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Staff Senate recap

New senators share their visions and goals.

By Lindsey Coulter

July 16, 2020

Aerial photo of JSSB and AES building.Rebecca Reid, president, Staff Senate, began the group’s meeting Tuesday by welcoming many new leaders and senators to the body. Reid will continue serving her term as president, and Brandi Rideout will continue as secretary.

New officers and senators:

  • Vice President – Maggie Thulson
  • Treasurer – Diane Yee
  • Academic Affairs – Todd Wolfe
  • Administration, Finance and Facilities – Anna-Liisa Breit
  • Advancement – Lynne Winter
  • College of Business – Donelyn Jones
  • College of Letters, Arts and Sciences – Gregory Singer
  • College of Professional Studies – Amanda Campbell
  • Office of the President/Strategy, Marketing and Communications – Johanna Snow
  • School of Education – Brian Gunther
  • School of Hospitality – James Webb
  • Student Affairs – Salina Blea
  • At-large – James Reyes
  • At-large – Charisma Martinez
  • At-large – Cory Phare
  • At-large – Colton Lee
  • At-large – John Kietzmann
  • At-large – Taylor Hase
  • At-large – Chaz DeHerera
  • At-large – Ellen Boswell
  • At-large – Chivonne Torres
  • At-large – Camelia Naranjo
  • At-large – Katrina McLaughlin
  • At-large – Lara Bruce

The new officers and senators introduced themselves by sharing what they hope to contribute through the Staff Senate and what they hope to gain. Many discussed goals of reducing professional silos, increasing staff representation and leadership in University conversations, and finding ways to improve the University and the employee experience.

Reid then led the new Staff Senate in an orientation, covering the body’s constitution, subcommittees, bylaws and governing documents, communication efforts, meeting structure and more. Members also received a tour and introduction to the group’s SharePoint site.

This year, the Senate’s work will build on its constitutional goals to also advance campus anti-racism efforts. Reid noted that this will include inviting dialogue on structural racism and taking action to cultivate an anti-racist culture.

Additionally, the group has dedicated itself to helping guide the University through the uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic and social unrest, helping University staff develop skills and competencies for work and life.

“The way we work and live is changing, and people are looking for leadership,” Reid said. “Staff Senate can be that leader and leverage our committees to help senators step up and lead across campus.”

As such, Reid will dedicate her leadership to building bridges with senior leadership to help staff members be more involved in University decision-making. This effort also extends to creating connections with the Faculty Senate and developing more ways to communicate and collaborate to tackle shared issues, all while providing greater resource access to staff members to advance initiatives.

?Senators also reflected on recent COVID-19-related budget impacts. Reid noted the Staff Senate has been included in decisions about the University’s financial future and is continuing to build its voice in these conversations. Senators also discussed Safe Return to Work communications, engaging in student-enrollment campaigns and Colorado Department of Higher Education recommendations for navigating the pandemic. The body specifically looked at guidance for organizational leaders aimed at encouraging flexibility and helping employees maintain reasonable workloads.

Many senators reported that University leaders and direct supervisors have been helpful and supportive throughout the shift to working remotely and have maintained a focus on self-care, helping employees navigate the challenges posted by working from home. Senators also applauded the significant efforts of teams involved in the shift to online learning and the accelerated move to the Canvas learning-management system.

Learn more about the Staff Senate by visiting the group’s SharePoint site or attend a virtual meeting.

Topics: Community, Inclusive leadership, Staff Senate

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