – This seems to be a Public Safety question; I emailed Mary Lou Lawless.