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Campus News

Staff body seeks formal recognition, voting rights

Gabriel Sistare, staff writer

A proposal to establish a staff-only standing committee, known as Staff Body, is on the floor for debate in Staff Forum.

In the current design of Staff Body, members voted overwhelmingly to create a body that would have the authority to consider and recommend policies that relate only to staff.

Residence Life Programs Director Natalie Nimmer, who is part of the leadership team that wrote the proposal, said that the end goal for Staff Body is to have an officially recognized group that would allow members to feel more legitimate in their request.

“There are staff policies that are broken. This is our way of fixing them,” said Nimmer.

Currently, Staff Body exists only as a non-voting, staff-only group that meets separately from Staff Forum, which includes both Staff and Faculty members.

The most recent proposal is a revised version of an initial proposal presented to Staff Forum before spring break.

The original proposal called for a separate staff-only voting body within the college governance structure, though the proposal was promptly revised because members did not want the language to conflict with the current governance structure.

Nimmer said that Staff Body wanted to find the most appropriate way but cause the least disruption.
The new proposal says that all regular, temporary and volunteer staff members are considered voting members of Staff Body. Individuals who are considered both staff and faculty will receive Staff Body membership as well.

One reason for crafting the proposal was an observation that staff members are treated differently in the different divisions of the College, such as some staff members having more immediate access to their President’s Advisory Committee (PAC) representative than others.

According to Nimmer, the proposal will hopefully promote some equity between different divisions of the staff.

“It’s not about your relationship with your supervisor,” said Nimmer. “It’s your rights as an employee.”
Nimmer is hopeful that the creation of this body will address certain staff-only issues that have gone unaddressed for years.

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