At the Commission's May 2 meeting, the Staff Concerns Committee shared preliminary results of its series of focus groups with staff women conducted during spring semester.
Committee member Mary Krueger said that family-related issues were the most pressing ones raised by the participants, including the need for work schedule flexibility and resources to help staff members care for children and aging parents.
Other issues mentioned by participants included: an unspoken double standard in job titles based on gender, such as designating a male secretary as an executive assistant to allow for a higher salary than a woman doing a similar job; and objections to the University policy of conducting criminal background checks on newly hired staff, but not on newly hired faculty.
The Faculty Concerns Committee conducted a maternity leave and adoption survey involving both women faculty and the deans. Committee Chair Victoria Phillips said that during the summer the committee members will formulate specific recommendations based on the survey results.
The Student Concerns Committee conducted a number of forums with women students in residence halls and other locations throughout the year. The Committee reported a number of concerns about campus climate inside and outside the classroom as a result of the forums. The possibility of publishing of a summary of the committee report either this summer or early in the fall was discussed.
President Bill Chace attended the Commission meeting to present the group's annual student writing awards. Recipients include Tracey Moriarty, undergraduate award; Corinn Columpar, graduate student award; and Kira Sue Chitwood, professional student award.
President's Commission on L/G/B Concerns
At its final meeting of the year May 6, the Commission voted to grant $1,300 to an Emory group working on the formation of a national conference planned for next spring called "Queering the South."
Donna Smith of the group planning the conference said the event will focus on the ways in which region, race, religion, class, gender and sexual identity intersect to influence the lives of gays and lesbians living in the South. "Our goal is that reflection on these questions will result in more useful strategies for creating social change in the South," Smith wrote in a memo to the Commission. The funds allocated by the Commission will be used for start-up and grant writing costs, Smith said. She said the planning group hopes to hold the event on the Emory campus.