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September 23, 2002

Employee Council votes to change calendar

By Eric Rangus

At its first meeting of the academic year, Sept. 18 in the Jones Room of Woodruff Library, Employee Council voted almost unanimously to change its calendar to conform to other University organizations.

The council’s calendar will now run from September–June, and the change will be reflected in its by-laws. The changes was made because so that council members who serve on other University governmental organizations, such as the University Senate, would serve the same terms as their fellow members. Council members whose terms were to expire in April—the old calendar’s end-date—will now serve through June.

In other business, the council hosted several guest speakers. Michelle Smith, director of corporate giving, introduced the new year of EmoryGives, the University’s charitable giving program. This year, Smith said, one of the focuses of the program will be on volunteerism.

Bernard Joy of the purchasing department announced that Emory had signed a letter of intent to form an alliance with Verizon Wireless to provide cellular telephone and other wireless technology plans to Emory faculty, staff and students at special rates. Joining him to explain some of the proposed amenities was Verizon account manager Jo Gifford. Deals include 20 percent off mobile packages, 25 percent off accessories and special rates for minutes.

Alice Miller, Vice President of Human Resources, discussed changes to the Health Care Plan, adding that Employee Council was the first campus organization to be briefed on the information (For the full plan changes, go here).

The final guest was William Branch, president of the University Senate. He discussed the body’s responsibilities and several of its goals for the new year. More than a half- dozen Employee Council members also serve on the Senate.

The special issues committee discussed the issue of pre-employment drug testing, a plan that was piloted in March and is currently being expanded to include all departments. The issues brought up included whether the policy is an invasion of privacy and whether it is fair, since new faculty hires are not subject to testing. The committee also floated ideas regarding a graduated scale for paying parking fees, where low-salary employees pay less; and a plan to have at least one smoke-free entrance to each campus building.

The membership committee stated that it will continue to contact members who have frequent absences, along with other members of their areas, to stress the importance of attending meetings.

The communications committee promoted attendance at the town hall meeting with President Bill Chace, Sept. 25, and also announced that the council’s Oct. 15 information fair in the Dobbs Center had double the participants than any previous fair.

The next Employee Council meeting will be Wednesday, Oct. 16, at 1:30 p.m. in the Oppenheimer Room of Grady Hospital’s Glenn Building. Shuttles from the main Emory campus will be available.

If you have a question for Employee Council, send e-mail to President Cheryl Bowie at