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Sasser leaves office with praise for Staff Senate

By Netta S. Smith

Spectrum Volume 18 Issue 34 - June 27, 1996

Wyatt Sasser, 1995-96 president of the Staff Senate, took the opportunity of the traditional outgoing president's speech to highlight accomplishments of the senate over the past year. He then passed the gavel to Spencer Allen, president for the coming year.

"I feel the senate is in good hands because we've got good people," Sasser said. "I feel Spencer will be able to take the senate forward and lead the way."

The Virginia Tech Staff Senate is being benchmarked around the state as an example of shared governance that works, Sasser said. He noted that representatives from UVa came to campus and attended a Staff Senate meeting.

"The Commission on Classified Staff Affairs is changing policies, making new policies, and passing resolutions in the interest of the well-being of the staff," Sasser said.

He noted such accomplishment as cooperation between the Staff Senate and the Faculty Senate that resulted in the removal of the gym user fee. Officers from each organization now meet together on a regular basis to discuss common goals and concerns. They are collaborating on ways to revise the current governance system to streamline it and make it more effective.

Currently, the classified staff is actively involved in updating the university's smoking policy. Staff members also are exploring the possibility of tuition waivers for spouses and dependents of staff and faculty members.

The possibility of re-opening Spring Road is being explored because of concerns voiced by the Staff Senate.

"Don't let nay-sayers make you think what you're doing doesn't have any meaning," Sasser advised. "We have the attention of the faculty and the administration."

In business session, the senate discussed the recent increase in vending-machine prices across campus. They voted to send a letter to Vice President Minnis Ridenour asking why prices went up and what the university does with excess profits it receives from the sales.

The group also talked about the fact that classified staff members may check out library books for only 30 days, while faculty members have a three-month check-out period. The senate's Executive Committee is sending a letter to the Library Committee asking for a review of this policy and a response to the request.

Patti Hall, former university employee and former Staff Senate secretary, is being hired to transcribe minutes and do other secretarial work for the senate on a part-time basis.

Sasser announced that, starting in July, the Staff Senate will meet in 1810 Litton Reeves. The senate will continue to meet the third Thursday of each month at 5:30 p.m.