October 20, 2003

PCSW meets with new president, outlines year

By Stephanie Sonnenfeld

Meeting with President Jim Wagner was the top order of business for the President’s Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW) during its Oct. 2 meeting.

Prior to Wagner’s arrival, the group discussed his recently released draft Vision Statement. PCSW was asked, along with the other President’s Commissions, to review the statement and send comments to Wagner. Topping the discussion were questions about Wagner’s definition of "academic destination," used in the statement. Many members thought the term indicated a stopping point, while others said they saw it as starting point for academic journeys. Another concern was the application and use of the statement in regard to the whole University community.

After posing for an official commission photo, Wagner shared his hopes for the group. He said he saw the President’s Commissions as vital in advising him on how to deal with respective issues facing the Emory campus.

"I am fully aware that I am a middle-aged, white, straight male," Wagner said. "These commissions need to provide the experience I don’t have and will never have."

He said the commissions work in an advisory mode, a sensory capacity and take a proactive approach. Wagner challenged them to focus on one major goal per year and "make it happen."

Members then updated Wagner on their past work and future plans. Marietta Collins of the faculty concerns subcommittee gave a synopisis of the recently completed Gender Equity Study and the PCSW Leadership Survey, both of which can be found at www.emory.edu/PCSW/reports.html.

Elaine Gossett from staff concerns reported that the PCSW will participate in the Relay for Life event in April and this month’s Heart Walk. She also mentioned that the Mentor Emory project is looking for five more mentors. The committee’s next meeting, which is open to all Emory staff members, is on the third Tuesday of each month in 220 Dobbs Center.

The student committee graduate chair Maggie Juliano and undergraduate chair Nicole Faurot said the group is continuing to streamline its work on sexual harassment issues, bathroom posters and blue emergency lights on campus.

If you have a question or concern for PCSW, contact chair Kim Smith a
t ksmith@emory.edu.