Michael Wenye Li/ Sun Assistant Photography Editor

EA meeting at PSB on Jan 31. 2018

February 1, 2018

Employee Assembly Voices Frustration About Assembly Communication, Brainstorms Solutions

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Concerned that students and staff are uninformed about the tobacco referendum authorized last year by the University Assembly, the Employee Assembly called for better and more frequent communication between assemblies and the constituents they represent at their meeting, Wednesday.

This discussion was initiated when Carrie Sanzone, vice chair for communications, questioned the status of the tobacco referendum, saying that she was reminded about it only after reading a Sun article on the topic.

“It just occurred to me that I don’t have any information to give to my constituents about how this is going to work, what they can expect, and so I was just wondering if … someone could give us an update on what to expect,” she said.

Laura Johnson-Kelley, library and museum representative, said the connection between the last year’s U.A. resolution and the spring referendum was unclear. Other Assembly members agreed, sparking a larger discussion on the lack of communication regarding the status of approved resolutions.

“I just wanted to ask for some clarification,” she said.

The previous chair of the Employee Assembly, Ulysses Smith, resigned last month after accepting an offer to become senior manager for global diversity and inclusion at electronic arts.

The rapid turnover in the assembly leads to faulty communication between the assembly and the public, according to Gina Giambattista, director of the Office of the Assemblies.

“It really is incumbent on the [Employee] Assembly itself,” said Giambattista, “[to] serve in the capacity of maintaining the continuity.”

To achieve this goal, assemblies should maintain close contact with their constituents when working on resolutions, according to Giambattista.

“Being the proactive partner [with constituents] in whatever the issue really will go a long way toward institutionalizing the results,” Giambattista said. “We can help, but the more you can probably put into the resolution itself is helpful.”

Other E.A. members called for the U.A. to send update emails to staff members to bridge the information gap.

“[The email should include] here’s what we’ve done, this is what impacts you, here are the resolutions and how we made progress on them,” said Hei Hei Depew, Less than 5 Years of Service Representative At-Large.