December 14, 2018

Office Sustainability Tip of the Week

With December and the holidays upon us, hopefully we’re all getting into the spirit of the season a little bit.  Even though this often proves to be a very stressful time of year, it’s also a time when people come together to help those in need.  Throughout the entire year, organizations on campus such as COAR organize charitable events that benefit the local community.  Most recently, the Staff Advisory Committee organized a Thanksgiving Food Drive, as did Kappa Delta Pi (KDP), the national Education honor society at UMW.  Hopefully we’re all doing a little something this month to help others and those in need.  While the “Office Sustainability Tip of the Week” usually focuses on environmental concerns, we’re taking the opportunity this week to think about how to go about sustaining social relationships in the workplace.

If you’re like me and many other people, you often feel as if you spend more time with your co-workers during the week than you do with your own family.  So it’s crucial to establish good relationships with everyone that you work with.  We’re often quick to shoot off the most minor of emails to co-workers to ask a question or pass along some information, but what about picking up the phone to speak to the individual or walking over to their area/office to discuss things in person?  Even doing this just once or twice a month might make that connection you have with individuals a little more personal.  Some organizations/institutions have “no email Fridays,” which encourages employees to pick up the phone or speak to individuals face-to-face as opposed to sending an email.  Is a policy like this always going to be practical?  Perhaps not, but it’s something to think about. Moreover, how often do we misinterpret tone or intent through email? How often is it hard to even comprehend what is trying to be communicated to you through email? The choice to speak with someone over the phone or in person may not only improve social relationships in the workplace, but it may also improve communication, problem-solving, and productivity.

What about other ways to improve interpersonal relationships in the workplace?  If you’re a supervisor, are you taking the time to praise employees for a job well done?  If there’s that one individual in your office who NEVER leaves their office except for lunch, are you reminding them to take a few minutes every now and then for a quick walk around campus, to grab a cup of coffee, or to even just get up and stretch a little bit?  (Yes, I did just propose that you encourage your employees to get up and stretch.  It’s an excellent way to maintain a healthy workplace. Read more about that by going to https://tinyurl.com/y9fnsfan). Maybe the answer for improving social relationships with your co-workers lies outside the office. Does your office have a weekly happy hour or get together for lunch or dinner? What about a Book Club or Movie Night among those you work with?  If not, maybe it’s time for you to initiate this idea among your co-workers.  The holiday season is also a great opportunity to have a Pot Luck Office Luncheon or a fun Cookie Exchange.

If you have any suggestions for things we can all do differently each day to create more sustainable office environments–whether ecological or social–please feel free to leave a comment or email Kevin Caffrey (kcaffrey@umw.edu) with ideas for other Sustainability Tip of the Week articles.

Kevin Caffrey is the Senior Associate Registrar at UMW and serves as Staff Co-Chair of the President’s Council on Sustainability.  Formed in the fall of 2009, the PCS consists of faculty, staff, and students and reports both to the Executive Vice President for Administration and Finance and the Provost, serving a critical role in shaping administrative goals and objectives relating to campus sustainability.  Their next meeting is Wednesday Dec. 5  at 4:30 p.m. in the University Center, 2nd Floor Jamba Juice/Qdoba dining area. Meetings generally last one hour and are open to employees, students, and the public. 

SAC News

Excellent Eagle Employee Program: Nominate your co-workers, supervisor or employees for the Excellent Eagle Employee award. It’s easy! Just complete the Excellent Eagle Employee nomination form on our website. Take some time to nominate someone today! Winners get reserved parking on campus for the month.

#1 F.A.N. (Fantastic Action Noticed) In addition to the Excellent Eagle program, you can also recognize a colleague using HR’s #1 F.A.N. program. Did you experience exceptional customer service or awesome collaboration? If so, nominate the person or people involved in that experience. Complete the #1 F.A.N. form on the HR website, and your colleague will be able to choose a UMW spirit item as a token of appreci ation.​

SAC Fall Drive – The Staff Advisory Council is collecting items up until Friday, December 15 to help our community’s homeless population. For more information on what is needed, please contact Dr. April Brecht, PhD, abrecht@umw.edu.

December SAC Meeting – Our December meeting was held Tuesday. Dec/ 12. Tiffany Oldfield, Title IX Coordinator shared a Q&A session regarding the Policy on Sexual and Gender Based Harassment and Other Forms of Interpersonal Violence.  Also, Anand Rao and Cedric Rucker discussed UMW’s Community Values.

Workplace Celebration Guidelines – HR advises that during the fall and winter months when a number of cultural and religious days of significance are observed, remember to be respectful of the rich and diverse cultures that are ever present in our workplace and the communities we serve.   Please be mindful of inclusiveness and safety in your workplace holiday activities.

Holiday University Closing – Reminder that UMW will be closed Monday December 18th through Tuesday January 2nd.  The University will officially reopen on Wednesday January 3rd.

SAC News

Excellent Eagle Employee Program: Nominate your co-workers, supervisor or employees for the Excellent Eagle Employee award. It’s easy! Just complete the Excellent Eagle Employee nomination form on our website. Take some time to nominate someone today! Winners get reserved parking on campus for the month.

#1 F.A.N. (Fantastic Action Noticed) In addition to the Excellent Eagle program, you can also recognize a colleague using HR’s #1 F.A.N. program. Did you experience exceptional customer service or awesome collaboration? If so, nominate the person or people involved in that experience. Complete the #1 F.A.N. form on the HR website, and your colleague will be able to choose a UMW spirit item as a token of appreciation.​

 December SAC Meeting – Our December meeting will be held Tuesday 12/12 1-3PM in Lee Hall 412.  Tiffany Oldfield, Title IX Coordinator, will be our guest speaker.  SAC meeting are open for all to attend.  Hope to see you there!

 Staff Evaluation in Careers Reminder – The deadlines for Performance Evaluations are fast approaching.

Due Dates:

  • Classified Performance Evaluations are due no later than December 5, 2017.  (Performance period being evaluated:  October 25, 2016 – October 24, 2017)
  • A/P Performance Evaluations are due no later than December 15, 2017.(Performance period being evaluated:  June 25, 2016 – June 24, 2017)

 Confirm Payroll Record Info!  Please take a few moments before December 4, 2017 to verify and, if needed, update your mailing address and legal name as they appear in Human Resources and Payroll records. This information must  be correct for the University’s year-end Employer Reporting, your W-2 statements, and the commonwealth’s  Affordable Care Act reporting.  Errors may result in federal penalties for the University.

Here Comes Santa Claus – Now’s the time to reserve your slot with Santa at Brompton Saturday December 9 from 1-4PM .  RSVP at http://umweagleeye.wpengine.com/2017/11/13/here-come-santa-claus/.

 Workplace Celebration Guidelines – HR advises that during the fall and winter months when a number of cultural and religious days of significance are observed, remember to be respectful of the rich and diverse cultures that are ever present in our workplace and the communities we serve.   Please be mindful of inclusiveness and safety in your workplace holiday activities.

 

Staff Advisory Council 2015 Election Results

Thank you to everyone who participated in the election of our new Staff Advisory Council (S.A.C.) members. We are pleased to announce that the following individuals have been elected to serve on the council from January 2016 through December 2018:

Administrative Faculty
Kevin Caffrey
Christopher Carl
Christy Pack

Classified Employees
Sarah Carroll
Kim Lawson
Michelle Miller
Pam Verbeck

Wage Employees
Robert Louzek

The S.A.C. represents the interests of wage, classified, and administrative professional employees throughout the University of Mary Washington. We wish to thank all of our new members who have agreed to take up the challenge to represent you as a member of the S.A.C.

If you’re not aware, our meetings are always open. This means that any employee can attend all of the meetings, provide their opinions, listen to our guest speakers and be an advocate for our staff. Essentially, individuals can participate just as an elected member; however, only elected members can participate in any official voting that may take place.

For more information about the S.A.C., please go to http://sac.umwblogs.org/

Elections Committee Staff Advisory Council

UMW Stafford Blood Drive

American Red Cross Spring Blood Drive

The American Red Cross will be sponsoring a blood drive at the Stafford Campus on Wednesday, March 25 from 1-5 p.m. in University Hall.

The worthy cause always needs new support, along with continuing donors. Here are some of the facts:

  • Only 37% of Americans are eligible to give blood
  • Less than 10% of eligible Americans actually do give blood
  • Someone needs blood every two seconds
  • One pint of blood can save up to three lives

If you are interested in donating, please respond to Kevin Caffrey, kcaffrey@umw.edu, with one or two preferred times that you would like to donate.  You can choose any time in increments of 15 minutes from 1-4:45 (i.e. 1:00, 1:15, 1:30, 1:45, etc.)  If you cannot donate, please feel free to spread the word about the blood drive to anyone who might be interested – students, friends, family members, coworkers—anyone at all.

Stafford Campus Blood Drive, March 25

The American Red Cross will be sponsoring a blood drive at the Stafford Campus on Wednesday, March 25. The drive will take place in University Hall from 1-5 p.m. All those who donate will automatically be entered into a raffle for a chance to win a Movie Treat Gift Basket including a Regal Entertainment gift card, as well as snacks you can take to the movies or enjoy at home watching a DVD. To make an appointment to donate, please contact Kevin Caffrey at kcaffrey@umw.edu or 540-286-8008.

Stafford Campus Blood Drive, Sept. 10

The American Red Cross will be sponsoring a blood drive at the Stafford Campus on Wednesday, Sept. 10. The drive will take place in University Hall from 1-5 p.m. All those who donate will automatically be entered into a raffle for a chance to win a Tailgate Party Gift Basket right in time for the beginning of football season. To make an appointment to donate, please contact Kevin Caffrey at kcaffrey@umw.edu or 540-286-8008.

Sustainability Tip of the Week

After what can only be described as a brutal, brutal winter, it’s nice to finally find ourselves walking into work on warm sunny mornings. With this lovely change of weather comes an opportunity to practice some sustainability at work. Namely—packing your lunch for work. How does packing your lunch help with sustainability? Well, I’m glad you asked so I will tell you.

By opting to bring your lunch from home as opposed to going out to buy something each day, you’ll cut down on the garbage that is generated from take-out containers, napkins, plastic cups, plastic spoons, plastic forks, the infamous plastic “sporks”—you name it. You’ll also reduce the amount of exhaust fumes that are generated from taking your car out for those short two mile drives back and forth to nearby restaurants and fast food places. Not only is driving short distances bad for the environment, it is also bad for your car. You’ll also be practicing economic sustainability as packing your lunch from home will almost always cost you less money than it does to buy your lunch from a restaurant. Moreover, you’ll have quality control over the ingredients that you use to prepare your lunch. Spring is a great time of year to prepare healthy, vibrant meals and snacks from fresh ingredients–spicy southwestern salsa and chips, roasted garlic hummus with pita bread, fresh fruit salad—the delicious possibilities are endless. With the time you’ll save from traveling off campus each afternoon, you’ll gain the opportunity to go for a walk, read a book, or talk with co-workers or students. Reduce waste, reduce pollution, save money, boost your health, cultivate new, meaningful, personal connections with people – all from bringing your lunch to work! Plus, it’s a great opportunity to pull out your He-Man or Strawberry Short Cake Lunchbox from the attic. And if you’re going to make a commitment to bring your lunch to work, remember to use reusable containers and cutlery, as well as a thermos or reusable water bottle.

The President’s Council on Sustainability plays a critical role in shaping administrative goals and objectives relating to campus sustainability, and reports regularly to the President’s Cabinet outlining recommendations and the university’s progress in areas of sustainability. Tuesday, April 22 is Earth Day and the PCS will be presenting a panel from 4 to 5 p.m. in Lee Hall 411, before moving to the Lee Hall Terrace from 5 to 6 p.m. Please stop by to learn more about the PCS and sustainability on campus as well as in your everyday lives.

Fitness Room Opens at Stafford Campus

The Stafford Campus has opened a Faculty & Staff Fitness Room for all UMW faculty, staff, and spouses to use.  The Fitness Room is located in Room 107 of the South Building of the Stafford Campus and contains a TechnoGym Recumbent Bike, a TechnoGym Excite Elliptical machine, and a small weight/dumbbell set; additional equipment is anticipated to be added in the future. Yurgen Panzhin, Assistant Director of Campus Recreation and Fitness, gave a demonstration of proper use of the equipment and provided safety information and healthy workout tips to interested Stafford Campus staff and faculty on Tuesday, Feb. 18. The Fitness Room will now provide faculty and staff that work predominantly at the Stafford Campus an easier opportunity to access state of the art exercise equipment free of charge.  It is also in line with one of the major goals of the Healthy Campus 2020 initiative – “to create social and physical environments that promote good health for all.”  With an onsite Fitness Room for staff and faculty, the Stafford Campus has taken a proactive step in promoting physical and mental health through exercise.  Hours of operation will be Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.  To gain access and be eligible to use the fitness room, all individuals must first sign a liability waiver. To obtain the liability waiver, please contact Kevin Caffrey at 540-286-8008 or via email at kcaffrey@umw.edu.

The idea for a fitness room at the Stafford Campus originated in a Staff Advisory Council meeting a couple of years ago. The opening is a great reminder of the advantage of having a Staff Advisory Council that “provides an avenue for employee input and feedback and a means of participating in the design, development, and implementation of University programs, projects, and services.”  Meetings of the Council are open to employees, students, and the public. For more information on the Staff Advisory Council, go to: http://sac.umwblogs.org/.

Office Sustainability Tip of the Season

With the holiday break beginning next week, please remember to shut off lights, computers, monitors, printers, copiers, etc. before you leave your offices.   Also unplug items in your office such as coffee makers, microwaves, radios, etc. since these small appliances often waste energy when plugged in and not in use.

Enjoy the break!

President’s Council on Sustainability