Emory Report

 December 1, 1997

 Volume 50, No. 14

Issues in Progress

Employee Council

As the November Employee Council meeting was called to order, Erik Oliver, council president, thanked members for their participation in The Carter Center town hall. Ron Foust, president-elect, added that the entire meeting is available on the web at http://www.emory.edu/ITD/REALAUDIO/.

Judith Miller then addressed the council on the Bone Marrow Donor Registry. Miller, a history professor and leukemia survivor, spearheaded a drive to register 500 to 600 people for the National Marrow Donor Program. She secured $23,000 in funding to defray the normal $45-75 cost to potential donors. The registry drive was held Nov. 22.

The council then broke into caucus.

Special issues committee
The committee began by discussing the ability to bank sick leave or grant it to other employees. Foust said that studies had been done in the past and had raised some valid questions:

  • Would employees be required to put sick leave in the sick leave bank?
  • What if an employee doesn't put his/her sick leave in the bank and then wants to access sick leave in the bank?
  • What happens if an employee deposits sick leave in the bank and then needs to use it?

Members decided to look for input from someone who had participated in a similar plan before going any further.

The committee again addressed issues between smokers and nonsmokers. Members talked about options that would foster mutual respect on both sides. They continued to work on developing a story for Emory Report and discussed where smoking is allowed and signage in those areas.

Membership committee
The group finished the nomination form for '98-'99 officers and distributed them to the council. They also continued work on a letter to encourage membership attendance at meetings.

Communications committee
Following the success of the Grady open house, the committee is working on a Grady brown bag series. Members also worked on the Crawford Long open house scheduled for the end of January.

Following caucus, the council voted on changes and additions to its bylaws. The most significant change was the redistribution of members to better represent Emory employees. The number of seats that Woodruff Health Sciences could fill increased to 55 of the 88 seats on the council. Members whose posts were eliminated will serve out their terms on the council but would not be replaced.

The council also clarified that the senate terms of members elected to the University Senate as representatives of the Employee Council will end when their council term ends.

After the council voted on the bylaws, Oliver told members that Alice Miller was interested in speaking to them on the "glass ceiling" issue.

-Scott Barker

President's Commission on Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Concerns

Commission co-chair Anne Rector called the meeting to order at 4 p.m. Nov. 17 in room 400 of the Administration Building. As the first order of business, Rector opened the floor for discussion of the Board of Trustees' decision regarding chapel use. Co-chair Bill Thompson said discussion of the issue seemed to have died down considerably since the announcement, and Saralyn Chesnut, director of the Office of Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Life, said the decision seemed fair to her. Rector announced a meeting with Emory Chaplain Susan Henry-Crowe on Nov. 20 to discuss the decision.

In committee reports, Dyshaun Muhammed of the coffeehouse committee reported good attendance of about 30 people at the "Communitea" held the evening of the board's meeting.

As chair of the campus climate survey committee, Chesnut recommended the commission use the resources of the newly formed National Consortium of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Resource Directors for Higher Education as part of a national survey of on-campus attitudes, possibly during fall 1998. She said a professional researcher at Penn State University will design the instrument, compile the data and compare the results to other schools nationwide. The commission voted to accept Chesnut's recommendation, leaving open the possibility of a more limited survey next spring.

Candice Dias of the long-range planning committee suggested looking into the possibility of opening an L/G/B office on the Oxford campus or at least having a person there a couple times a week to deal with L/G/B issues. The commission then discussed whether Emory-affiliated health care organizations-Egleston, Wesley Woods, Grady, Emory Clinic-are covered under the University's equal opportunity policy. Bob Ethridge, director of the Equal Opportunity office, said Emory employees working at those entities are covered, but the University has no influence on coworkers employed by the other organizations. The commission asked the long-range planning committee to work on a report for President Bill Chace asking him to urge the University's affiliates to adopt an EOP similar to Emory's.

The planning committee also discussed adding a "T" to the name of both the commission and the L/G/B office to represent transgendered individuals. Chesnut said Emory's L/G/B groups are in the minority around the country for not having the "T." Ethridge said transgendered individuals are covered under the EOP even though they are not specifically mentioned.

Jason Chue of the Pride Banquet committee said several venues are under consideration for next year's event, including the Emory Conference Center, Cox Hall and WHSCAB Plaza, among others. The commission also discussed charging a small fee for the event to help offset the costs.

Rector announced that Senior Project Manager Earle Whittington has offered to hold a meeting with the commission to discuss the campus master plan and a possible new location for the L/G/B office. The group then voted to approve a short description about the commission for the soon-to-be-published Affirmative Action Plan.

Before closing the meeting, Rector announced the commission will have to elect a new co-chair to replace her, since her term expires at the end of the calendar year, and a new secretary to replace Chue. The commission agreed to submit nominations to Thompson to be voted on at the December meeting, which will be held Dec. 15 at 4 p.m. in the Administration Building. Rector then adjourned the meeting.

-Michael Terrazas

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