Earlier this summer, the UNCG Staff Senate elected two new co-chairs for the 2020-2021 school year, Megan Cayton and Murphie Chappell. In taking on this position, Cayton and Chappell made it very clear that their goal for the year was to increase accessibility of the Senate and convert words into action to benefit the UNCG community at large.
This goal of converting words into action is well underway as Cayton and Chappell are proud to announce the first resolution of the Staff Senate for the 2020-21 school year.
At the July 9, 2020 meeting of the full body of the UNCG Staff Senate, a resolution was passed in support of the welfare of Black UNC Greensboro students, staff, and faculty. The full resolution (found here) outlines a number of immediate actions the Staff Senate can take to lead the effort to create a more supportive and inclusive community.
The four main actions the Staff Senate has committed to are as follows:
- Dedicate the 2020-2021 Staff Senate term to increasing awareness, education, and self-interrogation including an in-depth review of our own processes and procedures, and community action about racism;
- Engage and partner with our constituents, constituent groups, and across the University through meetings, coordinated community events, workshops, and other opportunities as allies in anti-racism/anti-racist work while amplifying the voices of marginalized groups;
- Participate in and host difficult conversations related to the content of this resolution; and
- Appoint a Staff Senator to serve on the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusive Excellence to ensure that the Staff Senate is maximizing available resources in support of Black staff members.
Since passing the resolution in July, Cayton and Chappell are excited to share important updates about how the resolution has spurned action across campus. The following is a list of actions taken by Staff Senate members and campus partners to fulfill the goals outlined in the resolution.
- Revamped the monthly Senate Rewind (a summary of information from previous meetings) and moved to a subscriber-based platform where employees can self- select to receive direct Senate communications. Since introducing this in early August, subscribers have grown 50%.
- Began including programmatic questions in Senate Rewind to increase engagement from constituents and Senators. Questions address topics such as how departments address racial equity and discrimination, and individualized questions such as, “I feel comfortable intervening and/or responding to situations in which I witness racism, harassment, and/or discrimination”. The responses to these questions will help the Staff Senate plan future programming and implementation.
- Implemented a communications plan between executive team, senators, and constituents.
- Invited the Chancellor’s Fellows into their last meeting for an introduction, call to action, and to hear about opportunities for engagement.
- Circulated and committed our time to upcoming Equity, Diversity, and Inclusive Excellence campus training opportunities.
- Committed Senator and immediate past co-chair Kisha Carmichael-Motley to serve on the Chancellor’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusive Excellence Task Force.
- Began forming the Staff Senate EDI task force to support Kisha and the Chancellor’s Fellows and asked Equity, Diversity, and Inclusive Excellence questions of each Senate invited speaker. Additionally, these questions have been prioritized in small group meetings with University administrators.
- Participated in conversations related to upcoming system-wide and campus-wide Equity, Diversity, and Inclusive Excellence survey efforts.
While the work is far from over, the Staff Senate is proud to share their accomplishments and plans to provide continued updates in the future. Additional information about the resolution, Senate Rewind, and Staff Senate general meetings can all be found at the Staff Senate website.
Story by Chloe Blythe, University Communications