|UND Staff Senate celebrates 10 years of success|
Staff Senate is celebrating 10 years in existence this year by touting the services that it has sought and secured for University employees.
The Staff Senate was established with the encouragement and approval of the President of the University of North Dakota on March 31, 1998.
"UND's Staff Senate has progressed so much over the past 10 years and has now become an entity that other campus are looking to emulate," said Janice Hoffarth, UND Staff Senate president. "Because of the work that these loyal and dedicated Senators have done and continue to do, we hope to make UND a better place to work, study and grow. I am excited to see what we can accomplish next."
The University Staff Senate is comprised of elected representatives from each job category. Three Staff Senate members have voting rights on the University Senate, and three others serve on the University Budget and Planning Committee. It also has voting members on the Chester Fritz Auditorium Advisory Board, Building/Facility Access Committee, Conflict of Interest/Scientific Misconduct Committee, UND 125th Anniversary Committee, the University Traffic Committee and the Parking Task Force, which currently is reviewing the reserved-parking policies and fees on campus.
The UND Staff Senate strives:
1) To foster a spirit of unity, pride and cooperation by being recognized equally with the University Senate and Student Senate as participants in advising University administration.
2) To serve as an active communication link for meaningful information exchange between staff and administration relative issues of mutual concern.
3) To provide open meetings to express, propose, represent, investigate, and debate issues. The Staff Senate, acting as an official and responsible voice in University affairs, will recommend action on issues which receive majority approval of the senators.
4) To advise the President with regard to working conditions and employment practices, including recognition, compensation and other pertinent issues.
5) To promote awareness of opportunities and encourage involvement in the activities and operation of the University.
Over the past decade, the Staff Senate fought for "Employee Spouse and Dependent Tuition Waivers" to attend school at the University. The result: UND Budget and Planning Committee voted to implement the tuition waivers, effective this fall. The Staff Senate also has funded more than 95 scholarships for dependents of staff members for the last eight years through its "31 Days of Glory" raffle and the sale of three editions of its cookbook.
Staff Senate members create excellent publicity for UND through their charitable work with organizations, such as the Ronald McDonald House, Soldiers' Angels, Grand Forks Foster Care Program, Trash to Scholarships, Northwood (N.D.) School Music Program, Grand Forks/East Grand Forks Food Shelf, Toys for Tots and Roseau (Minn.) flood recovery programs.
The Staff Senate recently developed an "issues box," that is accessible through both the Internet and mail, where UND staff members can bring issues to the Staff Senate's attention. Also, the Staff Senate is coming up with formal procedures to identify and advocate for issues brought up by staff members, as well as meeting quarterly with President Kelley to discuss issues that arise. The organization also is looking at producing a newsletter for Universitywide distribution and creating an annual report on the Staff Senate Web site, coordinated the first NDUS Staff Leadership Conference, and developed the Staff "U Shine" award to recognize those staff that help make UND a better place for all of us.