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A Message from Dr. Ray Plaza, Director, Office for Diversity and Inclusion...

Dear Staff Colleagues:

This is just a friendly reminder that we need your participation in SCU’s Campus Climate Study. The survey went live on Tuesday, Jan. 23. This comprehensive study is designed to gauge the current attitudes, behaviors, and standards of employees and students at SCU. Its need arose out of the Blue Ribbon Commission for Diversity and Inclusion and the Task Force for Diversity and Inclusion.

The survey is being conducted by an outside consulting firm and all feedback is anonymous. The process is also confidential. We understand the fear that some of you might have in responding. Please be assured that we take confidentiality very seriously.

The survey will officially close on Feb. 23, but we encourage you to take the survey sooner than later.

Take the survey »

The Staff Senate is grateful to Dr. Ray Plaza for presenting an update on Diversity and Inclusion during our January monthly meeting. 

You may read the details from his presentation in the meeting minutes

Update from Staff Senate President

Melissa Brotherton


  • State of the Staff Senate Report | January 2018
    • Check out the State of the Staff Senate Report which outlines the key priorities set forth for the 2017-18 academic year, a mid-year update on our accomplishments, a status update on current charges and motions, and a look at what is in progress for the remainder of the year. 
  • Faculty Senate Update 
    • Faculty launched an online discussion forum on a Unionization Proposal (as related to Adjuncts and Lecturers) 
    • Faculty held a STEM Open Forum on January 25 in Benson Center 
  • Charter Amendment Process Revision
    • SCU has a change document outlining the required approvals for changes to some but not all pages of the University Policy Committee's Charter
    • The University Coordinating Committee updated the change document to include amendments to any part of the Charter
    • University governance committees, including Staff Senate, were asked to review and approve the amendments
    • Staff Senate voted (25 in favor, 1 opposed) to approve the proposed changes to the University Policy Committee's Charter amendment process. Thanks to Christine Coli, Special Assistant for Shared Governance, for facilitating this part of the meeting.
  • SCU Diversity and Inclusion update by guest speaker Dr. Ray Plaza, Director of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion
    • Fr. Engh established the Blue Ribbon Commission (BRC) on Diversity and Inclusion and their findings were available last year through a report.
    • A task force was then appointed to review the Blue Ribbon report and they provided 37 recommendations in September 2017. The task force also developed strategies to address the recommendations.
    • Staff were underrepresented in the report and recommendations. The task force and the Staff Senate’s Diversity and Inclusion working group are going to look further into the staff equivalents of recommendations that were directed to faculty and/or students, but not staff.

    • For more information, please read the January meeting minutes and check out the PowerPoint presentation.

  • Proposal: Mid-year Financial Report
    • The Faculty Senate and Staff Senate are jointly submitting a proposal requesting a mid-year financial update from the University Finance Office in hopes of more financial transparency.
    • Staff Senate voted to approve the recommendation: 27 (in favor) – 0 (opposed)
    • The proposal is pending Faculty Senate's final approval  
  • Staff Senate Working Groups Update 
    • Brian Moon, the Staff Senate Vice President, is the project manager
    • Brian will hold a meeting with the chairs to re-launch the working groups 
    • The groups will update the Staff Senate during the February monthly meeting regarding their goals for the remainder of the year 
  • Staff Senate Committees and University Liaisons 
    • Please read the meeting minutes to learn more about the important work from these groups 

As you can see, our January Staff Senate Meeting was action-packed. We look forward to continuing the great work and impactful changes we can make together in 2018. 

*The Jan. 18, 2018 meeting minutes are saved on the Senate's Google Drive

Construction Around Campus

Throughout the 2018 calendar year, the campus will be impacted by several major construction efforts. To better prepare for these changes, University Operations shared highlights about what will change and the potential impacts on food service, transportation, parking, facility operations, and others.

We highly encourage you to review the slides and share the information with your colleagues.  

View the presentation »


We thank Marissa Pimentel, Project Engineer, Planning & Projects, and Staff Senator, for providing an update during our January monthly meeting. 

Calling All Staff!
Staff Volunteer Day
4 - 5:30 p.m., The Forge Gardens


Join the Staff Senate for an afternoon at The Forge Garden, SCU's ½-acre edible organic garden. This event includes the option to volunteer in the garden and create your own tea blend!


To RSVP please contact Samantha Kibbish at

Help Us Improve Our Staff Events

Please take a moment to rate the events organized by the Staff Senate, so we can better serve your interests. We also welcome your ideas for new events.

The Events and Services Committee thanks you in advance for your feedback to help enhance our community spirit and promote a positive work environment at SCU.

Take the survey »

In an effort to get to know each other better and to identify areas of collaboration, senators take turns during every meeting to share three personal facts about themselves, and a highlight and challenge in their area or department. Here are this month's featured senators: 


Gigi Groener, Central Operations Manager 

Senator (Housing)

Three Things about Me

  • I've set a goal to compete in twelve 5k races this year - one for every month of 2018. I'm hoping to coordinate some of my races with travel.
  • I'm passionate about environmental engineering as it relates to creating healthy food and eating environments. I love legumes. Name any vegetable; there isn't a single one that I don't like.
  • I have a cat named Lou, which is short for Lou Malnati's Pizza, my favorite deep dish pizza in Chicago!

Area Highlight

  • We are currently in the midst of the undergraduate housing application and room selection process for the 2018-2019 academic term.
  • Construction on the Stephen A. Finn Residence Hall began on Jan. 17. The hall is being constructed where the Sobrato surface parking lot is currently located along The Alameda. The residence hall will house 366 undergraduate students in jack and jill style mini-suites beginning in fall 2019. Updates regarding the progress of the project can be found on the On-Campus Living website.
  • Despite initial skepticism from the student body regarding the changes in off-campus student housing (Neighborhood Units) management from private management to the Housing Office, we have received overwhelmingly positive feedback regarding the transition. Housing was able to upgrade the spaces for better living conditions, install secure lock mechanisms, and address facilities concerns promptly. Further, in collaboration with the Office of Student Life, we improved neighbor relations through required Off-Campus Housing Orientation (OCHO).

Area Challenge

  • Housing makes a consistent effort to communicate information to students via multiple media (e-newsletters, website updates, in-person presentations, tabling, RLC bulletin boards, electronic monitors, etc.). However, students often heavily rely on the information they receive via word of mouth, which often leads to incomplete or inaccurate information.
  • As the student body continues to grow, our ability to maintain high-touch service also becomes increasingly difficult. This will continue to be a challenge, especially with the new residence hall. 

Maureen Muscat, Associate Director, Events, Alumni Relations

Senator, Elections & Bylaws Committee Chair

Three Things about Me

  • I love to cook. Anything from my kids’ favorite chicken enchiladas to a formal, four-course dinner from The French Laundry cookbook. I subscribe to several food magazines and I’m always excited to read them cover-to-cover and find new and interesting recipes.
  • I hate rollercoasters/drop towers, etc. I do not understand how anyone can enjoy that scary feeling of free falling.
  • We moved a lot when I was growing up – 5 different cities and 7 different houses. I didn’t like having to change schools and make new friends so I vowed that I wouldn’t do that when I had kids. At ages 15 and 17, my kids still live in the same house they were born in.

Area Highlight

  • Every year, through our Alumni Family Scholarship Program, we provide financial aid for those legacy students who need “just a little more” to close the gap between being able to afford SCU tuition.
  • The University and Alumni Association established a class audit program in 1975 to provide graduates the opportunity to audit (non-credit) undergraduate courses tuition-free.
  • Our Chapters and Groups team manages over 30 geographic chapters within the U.S. plus international chapters in Manila, Hong Kong, and India. They also manage two affinity groups (Pep Band, Into the Wild), four identity-based groups (API, Black, Chicano Latino, and LGBTQ+), and three professional industry groups (SCU Entertainment, SCU Bronco Builders Association, and Real Estate).

Area Challenge

  • One of our biggest challenges is having good contact information for our alumni, especially our young alumni who move often and keep their parents’ address as a mailing address. Their mail may or may not get to them, but more importantly, we might be sending them local events and programs for a city they do not live in, so they are missing out on programming in their area. 
Staff Senate Meeting
Monthly Staff Senate Meeting
10:30 a.m. - noon | Graham Commons
  • Speaker: Kathy Kale, Melissa Brotherton - Alumni Strategic Plan
  • Speaker: Ed Ryan - WASC Reaffirmation of Accreditation Process
  • Speaker: Denise Ho - New Student Welcome Program

  *All staff members are invited to attend Staff Senate meetings


Questions? Please contact your area senator or email

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