Action Items

September 2017

Item:  Cancellation of August 30, 2017 Classes Due to Severe Weather. Why are the Offices Required to Stay Open
  • Concerns:
    • On Aug. 30, classes were canceled as of 2pm because of “continuing severe weather,” while offices remained open.
    • If classes are canceled because of severe weather, that implies unsafe conditions.
    • Staff have asked why they had to remain on the job if campus was unsafe for students.
    • In many cases, faculty also left campus because of the canceled classes and severe weather, leaving staff to remain.
  • Action you want to see taken:
    • Please clarify why offices should remain open if weather conditions are unsafe.
  • Solution:
    • The intention of canceling classes was to keep those students not on campus from coming to campus and to keep those who were on campus from trying to walk to class.
    • While there were students, staff, and faculty still on campus at the time of the alert and the message to cancel the rest of the day, we were (or should have all been) in a designated area taking cover as per the Eagle Alert that went out; inevitably putting us in safe spaces around campus and out of harms way.
    • The goal was to keep traffic to a minimum thereby helping to keep campus constituents where they were.
    • If another wave were to come through, we would again have those safe spaces to go to for cover.
    • Some staff and faculty made the decision to leave campus, whether to go home or to pick up their children from schools that decided to close early due to the same anticipation of repeat weather.
    • It was brought up that some staff members were asked to take vacation hours if they made the decision to leave early while faculty members were not asked to do the same.
    • This would be because faculty don't accumulate vacation hours like staff.
    • They are under a contract for a certain amount of time each year.
    • The university did find that the weather alarm was not functioning properly that day.
    • They made the appropriate adjustments to the system and tested it immediately.

 

August 2017

Item:  Staff Members Taking Classes with Student Activity Fee's
  • Concerns:
    • As a staff member taking classes I am incredibly thankful for the tuition waiver.
    • The course fee charges that we accrue that are not covered by our tuition waiver are a small price to pay for an education.
    • However, the student activity fee which includes Payne Center use, access to sporting events, and other privileges that staff members do not get to enjoy.
    • We cannot claim student status for free use of the Payne Center, we cannot have a student ID made which would allow us discounts at vendors in town, and we are not eligible for free or student discounts on athletic events.
    • So, what does a student activity fee cover for staff members enrolled in courses?
  • Action you want to see taken:
    • Could the student activity fee be waived for staff members taking classes?
    • Can staff members enrolled in courses have access to the privileges that traditional students receive through the activities fee?
  • Solution: Staff Council is currently addressing this action item. Please keep checking back with the website.

 

July 2017

Item:  Campus Ecological Landscaping - particularly on GCRL Campus
  • Concerns:
    • Over the years loss of many trees due to storms and construction.
    • Little shade or no attempt to replant shade trees to minimize the heat island & sun exposure on the parking lots and improve aesthetics.
    • Little or no attempt to remove invasive species and replace them with native species.
  • Action you want to see taken:
    • Input from employees to include long-term planning for better use of resources by grounds crew via physical plant.
    • Specifically - plant live oaks as an investment in the future.
    • Specifically - revegetating areas cut down under power lines with perennial flowers to promote native landscape and improve aesthetics and wildlife.
    • Specifically - remove invasive plants and replace with native species.
  • Solution: Staff Council is currently addressing this action item. Please keep checking back with the website.

 

Item:  Bond Hall Entrance Hazard
  • Concerns:
    • Staff Council has the pictures.
    • Photo 6 is of the opposite side of the entry stairs and ramp to Bond Hall where you can see that the same thing is beginning to happen.
    • The Institute for Disability Studies is on the fourth floor of Bond Hall, and several of the visitors and student employees have physical disabilities, yet they still have to try to either walk or take a wheelchair through this mess.
    • Also, it is the entrance to the University Police Department, so those with disabilities needing police assistance use this sidewalk as well.
    • Employees in our department (third floor of Bond Hall) as well as others have slipped in this mud numerous times. It is not only an eyesore, but also a safety issue.
    • That area gets traffic from the Parking Garage, Moffitt Health Center, both Century Park North and South, etc., so it's not some obscure, rarely used area of campus.
    • And, I have put in a work order to remove the mud after it rains, but we shouldn't have to do that.
    • Something really needs to be done, because it is not fair nor safe for those with disabilities or those without.
  • Action you want to see taken:
    • Need area fixed so that mud is not constantly forming thereby creating a hazard.
    • See pictures that were forwarded to staff council.
  • Solution: Staff Council is currently addressing this action item. Please keep checking back with the website.

 

Item:  Parallel Parking Spaces in Front of the "OLD" College of Nursing Building on HB's Campus.
  • Concerns:
    • Street is too narrow for these parking spaces to continue as is
    • Pedestrians dart in/out between parked autos and open doors into street into oncoming traffic with no warning
    • Accidents waiting to happen, if not already happening
    • Autos coming from the west have to move off the street onto grass/side to avoid getting hit when two larger or oversized vehicles meet at same time side by side moving along the street
  • Action you want to see taken:
    • Eliminate the side street parallel parking spaces only in front of the building.
  • Solution: Staff Council is currently addressing this action item. Please keep checking back with the website.

 

Item:  Streets on the Hattiesburg Campus
  • Concerns:
    • Several streets on campus need to be paved, especially Southern Avenue at the front of campus (McLemore Hall area) before football season starts
    • I think it is the worst of the streets, but I may be wrong, and it's been in bad shape for over a year now.
  • Action you want to see taken:
    • Pave the streets
    • Is there a time frame as to when this will happen?
  • Solution: Staff Council is currently addressing this action item. Please keep checking back with the website.