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September 16, 1993

                                  DRAFT

 

            Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

                               Staff Senate

 

                       Minutes of the Regular Meeting

                       Thursday, September 16, 1993

                   Room 102 - Phase II - Veterinary Medicine

 

 

  Senators Present: Bill Aliff, Pat Ballard, Joyce Bohr, Janet Bryant,

  David Carper, Joann Craven, Judy Davis, Marge Dellers, Patrick Donohoe,

  Jamie Evans, Spencer Foster, Les Fuller, Leslie Graham, Betty Greene,

  Mary Holliman, Lisa Jansen, Roy Jones, Richard Lovegrove, Don Massie,

  Sherilyn McConnell, Margie Murray, Valerie Myers, Diane Patty, Mary

  Pennington, Rocky Price, Peggy Rasnick, Wyatt Sasser, Widget Shannon,

  Chuck Shorter, Charlie Stott, Tony Sutphin, Sherri Turner, Sarah Wheeler,

  Deb Williams

 

  Alternates Present: Dorothy Riggins for Diane Kaufman, James Sherman

  for Lynne Schaefermeyer, Netta Eisler

 

  Guests Present: Gwen Ewing

 

  Call to Order:

 

  The meeting was called to order at 5:36 PM by President McConnell.

 

  Announcements:

 

  Staff Senate meetings are a matter of public record unless they are

  adjourned to Executive Session.

 

  The Council of Association Officers has been invited to meet with Jim

  Shuler, who is a candidate for the House of Delegates, on September 23 at

  noon at the Blacksburg Baptist Church. Opponent Nick Rush has also

  contacted us about a meeting, but he has not been able to set a date yet.

  Attendance is not mandatory, but if senators would like to check with the

  presidents of their area associations to see if anyone is attending, they

  may do so. If not, one Senator will be allowed from each area. Shuler

  requested that the group be limited to no more than 25 people.

 

  There are a number of committee appointments. Several subcommittees will

  be established to look at various new projects. The following

  appointments have been made: Senator Dolly Conner, Recreational Facility

  and the Student Health Services Design and Construction Committee;

  Senator Jamie Evans, Rector Field House Renovations Preplanning Committee

  (he just finished a term on the Airport Construction Committee); Senator

  Wyatt Sasser, Proposed Residence Halls Preplanning Committee; Senator

  Tony Sutphin, University Services Building Design and Construction

  Committee; President McConnell, Strategic Budgeting and Planning.

 

  Senator Pat Ballard will be attending the Strategic Budgeting and

  Planning with or in place of President McConnell. These meetings are

  frequent and lengthy, therefore dual representation will assure someone

  will be there.

 

  President McConnell introduced Lauren Huffman, who has been hired to work

  for the Staff Senate eight hours per week. She is a graduate student

  working on her master's degree in special education. Her time will be

  split between President McConnell's office and the Staff Senate office in

  Burruss.

 

  The Staff Senate office will be occupied by the November meeting. The

  telephone is pending, a computer and printer have been ordered, and

  furniture and chairs are ready to move into the office. The office will

  be room 323E Burruss Hall. The telephone number and mail code information

  is forthcoming.

 

 

  Approval of Minutes

 

  The minutes of the August 19, 1993, Staff Senate meeting were approved

  with the following additions and corrections: Gwen Ewing from the

  Graduate School was added to Guests; page one, under Guest Speaker, third

  paragraph should read "The small gravel lot in Schultz area was intended

  to be short-term parking."

 

 

  University Councils, Commissions, Committee Reports

 

  The Communications Committee met and continued discussion on what role

  the Staff Senate might play as the university switches over from the

  mainframe to computer networks. They re-discussed the idea of a Staff

  Senate newsletter. They also continued discussion of problems with

  universitywide communications.

 

 

  The Elections and Nominations Committee met August 18. They approved

  minutes of the previous meeting. Senator Massie requested that we vote to

  fill vacancies on two commissions. Commission on Faculty Affairs nominees

  were Bill Aliff and Diane Kaufman. Commission on Student Affairs nominees

  were Judy Davis and Marge Dellers.

 

  The Council on Strategic Budgeting and Planning met September 8 and 14.

  Senator Ballard reported that they discussed the proposed budget

  reductions and a generic, broad-term plan. The strategy is to fight.

  Nothing definite will be known until December when the governor releases

  the budget.

 

  Policies and Issues - Senator Murray reported that the Council of Staff

  Association Officers minutes are current. There will be another open

  forum on September 21 at noon in 223 Engel Hall regarding the budget.

  Senator Ballard asked whether this was a repeat of the last forum or new

  information. Senator Murray was not sure.

 

 

  Old Business

 

  There was no old business

 

 

  New Business

 

  Smoking Policy - President McConnell received a Profs note about the

  smoking policy on campus. There are some areas that are having problems

  with people smoking where they were not supposed to. Staff do not know

  how to address this or who to contact. President McConnell has copies of

  the official smoking policy available for those who are interested. In

  the areas where there are problems, contact the person responsible. If it

  is in a particular college, someone in the dean's office is responsible

  for the designation of smoking areas. Deans and directors are responsible

  for designation.

 

  Senator Sasser stated that the point that was brought up was that a

  member of their council, Zach Adams, is also an air quality supervisor.

  When the policy was originally written, there was no regard given to the

  ventilation in the buildings. When you tell people they can't smoke in

  the building, then all of the cigarette butts are outside in one area and

  makes it hard on the groundskeepers and custodians to maintain. He felt

  strongly that the smoking policy should be reviewed.

 

  McConnell stated that the policy was effective January, 1990, so it is

  more than three years old. The general policy states that if you have

  walls that go all the way up to the ceiling, a door that you can close,

  and a window that you can open, then it is okay to smoke in your office.

  Two buildings in her college do not permit smoking because they have

  contained air systems, which means they recirculate the air and smoking

  in one office contaminates all the rest.

 

  McConnell asked if Senate wants to investigate pursuing a review of the

  smoking policy.

 

  Senator Evans stated that the university knows there is a problem, but

  there is no money to fix it.

 

  Senator Aliff reminded the senators that Virginia generates large revenue

  from tobacco. He feels that since the policy is almost four years old, it

  should be seriously looked at and be rewritten to establish reasonable

  smoking areas.

 

  Senator Williams stated that their building is a closed building. She was

  formerly in UCOB. The building started out with smoking allowed but then

  became a closed building because employees were becoming ill. As a result

  of that, most of the people in UCOB quit smoking. Unfortunately, when you

  have a building that is entirely closed, you totally eliminate the rights

  of those who smoke. She stated that she is not in favor of people being

  allowed to smoke in the building she is in because it is a closed

  building, but she also does not think they should be made to stand

  outside in the rain and the cold.

 

  Senator Murray suggested that the senators individually contact Richard

  Alvarez concerning the problems in their individual areas, rather than

  trying to recreate a whole new policy.

 

  Senator Aliff stated that we are addressing two issues. We started out

  with smoking, then went to general air quality. He feels the policy needs

  to be addressed logically again.

 

  McConnell stated that it is a policy issue. The Senate cannot change

  policy, but the Commission can.

 

  Senator Stott stated that after reading the policy, he deduced that the

  problem is not with the policy, but rather with the designation of areas.

  People have not been using common sense or common courtesy.

 

  Senator Donohoe stated that the problem is that the people who are

  designated to enforce policy in the buildings have no expertise in air

  quality or circulation.

 

  Senator Stott feels that someone needs to tell the people designated to

  implement the smoking policy that it is part of their responsibility to

  know the kind of ventilation in their areas.

 

  President McConnell suggested that it would be advantageous to contact

  the person in charge of the building and an air quality person with the

  same message about a problem. Senator Evans stated that they have gone to

  Zach Adams. Upper administration says they know it is a problem, and that

  their building needs a ventilation system, but there is no money.

 

  Senator Aliff stated that this is an OSHA issue. If we have people at

  risk, then something should be done about it.

 

  Senator Ballard stated that maybe we need a subcommittee to address the

  issue.

 

  President McConnell asked for a show of hands of the people who smoke so

  the subcommittee can be comprised of half smokers and half non-smokers.

  The subcommittee was appointed as follows: Senator Foster, Senator

  Jansen, Senator Bryant, Senator Williams, Senator Donohoe, and Senator

  Shannon. President McConnell asked them to meet and give a report at the

  next meeting.

 

 

  Budget Discussion

 

  There really isn't any information to pass out. As Senator Ballard said,

  we won't know anything until December. Senator Sasser stated the budget

  reallocation is like robbing Peter to pay Paul. He is concerned about the

  impact this could have. Senator Foster stated that reallocation is part

  of Phase II. McConnell stated that the reallocation funds can come from

  operating dollars, assistantships, etc., but that needs and priorities

  change so they need to be able to shift the money and the people.

 

  Senator Ballard stated that there is no mechanism for reallocating funds

  where they are needed.

 

  Senator Murray stated that there was a news article in a local paper that

  mentioned the Council of Presidents made a statement that they would not

  be able to meet the 15 percent proposed reduction without layoffs.

 

  Senator Ballard stated that the current governor will present the budget,

  then the new governor and the legislature will look at it. It will

  probably be January before we really know the impact.

 

  Joint Statement

 

  Senator Stott distributed a "Joint Statement by Faculty Senate, Staff

  Senate, GSA and SGA of Virginia Tech." When the 10-15 percent figure was

  announced, President McComas had an open forum. He said that all of the

  presidents of the state universities had agreed to fight the cuts.

  Faculty Senate, SGA, and GSA have approved the joint statement. It

  basically says that it is very difficult, if not impossible, for higher

  education to take another 10-15 percent cut and that all faculty, staff

  and students stand behind this general statement. Senator Stott requested

  general approval by the Staff Senate. The plan is to release it to the

  media. Senator Lovegrove moved for approval of the Joint Statement. The

  motion passed unanimously.

 

  Results of elections were given by Massie as follows: Commission on

  Faculty Affairs - Bill Aliff; Commission on Student Affairs - Judy Davis.

  McConnell will notify the President's Office of the results.

 

  Motion was made to adjourn. Motion passed and meeting was adjourned at

  6:41 PM.

 

  Valerie Myers

 

  Secretary

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