Staff examine senate committees, discuss new student partnerships

UCA’s Staff Senate examined concerns about dormant committees and encouraged staff to partner with students for learning opportunities at its Feb. 12 meeting.

The meeting began at 1 p.m. in Wingo Hall 315.

Staff Senate President Lindsey Osborne acknowledged discussions about the president’s meeting and continuing funds brainstorming.

The staff senators are preparing for senate elections. Senators’ terms are ending which will allow for elections and re-elections.

Senators addressed the need to discuss dormant committees. Several committees remain open and recognized but they have been inactive recently. Discussion and conclusions will be presented in future meetings.

A professional development session on Microsoft Excel program will be held at 12:30 p.m. Feb. 26 in the College of Business Auditorium. Staff senate approved a professional development application form. A copy was presented to all of the senate members. After discussion, senators vote were unanimously in support of the form.

A committee is working on employee of the year applications Employee of the quarter applications are available for the fourth quarter.

A faculty and staff spring picnic date is planned for May 1.

Staff Senate Parliamentarian/Historian Meghan Thompson led discussion on faculty senate meetings. Senator Mary Jackson, academic affairs representative, and senator Erica Ruble, president’s office/university and government relations representative, gave committee reports.

During university committee reports, Sandra Hooper discussed a public art committee.

Senator Aaron Knight, who represents institutional advancement, mentioned a UCA Student Government Association report about gender neutral bathrooms availability on campus.

SGA is attempting to “identify where those exist and want to bring forth a proposal to not only make the public more aware of where those may exist but perhaps some signage to indicate certain ones,” Knight said.

A concern regarding university vehicles parking in the Schichtl Hall parking lot that don’t have parking stickers was brought to the senate.

The traffic committee will be contacted for a solution to the matter and solutions will be discussed at the next staff senate meeting.

Staff Senate Treasurer Tracy Spence, university accountant, brought attention to Conversation Partners, an Intensive English Department Program.

She discussed the need for more faculty and staff to be a part of this program. The IEP department pairs faculty with an exchange students and welcomes them to hold conversations with them as often as possible in order to educate on American customs as well as provide a comfortable environment to talk.

The program needs about 30 members to pair with students. Spence encouraged the staff to become a student’s partner

Spence said staff members would talk to students and help them practice English speaking skills.

“These topics are important because they address Senate representation, campus issues that affect staff, and further our missions to represent, serve and recognize the UCA staff.” Osborne said.

The next staff senate meeting will be Feb. 26 in Wingo Hall.

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