The Employee Assembly stressed the necessity of its Emergency Care Fund — an allocation of employee donations that can be distributed to employees with “severe family and financial crises” — at its meeting Wednesday.
The fund has disbursed approximately $21,000 and $19,000 in grants to about 20 employees so far this year, according to Beth McKinney, the director of Cornell Wellness.
McKinney called on E.A. members to assist the functioning of this fund, asking them to join a committee that reviews employee applications to access funds or to join another committee that organizes fundraising events.
Joining the application review committee can be challenging, as committee members must “keep an objective mind when reading applications,” according to McKinney.
“It’s very hard to keep an open mind,” said E.A. member Hazel Hall. “Some of the things that our fellow employees suffer are truly upsetting.”
McKinney described the Emergency Care Fund as being “truly active.” She said employees who are granted access to the funds received between $200 and $1,500 in their paychecks.
She added that the fundraising committee plans to host an online auction, collect money at a preseason hockey game and organize a concert to raise money for the cause.
E.A. Executive Vice Chair BJ Siasoco also discussed how the assembly will work on “increasing the visibility” of staff members on campus this year.
The assembly plans to focus on “shared governance” between staff and administrators with the “main goal being to advocate for the staff” and highlight the new restructuring of the E.A., according to Siasoco.
Siasoco also announced that the annual president’s address to staff is scheduled for next Tuesday. He added that the Interim President Hunter R. Rawlings’ address to the staff community will be “a good way for staff members to interact with administrators.”