STAFF SENATE MEETING MINUTES February 19, 2014
President Lynn Livingston presided over the February 19, 2014, Staff Senate meeting held at Peabody Hall, Room 225, on the LSU Campus at 10:30 a.m.
P - Torres, Donna (’15)
P - Collins, Lorita (’14)
P - Matkovic, Igor (’14)
A - Williams, Elmer “T” (’14)
A - Chaney, Carolyn (’16)
P - Baker, Sheantel (’14)
P - Gothreaux, Chad (’14)
P - Millican, Tammy (’14)
P - Moreau, Scott (’14)
P - Perkins, Julie (’14)
P - Carruth, Holly (’15)
P - Livingston, Lynn (’15)
P - Loveless, Kathryn (’15)
P - Sasser, Leigh (’15)
P - Saucier, Kandie (’15)
Pr - Silver, Jon (’15)
P - Craddock, Jacquelyn (’16)
P - Davis, Anaiah (’16)
P - Hale, Robert (’16)
P - Hart, M.E. (’16)
P - Heil, Mark (’15)
P - Adedeji, Funmilayo (’16)
P - Love, Donna (’14)
P - Collins, Judy (’14)
P - Bennett, Casey (’15)
A - Collins, Debra (’16)
P - Joseph, LaToya (’16)
A - Indicates Absent
P - Indicates Present
Pr - Indicates Proxy
Kenneth Miles, Interim Vice Provost for Equity, Diversity & Community Outreach
Kristen de la Houssaye, American Heart Association
Mark Foretich, Information Technology Services
Brian Ainsworth, Campus Federal Credit Union
Alexandra Mouton, Staff Senate Student Intern
CALL TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order by President Livingston at 10:30 a.m.
There was a quorum with one proxy noted.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Senator Bennett led the Pledge of Allegiance.
APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES – January 15, 2014, Staff Senate Meeting
Page 3, Paragraph 2, line 1 reads: todayis should read: today is
Page 4, Paragraph 1, line 4 reads: He thinks is the should read: He thinks the
Page 4, Paragraph 5, line 4 reads: tobacco-free environment.. should read: tobacco-free environment.
Page 8, Paragraph 6, line 9 reads: what is in them. should read: what is in them?
A motion to accept the minutes as amended was made by Past-President Gothreaux. The motion, seconded by Senator Joseph, carried.
President Livingston reported on January 22, she attended the first of the three campus visits for the College of Business Dean interviews. There were two other interviews in February, so all three candidates have visited the campus now. We should hear who the next Dean will be in a few months. Livingston thanked the Executive Committee Members who were able to attend these interviews.
President Livingston reported on January 31, she attended the Board of Supervisors Meeting and much of what happened during that meeting has already been broadcast across the system. Livingston mentioned the LIFT Fund which stands for Leveraging Innovation for Technology Transfer which is a $2 million dollar fund right now that helps faculty move their research into the market. It was explained that the faculty have these wonderful innovative ideas but to move that from concept to consumption is a difficult process. It’s hard to find people to do that research to see if it is marketable but it is also hard to fund those people to research whether they are marketable. So they created this $2 million dollar fund where faculty can apply to help them bridge that gap. They are thinking that the first awards will go out in July and it looks like it will be a pretty sustainable system here because when faculty do research we get money from that research a portion of that will go towards funding this LIFT Fund, so it should continue to grow. The $2 million dollars will help get their wonderful ideas out which is a system-wide fund, so some changes are happening on the way we do things in the system to make it more streamlined.
Livingston mentioned that there was also a budget update where it was reported that there will be no mid-year budget cut, the state salary freeze that went out to state agencies does not affect LSU and we are able to keep some of the tuition increases that were implemented. Some facility plans announced include a new residence hall, a new Greek House, and a new Parking Facility that should be ready for Football Season. There was also an economic study done by the College of Business at LSU showing that all nine campuses in the LSU System bring $3.9 billion dollars of an impact to the state including 37,000 jobs.
President Livingston reported on February 3, she led the Executive Committee Meeting where today’s meeting agenda was discussed and set.
President Livingston reported on February 13, she along with Senator Carruth attended a Dining Advisory Committee Meeting. They are going to initiate a Strategic Planning Process, so there may be some focus groups that Senators can be a part of. The staff voice seems to always be welcome with Dining. They discussed the “In Your Space” program. Livingston asked if anyone knew about this program. This is a new program where you can pick-up food at the Union and bring it back to your office. Dining has done a little marketing about this but it is not widely known that they were trying to start this program, so there is going to be massive launch in April. Livingston mentioned that if anyone needs to reserve snacks or refreshments for a meeting of about 20 people or so, this will be a nice program to use so you don’t have to go off campus to pick up food. There was also a lot of discussion about food trucks which is something they are working on. It’s not so easy to just drive on campus and set up shop. There are certain considerations for that and Dining understands that they are a few dry spots on campus.
President Livingston reported on February 17, she was honored to be a guest coach at the LSU Women’s Basketball Game against South Carolina which was the pink game. Senator Tammy Millican joined Livingston and her husband and they really had a wonderful time. Women’s Basketball does a really great job and if you haven’t been to a game, she encouraged those to attend; it was a lot of fun.
President Livingston reported on February 19, there was a Communication Committee Meeting which will discuss later during the meeting regarding elections.
Staff Benefits, Policies and Development
President-Elect Perkins announced that the LSU Staff Senate and the LSU Women’s Basketball Team will host a Staff and Faculty Appreciation Night. The LSU Women’s Basketball Team will play the University of Tennessee Women’s Basketball Team on Thursday, February 27, 2014, at 8:00 p.m. in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center at LSU. Employees will receive two free tickets with their LSU ID and any additional tickets for your guests will cost $2 each There will be a meet and greet refreshment hour prior to the game in the L-Club. The details of this event will be announced on Facebook, the Staff Senate Website, and through broadcast email.
Perkins announced that the committee is still working on the Staff Member of the Month Award with the President’s Office which has been pushed back to July, so the committee will begin working on that again then.
Long Range Review and Planning
Senator Sasser announced that the committee has drafted a Staff Senate Mission and Vision which was included in this month’s meeting packet. The Executive Committee has approved the draft and it is now being presented to the full Senate for additional suggestions or feedback. The draft reads:
Mission: The Louisiana State University Staff Senate promotes and protects the welfare of the LSU staff by representing the interest of and the issues impacting all staff members.
Senator Sasser mentioned the Mission reflects what the Staff Senate is currently doing.
Vision: The Staff Senate seeks to enhance its visibility as a vital governance organization, recognized as the voice of the LSU staff. The Staff Senate will be an essential partner in University planning and viewed as a valued resource by the administration when critical decisions are made that affect staff members. The Staff Senate seeks to continually support the vision, mission, and Flagship Agenda of Louisiana State University.
Senator Sasser mentioned the Vision reflects what the Staff Senate strives to become.
President Livingston announced that since this is the first reading, she suggests that Senators review the drafts further and bring back to their constituents for any additional suggestions or feedback which can be forwarded to Senator Sasser. We will vote on to adopt this as our Mission and Vision at the next Staff Senate Meeting and that will open the gates for us to begin to identify some of our values and also start to tackle a Strategic Plan. This is interesting work as it pertains to where we want to be as a Staff Senate.
President Livingston announced that the Bylaws Committee has discussed and passed along to the Executive Committee a new role for a Senator/Treasurer on the Staff Senate. Why do we need someone on Senate to work with the financials? The first reason is that we have been fortunate to have financially minded people on the Senate but as you know our terms are for only three years at a time which means we may not have someone in the future who is financially minded, so we want to make sure that we are documenting the process and creating a structure that will help us with that. The second is that we need to be able to make quick decisions about budgets, so having updated information is helpful. The third reason is we need to be more transparent regarding our budget which includes being more knowledgeable about our budget with having monthly updates to the full Senate. The fourth reason is we need to have someone else involved with our financials that is not doing the purchasing which is a good business practice where someone else is monitoring the spending. The Executive Committee has taken some steps to help remedy some of these issues which include a budget tracker where we can track what we are spending and the other is that the Staff Senate Administrative Coordinator is accessing the monthly ledgers and keeping those updated on the budget tracker.
The Executive Committee would like to create another leadership position for this Treasurer role on the Senate for someone who may be interested and is an opportunity to become more involved with what the Staff Senate is doing. The responsibilities would be to verify the Budget Tracker at the beginning of every month before the Executive Committee Meeting for review, to provide an update of our financials at the monthly Senate Meetings, to be a liaison with the Foundation to make sure we know what is going on and to look at opportunities to capitalize on other ways for our scholarship awards, and then there is one responsibility of the Budget and Finance Committee Chair that states that they examine the Staff Senate budget for irregularities which could be removed and handled by this new Treasurer role. Livingston mentioned a few ways that we can make this a position which are we can make a new role/member on the Executive Committee, we can designate one of the Member-at-Large positions as the Treasurer, or we can combine this with the Secretary position which all three of these would be on the Executive Committee. Another way would be to have the Budget and Finance Committee Chair become the Treasurer as well or we could create a Liaison Appointment as we do in the beginning of every Senate year when Liaisons are appointed on campus-wide committees as a Treasurer Liaison to the Executive Committee.
President Livingston opened the floor for comments or suggestions. Senator Sasser asked what the process would be to add another Executive Committee Member. Livingston mentioned that that would be a Bylaws and a Constitutional Amendment which would need 2/3 votes of all staff who voted to adopt in the Constitution. Senator Moreau mentioned the position should be someone who is on the Executive Committee which could happen either by creating a new position, to add to the Secretary’s responsibilities, or to designate to a Member-at-Large. Senator Moreau and Love recommended to include with the Member-at-Large position. We could have the Member-at-Large handle until the Constitutional Amendment can be voted on. There are some other amendments that may need to happen in the future for the Staff Senate Constitution which can all be done at the same time. Past-President Gothreaux mentioned we should approach this role in stages. We can do a Liaison Appointment which the Executive Committee can approve then we could evolve a Member-at-Large position into a Treasurer role which can be done without a Constitutional or Bylaws amendment. Once an amendment happens then have a separate Officer Executive Committee Member position.
Livingston encouraged any additional feedback be sent to her and the Bylaws Committee will discuss further to figure out which direction to go with this and she will bring this back to the full Senate in March.
Senator Millican reported that the committee met on February 11, 2014. She commented how well the Staff Senate Marketing Intern, Alexandra Mouton has done with posting on a regular basis on Facebook and creating a Staff Senate Twitter Account. She has also created a discussion board on LinkedIn for Staff Senate. The discussion board will allow Senators to discuss topics like the Treasurer role that was just mentioned or the Staff Senate Vision and Mission statements to get additional feedback from Senators. Senator Millican announced that the Scholarship Committee will be promoting the Staff Senate Scholarships by selling an “LSU Staff” Lapel Pin. The Marketing Committee was tasked with designing the card that the pin will be attached to and Committee Member Mark Foretich with the help of his co-workers, created a smaller version of the Staff Senate Bookmark to continue to get information out about the Staff Senate and to draw employees to the website. The committee also continues to work on the website to make it more dynamic and user friendly.
Member-at-Large Donna Torres reported that the committee met on February 7, 2014. The “LSU Staff” Lapel Pins have been ordered. Torres mentioned that the artwork looks nice and she thinks they will be very well received. The pins will be available at the end of March, so they won’t be available during the Clovers & Quarters fundraising campaign which will take place the week of March 17, but the intent is to market the pins on the smaller version of the Staff Senate Bookmark. The committee will market the pins for a minimum donation of $5, so the committee is hoping that if someone would like to donate more towards the Staff Senate Scholarships they can. The committee wanted to keep the minimum as low as possible so that everyone could afford the pins and if supervisors would like to purchase for their staff, they could. Once the pin sales reimburse the seed money that the Staff Senate donated to purchase the pins, the remaining proceeds will benefit the Staff Senate Fee Support Scholarship for eligible staff employees who are taking classes. Once we see how well received the staff pins are, the committee has discussed approaching the Faculty Senate with the idea of creating “LSU Faculty” pins for sale. Also, since the SACSCOC Accreditation team will be on campus soon, it would have been great to have a both faculty and staff pins but we wanted to see how the pins would sell first. The committee ordered 250 to start and once those are sold, we will order more. The Marketing Committee will also set-up a table in front of the Union in Free Speech Alley to sell the pins as well. The Scholarship Committee is also debating on whether or not to award the top fundraising unit with a pizza party this year as that money could be donated to the scholarship fund by Executive Committee Members who may want to purchase pins to give away. The Executive Committee will discuss and decide if we should use those funds for the pins instead.
President Livingston mentioned that Senator Sasser submitted a LASERS/TRSL Liaison Report which was included in the February Meeting Packet for review.
Senator Craddock reported that she attended both Faculty Senate Meetings on January 22 and February 18, 2014. President Livingston covered quite a bit of President Alexander’s highlights regarding the statewide economic impact study which was discussed during the February Faculty Senate Meeting. The two other big agenda items was the presentation by Vincent LiCata who is a professor in biology had a resolution for A Call for Protection of Privacy Rights of LSU staff. PS-67 states safety sensitive positions are subject to random drug testing. There is a question on campus to include Research Associates and Post-Doctoral positions in PS-67. LiCata’s resolution called for revisions to PS-67 because LSU currently has a policy where they do drug testing after accidents happen. He mentioned that there’s no need to randomly drug test staff. Associate Vice Chancellor A.G. Monaco attended and he reported that this had come about not from Human Resource Management but really from Risk Management because LSU is now looking to privatize Risk Management and that was one of the disclosures that had to be included in order to get a particular price point that LSU can afford. Faculty Senate tabled the discussion to create a task force that will look at what positions really needed to be included with regards to safety sensitive positions, and what should be included in PS-67 so that there will not be any additional oral requests to have positions included that are not on PS-67.
Craddock reported that the second item discussed was the issue of LSU going smoke-free and tobacco-free. The Faculty Senate discussed this item in January and February. Professor Charles Delzell put together a resolution correcting or replacing the smoke-free campus. He mentioned that Act 211 does not require having any policy which is how he interpreted the law, so his resolution was brought forth. Faculty Senate decided that there was no motion to move it into discussion. Professor Judith Sylvester, who is on the smoke-free committee, also had a resolution and there was much debate about it. They motioned to have a discussion. There was some language that the discussion was more moralistic based, so they asked her to remove some of that language from her resolution. The Faculty Senate will approve a tobacco-free resolution. There was a debate regarding the e-cigarettes or vapor and Judith Sylvester will handle that language in her resolution. Craddock asked if there were any questions.
Q: Is PS-67 going to apply to classified employees or all employees on campus?
A: Craddock can’t answer that question directly but did mention that it is supposed to cover whatever is determined as safety sensitive positions. It could cover all classes; it includes a lot of positions that A.G. Monaco noted that will actually make it. Whatever is determined as safety sensitive such as research, there were some printing press positions, Residential Life positions, Facility Services positions because they hold keys/masters that can open doors to places that have safety sensitive information. So you may want to review PS-67 if you have further questions.
Craddock mentioned that Judith Sylvester did mention to the Faculty Senate of the Staff Senate’s vote and overall she thinks only Student Government declined going tobacco-free. President Livingston is glad that it’s out there how the Staff Senate thinks about this issue. We are not going to write a resolution as our message has been received.
Senator Donna Love circulated a handout that she created regarding legislation on the retirement issue, specifically the decrease in the normal cost which is what LSU as an employer pays towards retirement. So just for some interpretation at the beginning of what was handed out, there is a screenshot of the TRSL website. It shows what the normal cost of employer contribution rate and the Optional Retirement Plan (ORP) contribution rate which is the same for TRSL. So 5.1839 % is what LSU is currently contributing on behalf of the university towards your retirement. For an ORP participant, this goes into their retirement account. Love mentioned that President Livingston mentioned to her about the Faculty Senate’s state-wide summit meetings that were taking place in Alexandria which some of the Executive Committee has attended in the past, which is a meeting of the Faculty Senate Presidents from all over the state. The most recent meeting took place on February 8, which was a Saturday and she attended that meeting. Prior to her going, she received some numbers from Member-at-Large Sheantel Baker about staff participation in the ORP and that’s what you see in the next section of the handout. Love highlighted 3 classified and 771 professionals who participate in the ORP. So we do have a substantial number of employees who will be affected by this upcoming reduction in the normal cost. The anticipated change is that the 5.1839 % will go down to 3.66 %, so if you are an ORP member, you’re going to see a direct impact on what’s going in to your retirement plan. Employees who are in a defined benefit plan, are not going to necessarily see that immediately but it does affect what’s going towards the retirement plan that you’re participating in.
Senator Love mentioned that there are two legislative bills that we should probably be keeping an eye on. The first one is House Bill 6 which is sponsored by Legislator Pearson and it proposes to establish a minimum amount of employer contribution for the ORP. They are either tying it to the TRSL rate or 6.25 % whichever is the higher of the two rates. Also Senate Bill 5 sponsored by Legislator Guillory proposes that employees who are currently in the ORP can transfer to TRSL and this would involve relinquishing what’s in your current account and TRSL would do a calculation of how much that amount of money would purchase your service years in TRSL. For example, she has 14 years of service, so they will take her money and they would say, well do you have 14 years, yes or no, then she would get whatever service or credit that buys her, and from what she understands she could purchase additional years of service to get her back up to 14 years if the amount in her ORP does not add up to the 14 years with TRSL. Love went to another meeting after the Alexandria summit and it appears that the ORP attorney who presented anticipates that Senate Bill 5 will possibly be replaced by Senate Bill 23 which just expands on the language. Love noted that on Senate Bill 23 there will be a termination in that bill which means the law will sunset on June 30, 2020, so basically the period of time beginning in 2014-2020 to where you could make that transition. Also there’s a link at the bottom of the page for publication called “Focus on the Fisc” which is a publication by the Louisiana Legislature by the legislature fiscal office and at the end of the December 2013 issue of that publication, there’s a really good article about the ORP and what’s happening with it right now. Love mentioned in both presentations, at the Alexandria summit, Kevin Cope gave a really good definition of terms which can be confusing. He talked about the unfunded accrued liability and gave really good definitions for that. Both of the presentations should be available on the Faculty Senate website and she will forward the links to the Staff Senate. Livingston also mentioned that the presentation that happened last week was sponsored by the Faculty Senate and LSUnited which is a faculty advocacy organization. Livingston mentioned she received a flier regarding the meeting afterwards but she recommended possibly holding a similar type presentation for staff who can get some of their questions answered with some representatives present which she will discuss with the Executive Committee. Senator Love mentioned that there was a good article in the Reveille around February 4, where Kevin Cope and the Chancellor were commenting on the effect of staff retention and so forth.
Member-at-Large Donna Torres asked if there has been any calculation that Senator Love has seen that would look at someone in ORP and their contribution which everyone could be investing differently but has there been any sampling of computations? Like Love has 14 years, on average would you get 10 years of credit? Senator Love mentioned that the ORP attorney mentioned that there is a form she believes on the TRSL website, otherwise a telephone call to TRSL would be appropriate, but it has to be calculated on an individual basis. Senator Craddock heard that it may be based on a percentage of years earned for a buy-in. Love mentioned that since everyone’s situation may be different, it is figured on an individual basis. Craddock mentioned in her January Faculty Senate report, there was a third bill added which was a Board of Regent’s variation added of House Bill 6 that would put a floor of the 3-5 % for higher education and LSU would add to that a discretionary amount. So it’s not legislative action but something the Board of Regents is looking into. Love mentioned that there’s no legislation related to that but there was a skeleton of a bill out there that was referenced in the December 2013 Newsletter where one of the articles had a link to that skeleton piece of legislation, but she doesn’t believe any one has picked up to sponsor that.
Past-President Gothreaux mentioned that he knows there is a provision that allows the state to opt out of social security but they have to provide a benefit program that is comparable to that. Do you think we are seeing some traction in the Legislature because we are flirting with that threshold that says we’re about to be unconstitutional in term of those distribution levels? Senator Craddock mentioned that she is hearing from Faculty Senate that LSU’s attorneys are looking at that threshold because there is legal action that could take place. Senator Love mentioned that the lawyer’s contention was that and she has heard two different numbers, that it’s either the 6.25 % or a 7.25 % which is the social security threshold. The contention from the attorney with TRSL is that the law states that it doesn’t matter where that comes from. The law states as long as that amount is being contributed to retirement then you are covered, you don’t have to be in social security. So that 8% that we contribute from our salary meets that threshold. Now Faculty Senate has questions about whether or not that’s the true intent of the law. Member-at-Large Donna Torres mentioned that she would agree with that because with Social Security the employee contributes 6.2 % and the employer matches 6.2 %, so she think that we would need at least 12.4 % to maintain that Social Security minimum.
Member-at-Large Sheantel Baker mentioned that she was curious if there were any conversations with Senate Bill 5 about the impact on health benefits because there is an Act 922 and Act 322 that stipulates that if any type of active time involved then you’re treated differently for health insurance rates. So she is curious how this would be interpreted and how it will relate to those other acts. Torres asked does that relate to the vesting. Baker mentioned that Act 322 says that if you retire sooner than you expect to retire, why should the state pay more for your health insurance than what they would expect to pay. So we expect you to be in this active rate for so many years, then if you buy in time and allows you to retire, but not yet truly under the normal area of retirement, why should they have to pay more as a state employer in your health insurance. So they require you to pay the increase, that difference between active and retired until your sunset date comes about. So Baker is curious how these bills, because they are somewhat buying into a retirement system is going to affect those other types of Acts. Torres mentioned that to everyone to realize your life time health insurance is as important if not more important than your retirement. Love mentioned that there is still much discussion about the unfunded accrued liability.
Office of Group Benefits
President Livingston mentioned that Member-at-Large Sheantel Baker submitted an OGB Liaison Report which was included in the February Meeting Packet for review.
Benefit of the Month
Member-at-Large Torres announced that the benefit of the month is for everyone to pay attention to all the events that will be happening on and off campus that allow you some outdoor activity. Geaux Big Baton Rouge is scheduled on March 22, the Heart Walk is coming up in April and the Garden Show which is always the same day as Heart Walk that the AgCenter sponsors.
Staff Senate Gift Fund
President Livingston reminded the group of the Staff Senate Gift Fund. If you haven’t contributed and you can, please donate $10 towards the fund so we can build that fund back up for the remainder of the year.
Senator Carruth thanked the Staff Senate for the Peace Lily that her family received due to her mother-in-law passing away. The thought was very much appreciated.
American Heart Walk Association
President Livingston introduced Kristen de la Houssaye who was present to talk about the American Heart Association Heart Walk event.
Kristen de la Houssaye mentioned that she doesn’t know if anyone came last year, but they had over 22,000 people and we’re expecting that many people again, even though it’s Jazz Fest weekend. You could come and walk and then go down to New Orleans if you’re planning to attend that. The event is scheduled on April 26; the walk itself is absolutely free. They will have smoothies, food from subway and a kid’s zones for them to play. They will have a bunch of tents set-up for companies that sponsor the Heart Walk and then they have tents set-up to do things like give out health screenings. They will be giving out promotional items and educational tools to teach everyone about heart disease because it is the number one killer of all Americans and as you know our state is the number one obese state in the nation which we surpassed Mississippi. So what do they do with the funds that we raise here, we keep it all here locally. And she just did some research for a doctor here and found out that since 2012, almost $4 million dollars has gone to researchers and doctors who have written grants to Tulane and LSU, so it does stay here locally. When she looks at some of those grants, it’s very technical about what they’re studying. They also use that for education, so they go into these title one schools who really don’t know what fresh vegetables are and teach these kids to plant seeds and harvest their garden and there is a curriculum for that. So they are learning through building these gardens. The kids are the focus, to change their lifestyle which it’s hard to change habits. And then advocacy, a lot of people with the smoke-free campus which is a touchy subject but she tells her friends that it’s because of the Heart Association that you can go into a restaurant and not have smoke around you which she appreciates. Last year they passed the pulse oximetry test where every baby born now has this test done and it can detect heart disease in children and so if their oxygen levels are off, they can do additional testing. This year when we go to legislation, we are still really fighting for the smoke taxing to increase that and we will be pushing for all seniors to learn CPR. It’s going to be a law that every senior that leaves school has to know CPR. Kristen is excited because Vice Provost Kenneth Miles is on our Executive Team and Terry Sterling who is the COO of Our Lady of the Lake is one of our platform sponsors, she has a team of people that help us go into companies and get them going with supporters.
Kristen mentioned that what she need from us, when she goes into a company and she talks to their Marketing or Human Resource departments, they have different areas where they get her Team Leaders or Team Captains. She needs help with LSU because I’m just kind of meandering around the campus without knowing who to talk to or that right person. They do most of our fund raising online. Senator Igor Matkovic does a tremendous amount of help with selling hearts for fundraising. They have paper hearts which you can ask for a donation and decorate your walls. A lot of people have bake sales. Jambalaya has also been discussed. Senator Anaiah Davis is doing a wonderful job with Pace (Partnership and Community Engagement) in fact she does a tremendous job selling hearts and getting the information out there. So what she would need help with is getting into your department and if you can be a lead, she would sit down with you and show you how to send an email out to recruit your coworkers. And what we are asking them to do, they don’t have to make a donation but we would love them to support us, but what we ask is that they create their own page and send out emails to family and friends asking for support and that’s really what she would need help with. She would then come in and recruit the walkers.
Vice Provost Kenneth Miles mentioned that this state has not received a lot of good publicity as it relates to health with noted obesity and we already got an F for women’s health. He thinks part of it is looking at it how you’re in a position right now to be able to take charge of your health. He thinks one of the things we really need to take a look at is that typically these become very special tools when something happens to someone close to you. His plea isn’t necessarily coming to say hey you need to donate your monies but think about how you are in a position right now of how many people actually depend on you and to start taking care of yourself.
Kristen mentioned a lot of people have been affected by it personally. The money that they are trying to raise here at LSU is $30,000 which is always a lofty goal because they know the potential is there. She mentioned that in Kinesiology, she goes in and talks to that class and they get a lot of walkers from there. And these kids that are sending their emails out and their people make donations as some personally have been affected by heart disease. They are raising hundreds of dollars. Last year they raised over $1,000 and the year before that they raised over $8,000 which that one class is made up of over 300 people. Kristen would love for the Library to come on board and many other departments on campus. President Livingston mentioned that we can share this information with all of our Staff Senators who can contact you directly. Kristen mentioned that we can do everything over the phone, it won’t take much time, and we just really need to sign-up teams. It touches a lot of people and she thanks you for that. Senator Anaiah Davis mentioned that PACE which is a part of Information Technology Services already has a team if you would like to join them, if you don’t want to create a team yourself as a team leader, she can send you the links to maybe all come together. Kristen mentioned that it takes about 3 minutes to sign up and you don’t have to register if you are not going to fundraise but if she did have each department and you can send a recruitment email that would be great. Then we build this huge LSU community. There’s a t-shirt contest and we have a lot of people joining LSU. Each person can have a t-shirt or we can do a collective community effort. She’ll send the recruitment link if you want to set up a team with your coworkers, and she appreciates it.
President Livingston announced that Robert Lede’ has resigned as a Staff Senator from the Professional/Non-Faculty category. The next runner-up from the last general election is Tiffany Galasso who works with Veterinary Medicine. She will complete that term through 2015.
Staff Senate Election Timeline/Information Session
President Livingston announced that the Staff Senate Elections are coming up and the Executive Committee has plans to send out the nomination forms to staff next week. So in order for us to prepare ourselves for that the Communications Committee drafted a new broadcast email to send out to staff which will be shorter and a bit more engaging. The broadcast email will be sent out hopefully as its own broadcast and not part of the once a week broadcast. We are looking to get more staff involved that way. After that broadcast goes out, we will send a direct email requests out to different EEO Categories asking them to get involved, the two in mind are the Executive/Administrative/Managerial and the Service/Maintenance Categories which always seem to have vacancies. Another strategy the Executive Committee would like to do this year to get Staff Senate’s name out is to hold two Information Sessions, to get to know us a little bit and everyone is invited to attend. The first session will be held on Thursday, March 6, at 2pm in the Capital Chamber Room in the Union and the second will be held on Friday, March 7, at 10am in the International Room in the Union. This would be a great time to answer questions staff may have and to get to know staff on campus. Livingston mentioned that there is a change in the representation structure for this next fiscal year. In the meeting packet, there was a representation module created by Past-President Gothreaux who receives the LSU Staff Census and crunches the numbers. The module shows what the Staff Senate membership would look like if all the seats were filled as they should be. It also shows that per our Constitution what we are allowed to have on Senate. So for every 100 employees we would have a seat open which represents the current staff count at LSU. The staff counts on campus have dropped since last year from almost 3700 to almost 3100 employees so we have lost staff but at the same time the percentages are holding pretty steady, so we are losing the same proportion across the university. In the last section, you can see what is happening in the Professional/Non-Faculty Category and we are limited on how many seats this category can have. So there will be some changes for next year in the number of seats that will be available as we will not be able to fill all of the seats with terms that have been filled. No EEO Category can have majority on the Senate, so the Professional/Non-Faculty Category will drop from 16 to 13, so we will be losing seats for next year. There will only be one seat available in that category as President-Elect Julie Perkins will keep her seat even though her term is expiring so she can serve as President and Past-President. So current Senators who are rolling off their term may not be necessarily filled due to the number of staff currently at LSU. In the Clerical/Secretarial Category, we currently have 4 seats but that will drop down to 3, in the Service/Maintenance Category, we currently have 5 seats but that will drop down to 4, in the Skilled Crafts Category, we currently have 2 seats and that will stay at 2, in the Executive/Administrative/Managerial Category, we have 2 seats and that will stay at 2, and in the Technical/Paraprofessional Category, we have 3 seats and that will drop down to 2. Livingston encouraged everyone to talk with staff that they know on campus to encourage staff to get involved on the Staff Senate.
UREC Tiger Den
President Livingston announced that the UREC Tiger Den registration will open soon for employees who have children who would like to attend these summer camps. She will send the link to the full Senate for further information. She also announced that LSU Athletics camps are updating their information as well on the fan portion of lsusports.net, so there is a lot of camps happening this summer.
Staff Senator Birthday
President Livingston announced that Senator Igor Matkovic celebrated his birthday on February 12, Senator Kandie Saucier also celebrated her birthday on February 12, and Senator Casey Bennett celebrated her birthday on February 13, “Happy Birthday”.
Past-President Gothreaux announced that Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Bob Kuhn is retiring. His retirement reception is scheduled on February 26, 2014, from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at the University Club. Bob has been a friend of the Senate and the Executive Committee may want to consider presenting him with a commendation.
Health Wellness Initiative
Senator Love noticed on the mylsu page that there is a health wellness initiative being offered to students, does anyone know if that will be offered to staff down the road? It’s called Tiger Fit she believes but that is something we should look into or watch for later on.
Senator Saucier announced that pre-college programs like Tiger Challenge will begin registration on March 1. Staff is offered a discount using the online code lsusummer14. President Livingston mentioned when we send out the information for Tiger Den, she will include a link to Pre-College Programs.
LSU Women’s Center
Senator Craddock announced that the LSU Women’s Center in partnership with the McNair Program will present “Is Black Motherhood a Marker of Oppression or Empowerment? Hip-Hop and R&B Lessons About ‘Mama,’” on Tuesday, Feb. 25, at 6 p.m. at the LSU African American Cultural Center, located at 3 Union Square. It’s free and the talk will be open for public dialogue with reception to follow at the LSU Women’s Center, located at 5 Union Square.
Martin Luther King Celebration
Vice Provost Kenneth Miles announced that the MLK and BHM Commemorative Celebration will be held Friday, February 21, 2014, at 3:00 p.m. in the Royal Cotillion Ballroom in the Union which was rescheduled from last month. The keynote speaker will be Kimberle’ Crenshaw who is a Civil and Women’s Rights Activist.
MOTION TO ADJOURN – With there being no more business, Senator Saucier moved to adjourn. The motion, seconded by President-Elect Perkins, carried. The meeting adjourned before noon.
Holly Carruth, Secretary