October 27, 1997
Volume 50, No. 10
Council President Erik Oliver opened the meeting by asking members if they had received their United Way packets. Oliver told the council he had attended ambassador training and that Michelle Smith had thanked the council for their help in revising the way the program is presented to employees.
Ron Foust, president-elect, circulated copies of the council's bylaws with proposed changes.
Guest speakers from the President's Commission on Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Concerns, the President's Commission on the Status of Minorities and the President's Commission on the Status of Women addressed the council. Each speaker told the group what issues are before their commissions and how the Employee Council could help.
Following the presentations, the council broke into caucus groups. The special issues committee discussed animosity between smokers and nonsmokers. Discussion centered on where designated smoking areas exist on campus. The committee decided to:
The committee again discussed the ability to bank sick leave to others who need it, disability income and rewarding employees for not using sick leave. Foust suggested having a benefits representative come and speak to the council.
The membership committee continued to check into the allocation of representatives. At issue is whether the current distribution of Employee Council members accurately reflects employment.
The committee nominated Susan Cook, Cedell Johnson, Lynn Magee and Carolyn Merriweather to sit on the election committee.
The council then went over the proposed changes to the bylaws, which will be voted on at tbe November meeting.
Commission co-chair Bill Thompson called the meeting to order Oct. 20 in room 400 of the Administration Building. He then introduced the speaker, Joseph Crooks, Emory's general counsel.
Crooks addressed the legal developments and ramifications stemming from the incident on the Oxford campus this summer in which an Oxford employee was denied use of the Day Prayer Chapel for a same-sex commitment ceremony. Emory chaplain Susan Henry-Crowe and Oxford chaplain Sammy Clark were also in attendance, and the three fielded questions from the commission.
Among the issues discussed were the question of "ownership" of Emory and what degree of control the United Methodist Church has over the University; the legal question of whether Day Prayer and Cannon Chapel on the Emory campus are considered ecumenical, interfaith "chapels" or are indeed Methodist "churches"; and what decision the Board of Trustees could make regarding chapel use at its Nov. 13 meeting.
Thompson and fellow co-chair Anne Rector detailed a meeting they had with Emory trustees Bradley Currey Jr. and Judge William O'Kelley. They stressed to Currey and O'Kelley the importance of Emory's Equal Opportunity policy and maintaining public commitment to that statement. Crooks said this was the only occasion he could remember in which two representatives of an on-campus group met directly with trustees to address an upcoming board decision.
The commission then approved minutes from its last two meetings and passed out review copies of a report it plans to submit to President Bill Chace detailing its activities of the past year. Saralyn Chestnut, director of the office of Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual Life, called for volunteers to help with preparation of a survey of the campus climate to be distributed early next semester.
Secretary Jason Chue said 15 people attended the commission's monthly coffee in October, and the next coffee is scheduled for Nov. 13, the evening of the Board of Trustees' meeting.
Rector passed out copies of a resolution she has submitted to the University Senate expressing support for President Chace's position on chapel use. Commission member Emily Heath also read a resolution to be submitted to the Student Government Association declaring similar support.
The commission solicited members for three committees: honorary degrees, long-range planning and organization the annual Pride Banquet. Thompson announced the next meeting would be Nov. 17 at 4 p.m., and then adjourned the meeting.
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